Death Cafes: Shedding Light on Talking About Death

By June 10, 2014 Bereavement No Comments

Talking about death can be a difficult subject to approach.  Today I learned about death cafes and the recent worldwide movement that has opened the door to talk about this taboo topic.  Rather than being macabre, it helps lift some of the secrecy and fear surrounding death.

According to the USA Today article “Death cafes’ normalize a difficult, not morbid, topic”  Brittian Jon Underwood took the writings of Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz who says “talking about death leads to authenticity” and created the death cafes.  He hosted the first meeting in his home in England in September 2011.

“…the gatherings don’t draw only people who are worried about dying or those who are grieving. As Underwood noted, they attract people seeking authenticity. “They’re not being morbid,” he says. “These are people who want to live more fully. They think that by fearing cessation they can’t be spiritually alive. The more we talk about dying and what it means about ego and self, the more we add to life.”  (read full article from USA Today here )

NPR also covered death cafes in their article “Death Cafes Breathe Life Into Conversations About Dying” by Deena Prichep in March 2013.

“We live knowing that everything dies. Like the sun, it’s a fact of life. And like the sun, we tend not to look right at it. Unless you’ve experienced a recent death, it’s probably not something you discuss. But a new movement is trying to change that, with a serving of tea and cake.

The fear of death haunts us like nothing else. And it makes sense. All other fears — such as public speaking, centipedes and heights — pale in comparison. So we don’t really talk about it.”  (continue reading the NPR article here.)

More on Death Cafes: created by Jon Underwood

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