Death Cafes Raise Awareness of End-of-Life Topics

By: Michael Wall

Sipping on a cup of Joe makes talking about about anything in life easier, including death. That's the idea behind Death Cafes: candid discussions about death that are being held at coffee shops and other locations around the world.

The conversations are usually organized and facilitated by an expert in the field, such as Lizzy Miles, a hospice volunteer and social worker who organizes Death Cafes around Columbus, OH.  "The goal is to raise death awareness with the view of helping people make the most of their lives," said Miles.

The facilitator usually starts with a personal story to get the conversation moving, but the open session can cover whatever topics the audience broaches, including how people want to die, advance directives, near-death experiences, and burial preferences.

Since Death Cafes are free to attend, the facilitator typically accepts donations to cover the costs of the beverages and snacks. Have you heard of any events in your area or know anyone who may want to host one? Perhaps sponsoring a
Death Cafe could be a way to spread your name in your community, and certainly communicate that you are open and comfortable talking about this topic.

March 8, 2013 | Advance Care Planning News