Death Cafe: MATC students gather to eat, drink and talk about mortality at pop-up event

Death Cafe: MATC students gather to eat, drink and talk about mortality at pop-up event

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The subject of death can be a tough one to talk about. A student at MATC is hoping to change that with pop-up Death Cafes. Tuesday night's was in West Allis.

So what is a Death Cafe? Essentially, it's coffee, chips and soda and people talking about one of the most difficult topics to tackle.

Carlos Arranda is a licensed professional counselor, helping MATC students through the grieving process. Even those who seek him out can't quite find the words.

"Some of them, yes, however they want to share their story. They want to talk about their loved ones and we are there to listen," said Arranda.

Arranda joined students who Kelly Teague brought together after hearing about Death Cafes. She hosts them at cafes, libraries and in classrooms. She's also in the funeral services program at MATC.

"As a society, we just don't talk about death. We're just afraid to or in denial. We're gonna live forever and this gives us that opportunity and anybody can do it," said Teague.

This is the 20th Death Cafe hosted by Teague. She says they've all been different depending on who's there.

"I've had one in Madison. I had to call it a Death Saloon so we could have drinks and stuff," said Teague.

In this room, students share a common bond. Most are seeking careers in the funeral industry. Dealing with death on a regular basis has given them a unique perspective.

"And then that made me think about that for myself as well. Anything can happen at any age, where what do I want to happen after I'm gone?" said Christine, an MATC student.

"Like I just want to express what I want or what I think is right for me," said MATC student Katie.

This Death Cafe digging deeper and forming close bonds with each other through the grieving process.

"I feel like I don't know how to talk to my mom about what's gonna happen, because I don't want to like push it," said student El.

A couple of interesting notes that came up Tuesday night: Did you know you can host an at-home funeral? You can also dress your loved one, do their hair, their makeup, and for cremation, you can add a special note or have children color a picture that can be cremated with them.

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