Friday, 29 March 2013

100th Death Café

By Jon Underwood

Our centenary Death Café is almost within sight. I was born in 1972 and as of today 72 Death Cafes have been taken place with a further 13 scheduled and many more in the pipeline.

Death Cafes have been held in Canada, Italy, Wales and Australia the length and breadth of the United States and England. There are upcoming cafes in Arizona, Hemel Hempstead, Gig Harbour Washington, Cleveland, Missouri and Leicester.

It is hard to believe this growth. Since the first café was held in my basement in September 2011, the idea of holding Death Cafés has been embraced all over the world. Hundreds of people have attended a Death Café and they have attracted widespread media attention.

Looking back there are 3 people without whom this wouldn’t have happened: Bernard Crettaz who developed the Café Mortels concept, Sue Barsky Reid who developed the Death Café model and Lizzy Miles who was the first to pick this up and use it. I would like to offer a tremendous thank you to them and also to all those who have so far participated and made the Death Café such a rich and rewarding experience.

It feels appropriate to do something celebrate that the Death Café is becoming a global phenomena. Nigel George, who was the first to bring Death Café into a hospice setting, has suggested organising a special event for our 100th Death Café. This would bring together participants in the UK, USA, Australia and anywhere else in the world that people would like to take part and technology will make possible.

Nigel says: “The plan is hold Death Café simultaneously in the different countries, unfortunately with time differences this does mean that some people may need to be attending one in the middle of the night, but by means of Skype or more advanced communications technology, if we have it available we will seek to have Death Café Participants speaking to other Death Café attendees the other side of the planet.

“If you would like to take part in this and in particular if you have the IT knowledge to help make it happen or the PR skills to tell the whole world and get the event on national TV then please contact Nigel George at ng @ borleygreen . co . uk.

“Let’s make the 100th café a truly international event.”

In the meantime, I am taking a well-earned Easter break with my family. This means that the blog will be quiet until I get back on the 8th April. Wishing you a great Easter.

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