You may or may not have made the connection between this blogger and the Death Cafe movement. Yes, I'm the same Lizzy Miles. I was planning my trip to Hong Kong in June to present the Death Cafe concept at The International Conference on Grief and Bereavement. Since a fellow Death Cafe host was going with me to present, I thought we could possibly host or co-host a Death Cafe in Hong Kong. I was at the Association for Death Education and Counseling conference in late April and I met Professor Andy Ho from Hong Kong University. I spoke with him briefly at the conference and mentioned that I thought it would be cool to have a Death Cafe in Hong Kong. After the conference I sent an email asking for help in finding a co-host.
Extract from email I sent on May 4 to Professor Andy Ho:
What would be needed from our local hosts:
1. Finding a location (detailed specs below)
2. Help to spread the word locally (co-design a flyer/send emails/ post on social media/ talk to media)
3. Help with co-hosting event (3-6:30pm on 6/14)
On May 8th, completely unrelated to the email I sent, I received an email through the Deathcafe.com website:
A friend and I are planning to set up a death cafe in Hong Kong. I read the International Conference on Grief & Bereavement website and wish to know which date and time your sharing will be.
I wrote Carmen back and did not mention dates but said that I was already in discussion with Hong Kong University folks regarding hosting an event. Again, I did not mention any dates.
Carmen wrote back on May 9th and said:
For the hosting of Death Cafe, I am planning to be at 3pm-5pm on 14th /15th June.
Carmen picked the EXACT DATE and TIME I had suggested to Professor Ho. I got chills. I knew then that this would be a momentous occasion. From that point forward the coordination and organization by the Hong Kong hosts was incredible. As it ended up, I had the opportunity to attend the event as a guest and I was not even needed as a host. During the event, I was so moved by the experience and the magnitude of it all. Attendees expressed deep gratitude for the creation of a safe place to have conversations about the taboo topic of death and dying.
The event was covered by the media that evening on television and the following day in the South China Morning Post.