Death is the one thing we all have in common, so why aren’t we talking about it?

A Sheffield woman made it her mission to break the stigma of talking about death to make us
a better equipped nation to handle grieving.

Mariana Garcia, a Sheffield facilitator of what she calls ‘Death Cafes’, said: “Death unites us,
we all have it in common and the more we speak about it the more we can support ourselves
and each other.”

The UK Commission on Bereavement’s 2022 summary report reiterated this, explaining that
by making grief a taboo topic we make it both harder to comprehend individually, and harder
to support each other through it.

Death Cafes are one of many support measures designed to combat this issue.
The concept is simple, creating a safe space in which people feel comfortable to speak openly
about death, dying and grief.

Mrs Garcia is one of many facilitators of similar projects in Sheffield.

Mariana Garcia

She works in collaboration with Compassionate Sheffield to tailor sessions to specific groups
and communities, previously for health professionals during the pandemic, muslim women,
and recently including dementia friendly sessions.

They provide an opportunity for strangers to get together and express their emotions in a
friendly, confidential, and accessible environment.

Mrs Garcia said: “Something magical always happens in these sessions, I always leave with a
full heart hoping that people have become more aware of death and therefor live their life
more fully.”

She urged people to get involved, whether it be directly attending or facilitating sessions or
simply having the courage to confront feelings and start similar conversations.

The UK Commission on Bereavement calculated that across England 1.1 million people died
in 2020 and 2021 causing an estimated 5.6 million bereavements.

This is an additional 638,000 bereavements than was expected from the five year average
between 2015 and 2019.

With such an increased number of people suffering from loss, the importance of measures
like Death Cafes are more important than ever, not just in Sheffield but across the country
and the world.

To reserve a free ticket visit:

To contact Mariana Garcia directly call 07756 149159 or email

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