A MOTHER-of-two is inviting people to a cafe where the sole topic of conversation will be death.

Former palliative care nurse Naomi Wood said the Death Cafe event in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, would create an informal environment for the community - rather than a medical or religious setting - to come together and reclaim the subject of mortality.

She said no aspect of death, such as suicide, would be taboo at the free drop-in event, and there would be no set agenda.

It is hoped the event, which will feature a Mexican-style skull cake, will create a relaxed atmosphere in which people can share ideas, questions, rituals, ideas and fears to highlight a range of views about death and dying.

Ms Wood said: "It is a heart-warming opportunity to talk death and dying and can be quite life affirming."

Since 2011, the non-profit Death Cafe movement - a concept to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their lives - has rapidly spread across Europe, North America and Australasia, with more than 1,300 events being held.

Ms Wood said while the first event will be held at the Quaker Meeting House, Kirkgate, on November 27, from 7pm to 9pm, numerous cafes in the town had indicated they would be interested in hosting future Death Cafes.

She said people who attend Death Cafes could include family members of terminally-ill patients, those who have received a diagnosis or people who have had a bereavement.

Topics could feature the song you would like at your funeral or how would you like to be remembered.

The Sowerby Community Primary School dinner lady said she had been inspired to organise the Thirsk event as she wanted to carry on with the connections she made with patients while nursing.

She said: "Addressing death and mortality seems to help me feel more vital and awake.

"Talking about deep matters of the heart has always been important to me and helps me connect with my family friends and community.

"But also I feel driven to look at my own mortality and help my children value and make sense of their own lives and death."

Drinks and snacks you could be served at a Death Cafe:


Burial ground coffee

Urn-side down cake

Devils on horseback

Angel cakes

Death by chocolate

Pure Heaven juice

Strawbury and creamation

Rhubarb ghoul

Cheese on ghost

If you would like to know more, do come along..... or take some pictures of the skull cake being donated by a professional baker.