Here’s an interesting idea: the café mortel, or death café. Never heard of it? No, I hadn’t either. It’s a Swiss thing, apparently. In the words of the Independent:
The concept, although a little morbid, is straightforward enough – a dozen strangers meet to have a drink and talk about death for a couple of hours. The participants in Paris were surprised by how straightforward the discussion was.
Death is a taboo subject in France, according to Swiss sociologist and death café pioneer Bernard Crettaz. “French people find it very difficult to talk about death,” he said. He says his mission is to liberate death from what he calls “tyrannical secrecy”.
“I am never so in tune with the truth as during one of these soirées. And I have the impression that the assembled company, for a moment, and thanks to death, is born into authenticity,” he writes in his new book, Cafés Mortels: Sortir la Mort du Silence, or “bringing death out of silence”. [Source]
This has really got my mind buzzing…