Lunch and Learn: Death Café

Date: Thursday, November 2, 2023
Time: 10:30 am to 11:30 am
Location: Education Centre
Admission: Free, Registration required

Why is it “morbid” to talk about something that happens to every single one of us? Not talking about death won’t make it easier to manage.

At this special time of the season where many cultures honour or remember their deceased loved ones, join Kathlene Bartlett and Julie Leighton-Phelps, Palliative Pain and Symptom Management Consultants, for an uplifting interactive adventure based on the works of the Death over Dinner creators.

A Death Café creates space for an open and relaxed conversation about death and dying and aims to shift the conversation around death from one of fear or avoidance to that of familiarity and comfort. Participants will sit around tables of 3-6 people for a confidential, group-directed discussion. Bring your experiences to share; bring your questions to ask. Share only what you are comfortable with—there is no pressure to tell the details of your personal story.

An article in Guelph Today about a past Death Café describes the mood of the event well:
Far from being morbid, bleak or despairing, the mood of the event was equal parts sorrowful, uplifting, and caring. The room, at times a din of laughter and passionate story-sharing, was divided into several smaller groups, mostly consisting of strangers. The intimate nature of the subject quickly created an atmosphere of empathy and trust, and the conversation flowed effortlessly.

We aim to create a space welcoming to all spiritual or religious beliefs or non-beliefs. This is a welcoming space to 2SLGBTQ folks.

Organized by North Simcoe Muskoka Hospice Palliative Care Network

Sorry, this event has passed.


Kathlene Bartlett
Julie Leighton-Phelps

Kathlene Bartlett has been a nurse for 12 years. She has worked the majority of her time in Acute Care on a Palliative/ Oncology unit and also has experience in Public Health and LTC. As an Indigenous RN Kathlene works with the FNIM communities within NSM to better support in their end of life journey and provides capacity building and mentorship to health care providers providing palliative and end of life care.

Julie Leighton-Phelps, has been a Registered Nurse for 28 years, having worked in Texas and in Ontario. She has vast experience in several nursing specialties including ER, ICU, surgical, home care and hospice palliative care. Her passion is palliative care being such an honour to being able to help guide patients and families through their final journey