Death Cafes

I've been hearing about Death Cafés for a while. People gathering for conversations about death in each other's homes, or literally in cafes, starting out as strangers in many cases but quickly finding intimacy in the all-too-human stories that emerge from engaging this powerful subject.

Knowing of my interest, my love monkey Steve just sent me a link to a story about them in one of his favorite blogs, The Dish by Andrew Sullivan, but I cut through to the original story Sullivan was blogging about, a story about a Death Cafe at the top of Beachy Head, a famous suicide cliff in Sussex's South Downs where I used to live. It's a fabulous story, so I'll share the link here… it's by Claire Davies, published in Aeon Magazine.

I'd love to hear if anyone has experienced a Death Cafe…



  1. Interesting timing – I’m booked to attend a Death Salon in my home city in a couple of weeks time. I’m fascinated by it, so thanks for the link to the blog article. I’ll keep you posted.

    Looking forward to World Cafe, am doing my reading. Tilla

  2. Amy, Thanks for this post and link! I have not attended a Death Cafe, but now I’m thinking about starting one!

    A class of mine this semester is an “Exploration of Death.” I’m encouraged to break the silence and separation of death from the consciousness of the living.

    Philippe Aries wrote, in “Western Attitudes toward Death” that for a thousand years (before the mid-1700s) “people had been perfectly adapted to this promiscuity between the living and the dead.” (I happened to like that turn of phrase.) Cheers, Cindy

  3. My friend Bruce Taub just sent in this link to an article he’d read by a woman whose husband had just died in the NY Times’ Opinionator blog recently.

    Thanks for the link, Bruce. It’s not always easy to say good-bye to loved ones – whether you have two years, or two minutes to do so. The article reinforced for me the imperative to speak with each other about the really important things throughout our lives, and not put off those vital conversation to “some day”, which all too often never comes.

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