By Elizabeth Miller
Special to the Town Crier

This time last year Francoise Frigola brought a new inspiration to Idyllwild, the Death Cafe. Having started in England in 2011, the Death Cafe quickly became a phenomenon across Europe, North America and Australasia.

In Idyllwild, people come together twice a month at Spirit Mountain Retreat where, over coffee and cake, death is discussed in a respectful, confidential and often humorous space.

The impetus for a Death Cafe springs from living in societies where death has been removed from our everyday lives. Noting that death has been sanitized in our culture, occurring remotely in hospitals and then funeral homes, this leaves many wondering what just happened? What happens next? Where are my loved ones now? Where will I go at my own death? Will I exist at all? How much “say” do I have over what happens to me?

All these questions and far more, ranging from the philosophical, the metaphysical and the logistics of death are topics of discussion. Each meeting launches a discussion on whatever the group would like to talk about that day.

Not limited to the Hill, the Idyllwild Death Cafe has participants from La Quinta, Desert Hot Springs, Riverside and Upland. This is a forum of inquiry, curiosity and connection with others, with no intention of leading people to any conclusion or product.

You may join Francoise Frigola, M.A. and co-facilitator Elizabeth Miller, M.Ed. for the anniversary celebration of Idyllwild’s Death Cafe from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, at Spirit Mountain Retreat. Since meetings are limited to 12 participants, sign-ups need to be made in advance at [email protected]. The second monthly Death Cafe celebrating our anniversary is from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 29.