“Grief, I’d come to realize was like dust. When you’re in the thick of a dust storm, you’re completely disoriented by the onslaught, struggling to see or breathe. But as the force recedes, and you slowly find your bearing and see a path forward, the dust begins to settle into the crevices. And it will never disappear completely- as the years pass, you’ll find it in unexpected places at unexpected moments.”
― Mikki Brammer, The Collected Regrets of Clover
Clover Brooks has always felt a stronger connection to the dying than she ever has to the living. It all started when her kindergarten teacher died during a story time in class. After that, Clover’s parents were killed in an accident while traveling. She then moved to New York City to live with her grandfather. Her connection to death informed her studies: she traveled the world studying different cultures’ relationships with death. On one of her travels, the grandfather who raised her dies alone back in New York City. Clover returns home and becomes a death doula. She cares for people at the end of their lives, working to give them a beautiful death. Clover has dedicated her life to peacefully helping people through their end-of-life process.
Outside of her work, Clover also frequents death cafes throughout New York City. Death cafes are meetings where people gather to discuss anything and everything to do with death. One of her trips to a death cafe leads her to an encounter that will change her life. She meets a young man with a dying grandma. This old woman is feisty and knows what she wants. Her secrets and final wishes send Clover on a cross country trip looking for a happy ending. The more time Clover spends with her, the more she realizes that she doesn’t have a life of her own and no real possibility of her own happy ending. Clover’s trip to help this woman turns into a trip to turn her own life around. Her wants and needs are just as valid of those who are dying.
Are you interested in attending a Death Cafe? You’re in luck! The Davenport Public Library | Eastern Avenue Branch hosts a Death Cafe on the third Wednesday of every month. The next four dates are: August 16, September 20, October 18, and November 15. Each Death Cafe runs from 5:30p – 7:30p.
At a Death Cafe, people, often strangers, gather to eat treats, drink coffee, and discuss death. Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.
A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives, or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. All are welcome to attend any/all sessions and can participate as much as they are comfortable.
For more information, visit the Death Cafe website at https://deathcafe.com/.