The Good Mourning Cafe is a traveling art installation, social experiment, and community outreach program. The cafe intends to provide a safe space for Chicagoans to tell personal stories about death and dying while exploring the painful emotions accompanying mourning. The cafe will foster community by providing a space to share comfort food and conversation. Additionally, the space will host performing and visual art exhibitions curated by Good Mourning Cafe.
The denial of death in our culture means the delicate mourning process is often rushed. The expression of vulnerable emotion is seen as a sign of weakness, giving little permissible time to "get back to normal." Mourning is considered "taboo," and many cannot bear the discomfort of being around the bereaved. Many mourners are rejected by friends who don't know what to say or how to help. As our culture shies away from conversations about death and the pain left in its wake, those who've lost a loved one are left feeling isolated and confused. When and where is it acceptable to be sad?
The benefits of Good Mourning Café to the public are: to provide a safe, sacred space for grief, a place to express intense painful emotions with awareness; to receive nourishment and comfort through community support and shared experiences; to allow the release of grief through creative practice in an environment where no apologies are needed, and it is acceptable to be sad.