The Death Cafe model was developed by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid, based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz. They have no staff and are run on a voluntary basis. Lizzy Miles ran the first Death Cafe in the U.S. and Megan Mooney now runs the Death Cafe Facebook page and are helping the movement
When I first heard about death cafe’s, I felt completely aligned with their mission to open up conversations about death. They are not about grief or agenda’s – they are just about having conversations. On their website, they simply state “At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death.” How fantastic. I also love that they (just like Heart2Soul) are completely run by the generosity of volunteers -until you are the recipient of the gift of others time and energy, you cannot know how incredible it feels to be on the receiving end of it. It makes you feel like you are doing something great.
So when I was acknowledged today as one of ASD’s favorite funeral blogs, I was thrilled to be likened to the Death Cafe Blog:
Like the Death Cafe Blog, MyKickAssFuneral aims to make death less of a taboo subject…Funeral directors would enjoy Karen’s posts because she champions the benefits of pre-planning from a neutral perspective.
I’ve been interested in hosting a death cafe, but planning one hasn’t made it’s way to the top of my priority list. Some hesitation comes from finding the energy to organize it, but there is the emotional strain of trying to connect with enough people who might be interested in going. I’m not a funeral industry professional and my friends and family (as much as they love and support me) cringe a little when I mention it, so how can I expect anyone else to show up? (I’m reverting back to childhood thinking I will sit alone at my own party).
DeathCafe.com makes it very simple to plan and host a death cafe, with step by step guides to planning and promoting your own. But I’m a tactile learner – I would really like to attend one before I host my own (just so I know what to expect). So the posting today was very timely since I am attending my very first Death Cafe on Thursday. My friend agreed to go with me and I can’t wait to (finally) experience a Death Cafe for myself…I look forward to telling you more about my experience in my next post.