About Death Cafe: Where People Gather To Eat And Discuss Death

What Is Death Cafe

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’.

A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.

Our Death Cafes are always offered:

  • On a not for profit basis
  • – In an accessible, respectful and confidential space
  • – With no intention of leading people to any conclusion, product or course of action
  • – Alongside refreshing drinks and nourishing food – and cake!

If you’re interested in holding a Death Cafe please see our how-to guide.

Death Cafe is a ‘social franchise’. This means that people who sign up to our guide and principles can use the name Death Cafe, post events to this website and talk to the press as an affiliate of Death Cafe.

Death Cafes have spread quickly across Europe, North America and Australasia. As of today, we have offered 9696 Death Cafes in 66 countries since September 2011. If 10 people came to each one that would be 96960 participants. We’ve established both that there are people who are keen to talk about death and that many are passionate enough to organise their own Death Cafe.

The Death Cafe model was developed by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid, based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz.

Death Cafe has no staff. It was run on a voluntary basis by Jon Underwood in Hackney, East London until June 2017. Jon died suddenly on 27 June 2017 and Death Cafe is now run by Susan Barsky Reid, Jon’s mother and his sister Jools Barsky. Also, Lizzy Miles who ran the first Death Cafe in the U.S. and Megan Mooney who runs the Death Cafe Facebook page have played a significant role in Death Cafe’s development.

We remain energised by the amazing quality of the dialogue at our events and are overwhelmed by the interest we have received.

People often ask why we’re doing this. Everyone has their own reasons for getting involved in Death Cafe. In the video below, Death Cafe Portland organiser Kate Brassington gives hers.

You can visit official website