Talking About Death

Welcome!

Congressional Cemetery is committed to offering activities and resources that promote a healthy attitude about mortality. Throughout the year we invite speakers, gather for conversations, offer documentary screenings, and do activities about dying and death. It is our goal to promote a spirit of curiosity and courage and often a sense of humor about this important topic.

We even have a “Death Doula In Residence” to help facilitate these activities. Laura Lyster-Mensh is a passionate volunteer for Congressional Cemetery who led our 2023 series called Death Doula Days.

We will now offer a new service we call The Transition Tea Room. This resource library and meeting space in the cemetery gatehouse will allow the public to come meet our Death Doula In Residence to talk about mortality, advance care planning, legacy projects, and end-of-life decisions. On the menu are activities like writing your own obituary, learning about the dying process, and even playing card games about death with other visitors.

Laura coordinates our now monthly Death Cafes held in the chapel on 1st Thursdays of the month. See the calendar for details and feel free to contact her with any questions.

Upcoming Death Literacy
Activities

  • Death over Drafts at Duffy’s!

    July 30 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

    Join us from 6-7:30pm at our favorite neighborhood pub for Death Over Drafts! WHERE? Duffy's Irish Pub 1901 C St SE, Washington, DC 20003 This [...]

  • Death Cafe at Congressional Cemetery

    August 1 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

    Event Series

    Event Series

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    We welcome you to join us at one of our monthly Death Cafes at Historic Congressional Cemetery. As an active burial ground, Historic Congressional Cemetery [...]

  • Death Doula office hours

    August 4 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    Visit the new Transition Tea Room during office hours on Sundays from 10am to 4pm, by appointment. These appointments are opportunities to meet with the Death Doula in Residence. Work on projects, research options, explore ideas, read, play deathy card games: bring a friend!

    hourglass filled with tea
  • Collaging Memory: A Reflective Writing Workshop on Grief and Remembrance

    August 4 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

    As part of our death literacy programming at Congressional Cemetery, and facilitated by our Death Doula in Residence, join us for a writing workshop by teaching artist and playwright, Mary Hall Surface.

  • Death Doula office hours

    August 11 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    Visit the new Transition Tea Room during office hours on Sundays from 10am to 4pm, by appointment. These appointments are opportunities to meet with the Death Doula in Residence. Work on projects, research options, explore ideas, read, play deathy card games: bring a friend!

    hourglass filled with tea

Transition Tea Room
Appointments