Death Café

Definition:
A death café is a frank, unscripted discussion between members of the public -- i.e., "ordinary people" -- about the many issues surrounding the reality of dying and death. While one or two people generally facilitate a death café session, the conversation is usually conducted with limited direction, enabling the discussions to flow freely among participants in an organic fashion.

To help create an open, non-threatening environment that encourages conversation about sensitive issues, a death café is usually held at a "safe" location, such as a community center, church, coffee shop or a café (instead of a funeral home or hospital, for example).

There is no standard or official format, but each event generally lasts between 90 and 120 minutes, is free to the public, and provides coffee, soft drinks, and light snacks for participants (or the event is held in a place where attendees can purchase these things, if they wish).

While every death café discussion is different and arises from the unique combination of individuals who decide to attend any given event, the spontaneous topical issues discussed might involve, for example, the grief caused by a loss to death; caring for someone who is terminally ill; the challenge of returning to the workforce after the death of a spouse; the pros and cons of prearranging a funeral or memorial service; how to select a hospice facility; etc.

Related Articles:
What Happens at a Death Café?
Funeral and Memorial Planning

Continue Reading