The Dinner Party is a collective of men and women out to change the way we approach life after loss, through candid conversation and breaking bread.
Confronting death and issues of mortality is a challenging act at any age. For most young adults today, it's a subject of taboo. Lacking a peer community with whom to share the experience, those who have lost a parent, sibling, or partner choose to keep it private. We see the deer-in-headlights expressions on the faces of those who’ve never been there, and quickly change the subject. Without other examples to draw upon, we fear we’re not doing it right, or that there’s something wrong with us. We learn to hold back and hold in what for many of us has been the most significant event in our lives to date.
We think it's high time we changed that. Through unstructured dinner parties, we invite those who’ve experienced significant loss to dive into long-tabooed territory, sharing a defining part of ourselves that rarely sees the light of day.
Our story began as a casual experiment on a back deck in Los Angeles, on a Sunday evening in 2010, We didn't know it at the time, but all of us were looking for the same thing: a chance to commune with others who'd walked the same dark hallways--people who were equally willing to look forward as to look back, and who wanted not merely to survive, but to thrive. And we wanted to do it with people we consider friends, not strangers, in environments we’d gladly share on Instagram.
That table has since grown to include circles across the country (and soon, we hope, around the world). Together, we’re creating space to explore the many ways — good, ugly, and everything in between — in which loss continues to color our lives & the lessons about living well we've learned along the way. Our goal? To change the very way in which we conceive of and talk about life after loss.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (February 2014)