It’s not easy to think about your own funeral. Talking about death, dying and funerals raises big questions that we need to face at some point, but it’s hard to talk to family and friends.
The Church of England has been helping people think about these questions for centuries. GraveTalk is a café space, organised by a local church, where people can talk about these big questions. The conversation is helped along by GraveTalk conversation cards – 52 questions covering five key areas.
Events have been held in locations across the country, and people of all ages have gathered to talk and share their thoughts about death, dying and funerals. GraveTalk is a café – so there is always tea and cake.
What happens at a GraveTalk event?
It can take place in a church hall, community centre or even a high street café. People arriving will be welcomed by the person running the event – it may be the vicar or someone else from the church – and then invited to sit at tables with three or four others. The GraveTalk cards will be on the tables, and each group picks a question and uses it to start a conversation. It doesn’t matter if you only use one question, or work through all of them! The purpose is to talk and listen.
Light refreshments are offered throughout the event, which lasts about an hour, or longer if needed.
Useful links and people to talk to
The Christian faith holds the hope that death is not the end. If this is something you’d like to talk about some more, contact your local church to see how they can help.
GraveTalk helps to begin conversations about death and dying, but if you need more help with grief and loss through trained bereavement counsellors, these are just a few organisations which offer support:
Care for the Family
Child Bereavement Charity
Child Death Helpline – there to listen to and support anyone affected by the death of a child.
Grief encounter – which supports children who have lost someone they love
SANDS – Still Birth & Neonatal Death charity
Winston’s Wish – a charity for bereaved children
If you belong to a church that would like to try hosting a GraveTalk event and you’d like to order the GraveTalk cards and a Facilitators’ Guide, follow the link below: