Thursday, 25 October 2012

Feedback from Death Cafe London

Reflections on the the Death Cafe in Covent Garden, London on Monday 22nd October with Anja Saunders and Kate Hambleton. 

Death cafe! A great idea, but in hosting it we were pretty nervous when the time came. We chose to hold it in a public place, without a booking system to make it as open as possible, so we could really help to lower the threshold of talking about death. Therefore we did not have any idea of how many and what kind of people would turn up.

As soon as people arrived though, the whole place warmed up and it became very clear that this was a great group of people, all genuinely interested in the subject and willing to communicate in an open way.

The structure of the evening included an opportunity for silence for each person to connect with what was alive around death for them in the moment, time to talk as a large group of about 30 people, time to talk in pairs and the opportunity to talk in a small group as well as time to mingle. This provided a diversity that allowed everyone present to contribute to the conversation in a way they felt most comfortable.

Some commented on what a relief it was to talk about death with such a like minded group of people, others wondered why they had not talked about it before. We realised that we can not necessarily expect people who have never talked about death to suddenly address the subject on their death bed. It can be too late then to overcome inhibitions. We need to get this discussion out in the open way before to help ease the process at that time.

In the final roundup someone said “I never saw so many smiles connected with death” and the overall impression on the feedback forms was “ friendly, interesting, honest and warm”
We are certainly looking forward  to our next death cafe on Monday the 26th of November, again in the Wild Food cafe in Neals Yard.


  1. Whouahouh!
    i'm so proud of you, Kate, for having brought this Amazon-Ayahuascan dream to realization!!
    this looks like a terrific success!!
    i wish this can lead to many other Death café around the UK, and why not, to France as well.
    I have friends working in hospitals with near to death or condamned persons and am sure this could be aninteresting experience to spread and share around.
    I'll watch out for the next Death Café!!
    Bonne continuation :)

  2. Hi there,

    I'm a final year journalism student and I am currently writing a feature on how people are becoming more engaged and active about talking about death and end of life care. The project also addresses the different options out there for people who want to prepare for their own funerals or options for people who are dealing with bereavement. I am very much interested in finding more about Death Cafes and I am also interested in attending one. I was wondering if either you or Kate had any contact details so that I could gain a bit more information and explain the feature in full? Also are you hosting any other death cafe's after the 26th November?

    Please don't hesitate to contact me on

    Thanks Sophie Marsden


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