Thursday, September 9, 2021
A Death Cafe is a scheduled non-profit get-together for the purpose of talking about death over food and drink, usually tea and cake. The goal is to educate and help others become more familiar with the end of life. The idea originates with the Swiss sociologist and anthropologist Bernard Crettaz [fr], who organized the first café mortel in 2004.
The death café is not a physical location, but is an event hosted at a temporary venue. The official objective of a death café is to help people make the most of their finite lives. Individuals can discuss their understanding, thoughts, dreams, fears and all other areas of death and dying at these events.
Generally a death café will have in the region of 12 people gathered in a group discussing death related topics and usually lasts 2 hours Tea and cake are one of the most important features to the event they assist with creating a nurturing and supportive environment.
Jon Underwood, founded Death Cafe based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz and held the first Death Cafe in his home in London, stating that “we have lost control of one of the most significant events we ever have to face.” The Death Cafe website created by Underwood states the purpose as:
At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.”