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A lively discussion of death with tea and cakes coming to Hillsdale Library Sunday Nov. 17

Not surprisingly, death becomes the topic of conversation when the group called PDX Death Café shows up, as it will at the Hillsdale Branch of the Multnomah County Public Library at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17.

"It's almost as simple as it sounds," said organizer and facilitator Lori Stevens. "A group of people gets together, usually strangers, and everyone just talks about what they're wondering and thinking about death for two hours.

"Many people come out of curiosity. Most of them are there for their first Death Café and are nervous and not sure what to expect. But many of them leave with smiles on their faces," she said.

As many as 20 people will meet in the Hillsdale Room at the library. Groups of four to six people will discuss death with a facilitator on hand for guidance and direction. Participants come from all cultures and faith traditions and tend to be older. "Death Cafés lean toward, you know, older generations, however it seems like lately, it's become a little more multi-generational," Stevens said. "Death affects everyone and happens to everyone. Death Café was started to get people to start talking about what was considered to be a taboo subject."

Death Café was started in 2004 in Switzerland and is now headquartered in London. Stevens says there are 10,000 Death Cafes in 65 countries. Its professed mission "is to help people make the most of their finite lives," according to the website ww.deathcafe.com.

"Tea and cake and snacks are definitely part of the experience," promised Stevens. Death Cafes are also scheduled for the Beaverton Library and First Unitarian Church.

PDX Death Café's appearance is made possible by The National Endowment for the Humanities Fund of The Library Foundation.

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If you go

PDX Death Cafe

When: 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17

Where: Hillsdale Public Library, 1525 S.W. Sunset Blvd.

Reservation required.

For more information, call 503-988-5123.


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