“Sir, I know perfectly well what is right. “I know what’s right when I’m grieving,” he wrote. Elisa Levi In I don’t know about other things. Léa, the “country-eyed” protagonist of the story, recounts what her father’s sudden death meant to her: “An end of the world in itself”. Certainly, no one has ever spoken openly to Léa about death, and that is why she defined it as an “explosion that disorganizes everything”. Many experts assure that the naturalization of this concept leads to various therapeutic effectsas well as knowing how to better handle the situation when it arises.

“We need to talk about the notion of dying. “Thanatophobia is the taboo of our society.”points out Miryan Wodnikclinical psychologist specializing in bereavement, SPANISH | Wallet. Wodnik is one of the experts who assure that Talking about the dying process is healing. From this same thought was born the Death Cafe or death cafés: people, often strangers, who meet to discuss death without a closed scenario or precise objectives drinking tea or coffee and eating cake. These are organized discussion groups where a mediator or facilitator, as he or she defines himself, directs the conversation and intervenes if necessary.

The model was developed by psychologist Jon Underwood in 2011. The goal is to raise awareness about death in order to help people make the most of their lives. The first Death Cafe He organized it in the basement of his house in the London borough of Hackney with his mother. Sue Barsky Reid.

Miryan Wodnik, clinical psychologist and author of “Behind the Rainbow.”

Miryan Wodnik, clinical psychologist and author of “Behind the Rainbow.”

“Jon worked supporting patients with very difficult treatments, even terminally ill ones. He was very marked by what he experienced with a patient suffering from leukemia. Influenced by the articles of the Swiss sociologist, Bernard Cretazzwho organized meetings of Death Cafe in Switzerland (2004) and France (2010), decided to institutionalize them, to make them viraesl”, explains Wodnik. Since then, thousands of Death Cafe In the whole world, becomes very popular in the United States. In Spain, they are starting to strengthen. The first death cafes took place three years ago in the Basque Country, Catalonia and Andalusia. Now, cities like Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Valencia and Malaga organize these meetings at least once a month.

QUESTION. – Why coffee? –to psychologist Miryan Wodnik–

ANSWER.- When we are nervous, we need to feed those nerves with things that keep us safe. Few things give us as much security as food and money.

Q.– Why so much emphasis on the fact that this is not a therapeutic approach?

A.- Ieither therapyeutic, we tend to want to repeat it. Here each meeting is unique, the same people do not always come, we do not always hear it with the same peace and tranquility as the previous time. If we call it therapy, IIt invites you to think that you are coming here to heal, that this will be a place where someone will take a walk with you and hold your hand, to accompany you.

Q.– Have you heard Pablo Motos’ “meditation on death”?

A.- I would rather call it mourning. AND The greatest heartache we all face is that of dying. We don’t know when or how, but we are going to die, and we live with our backs turned away from that. We do not know how to deal with the pain, the suffering that the death of others generates in us.

Q.– Are people ashamed to talk about death?

A.- Yes, there is no education to speak and hear about death. We must face our own and accept the death of others as something natural. Ultimately, death is the path to life.

One morning in a Death Cafe

SPANISH | Wallet go to one Death Cafe organized in a cafeteria in the Madrid district of Aravaca. It’s eleven o’clock. At the rear of the establishment, twelve strategically placed chairs invent what will be “a conversation between friends”. Participants ask the waitress for a coffee and a few churros when they arrive. The majority, all adults between the ages of 40 and 60, know each other and have attended at least a few meetings. Only Jesus and Mary come for the first time, who seem shy.

Today, Wodnik is the host. As soon as he sits down, he specifies that “the Death Cafe It’s not therapy. This is not a therapeutic process it is also not about support in the event of bereavement” and that “these are not sessions, but meetings”. “Here, we come to listen to each other and discuss. We don’t resolve personal dilemmas,” he says. He then explains the “sandwich” format of the meeting: presentation round, dialogue and closing, where members express in a sentence or word “what they remember from the meeting”.

Before starting, the psychologist asks that none of the participants tell the other what to do, “something very common in society”, and emphasizes that “no one has the absolute truth about anything, so We will always advise from our point of view.” . ” “. “First of all, maximum respect for each person’s beliefs and confidentiality“, he concludes.

[Antoni Martínez, el psicólogo experto en la meditación de ‘la muerte’ que hace Pablo Motos]

Start on the right. “This is my third or fourth session,” says one of the participants. “Meet,” Wodnik corrects him, laughing so as not to mistake him for a therapy session. “I come because I’m afraid to accept death as a part of life. Of the Death Cafe I always leave with an immense feeling of peace and tranquility. They help me achieve my goal,” he says.

During the presentation, the members make known the mourning they are experiencing and evoke their dead, may they rest in peace. There are losses of all kinds. María (all names fictitious to preserve their personal circumstances) is going through a loss of friendship and Sofia He remembers his mother, who died 17 years ago; Paula talks about her aunt, Fernando about an old flirt who committed suicide and Macarena remembers Diamante, her dog.

A taboo subject

Sofía, who lost two partners and her father, emphasizes that she learns from grief: “I learned to lose the fear of death. “I come here to share and help my colleagues. “Also, in my personal life, I feel a little sorrow, because I will leave my job forever,” he says. “Professional death also hurts,” interjects Carlos. “I fell in love with my work. Six years ago I took time off and everyone told me to take advantage of it and travel. “I will travel inland,” he replied. It’s a loss that also needs to be addressed,” Nuria participates.

Carlos claims to have experienced a catatonic situation. “To be able to open up, to discover a place where we were talking about this subject seemed impossible to me. I always say that death is a taboo subject, almost no one wants to talk about it, especially young people. I experienced it up close with my loved ones. Attending these meetings was a kind of relief for me. Miryan says it’s not therapy, but for me it was completely therapeutic. Now I find myself in a situation where I want to see what I can contribute and what I can do for others,” he says.

Next to her, a participant said she wanted to experience her aunt’s death “without this fear and stress that appears when we think about the end of life.” “I started to prepare and managed to accompany him with care, love and curiosity. I want to continue investigating deathbut normally you can’t talk to people because they immediately think you’re crazy,” she says.

Messages from heaven

After the series of presentations, Sofía asks to read a message. He says that the night his partner died in 2003, One of her friends channeled a message from the deceased. “Because of the language and the way he expressed himself, I knew it was him,” he reveals. He emphasizes that he continued to receive this type of messages directly. It is since then that Sofía’s ex-partner has been trying to communicate with her from time to time, especially at dawn. “Today you experience it with humor, but how did you receive it at the beginning?” asks one of the listeners. “It was a bit annoying having to get up at that point,” he says with a laugh. “But I received it with love, naturally“.

After the revelation and the count of those present personal anecdotes related to channeling messages, Wodnik invites you to send a hug to Fernando’s friend. Everyone agrees, including Fernando, so they prepare to hold hands in a circle and send all their energy to the young man.

Finally, after each of the participants has expressed a painful moment they are going through, they thank the Death Cafe for giving them the opportunity to talk and debate these issues. “Every time I come, I leave full” “I leave with a feeling of peace”“thank you for listening and sharing”, “thank you for the trust” and “I would like to keep coming back” are the most heard comments during the closing round.

[Así se enfrentan los niños al duelo tras un suicidio: “El tabú impide que hagan su proceso”]

The coffee finished and already relieved, the participants begin to leave, not without thanking Wodnik for today’s meeting, “which was very special and complete”. Everyone hopes to end up in another café of death. On their way out, they recount their experiences at other gatherings and emphasize its importance and curative nature: “Death is a condition of life, it is part of it. We shouldn’t ignore it“.

By wbu4c

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