Navan’s first ‘Death Cafe’ opened its doors in the Ardboyne Hotel last night and Meath Live went along for a look.
The first thing that can be said about the hostess of the Death Cafe, Kay Kearns, is she gives a great hug!
It left Meath Live thinking if this is what death feels like we’d welcome its embrace.
Death was on the menu in the Ardboynes Taylor Suite alongside tea, coffee, scones, cream and jam, as a healthy 23 people arrived for the first ever Death Cafe and it soon became clear Kearns had planned it well.
You could sit beside whoever you liked and strategically placed on the tables were prompt cards which suggested topics you might discuss.
On Meath Live’s table the cards contained questions like ‘Do your loved ones know what medical attention you would allow if you were unable to speak to tell them’?
And it has to be said they don’t as the thought of such a thing happening never crossed our mind until last night.
Another one asked, ‘Do you believe in reincarnation’? and we are with Rodney Trotter on that. the Only Fools and Horses character once saying, ‘I’m that unlucky if there is such a thing as reincarnation I’ll come back as me’.
However, on our table,we actually had a man who has come back from the far side!
We’ll call him George, as that happens to be his name, suffered a heart attack and actually died on the operating table for a number of minutes before he sprung back to life, and he summed up the experience by saying, ‘I have no real memory of it, there was no blinding lights or anything like that so I still don’t know if I am going up or down.’
We’d hate to be stuck behind George in the queue for the lift!
Possibly sensing our scepticism Kay earnestly told us, ‘Remember at a funeral we only bury the body not the soul.’
Another question was ‘If you could go back to one day in your life and change it what day would it be’ ?
Movingly a lovely lady on our table said, ‘They day my husband died I’d change that’.
Death, as a subject, should be no laughing matter, yet at regular intervals the murmur of conversation was broken by great peals of laughter from one table or another.
And that’s the thing, certainly at our table we often forgot what we were there for, as the conversation varied from nights out in the old Beechmount ballroom to big Joe Joyce the bareknuckle boxer and salacious gossip from Kells .
In short the three of us were too busy enjoying living to talk about dying.
It was a great night out and the scones were lovely.
We’ll be back and we’d encourage anyone who didn’t make it this time to be dead sure to get to the next one.