Glasgow group looking to break grief taboo and create safe space to chat about bereavement

The group is organised to help those coping with grief
The group is organised to help those coping with grief -Credit:QiFeng LTD/Getty

A group in Glasgow is hoping to make opening up about bereavement less of a taboo and provide a safe space for those struggling with grief

The Death Cafe project is a worldwide phenomenon which sees a group of strangers meet up and discuss loss with no agenda, objectives or themes. It acts as more of an open discussion rather than attending counselling or therapy.

Amelia Marron has been attending one such group at Finn's Place in the city's southside. The 29-year-old lost her step-dad, step-mother and mother between the ages of six and 10.

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She believes speaking to people who have also faced grief has helped her come to terms with the loss she experienced at a young age.

Amelia told Glasgow Live: "I found out about them through my flat mates friend who is a therapist.

"I had lost a lot of family when I was younger. I feel like as a society we don't talk about death and children struggle to process their emotions when grieving.

"It is something I'd struggled with for a long time. I had gone to therapy and it was good having a one to one conversation about grief.

"I found it hard that my peers hadn't gone through the same thing. When I found out about the death cafes, I realised I could meet people like me.

"When I first went there were 10 or 12 people and it gave me the opportunity to speak with people about grieving. The second session we spoke about coping mechanisms."

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Although she has only been attending the Death Cafe for a short period of time, the history and sociology student is adamant the group has had a positive impact on her life.

The 29-year-old explained: "Following the first session I felt there was a real change in my life and the way I can cope with my feelings.

"Never in my life had I been around people going through something similar. Hearing their stories and how hard they found it came as a relief.

"Before I felt so isolated. For 20 years I felt so alone.

"I now plan to attend as many as possible because it helps me articulate my feelings. I hope it is something that stays a part of my life and that I can maybe help others."

The Death Cafe is now a vital part of Amelia's life, however, she thinks there is a still a massive taboo when it comes to opening up about loss.

The student said: "I think people still find it hard to speak about death and grief.

"When you know someone who has lost a loved one it can be hard to speak about. It's an uncomfortable topic for people.

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"I think about it everyday but I get some people still aren't comfortable with it."

Glasgow currently has three Death Cafe's located across the city including in Whiteinch Demistifying Centre, Finn's Place and Cambuslang Parish Church.

Organiser, Jenny Watt, told Glasgow Live: "I think we are giving people a safe place to have a conversation about death.

"Death is around us every single day so we do speak about these things.

"We are hoping to make sure people don't feel alone and that it is normal to discuss these things. We need to remind people that it is ok to chat about grief."

To find out more about Death Cafes click here