Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Death Cafe in Austin, Texas with Jo Jensen and Brooks Kasson

Jo Jensen 

My best friend died of cancer at the youthful age of 44. She taught me how to “live into dying” and I think of her remarkable journey every time I see a butterfly (she promised to send them to me). 

Nowadays, my pastoral care ministry as a full-time oncology chaplain often affords me the honor of sitting with patients and family members in the “what’s next” chair and walking with them into the unknown. As someone once told me, the old game of Hide ‘n Seek we played as children can teach us a lot about the end of life. 
Death’s pronouncement of “ready or not, here I come” gives me pause. The concept of Death Café feels like a natural, inviting, safe and spacious way for those of us in the Central Texas area of Austin to explore our concerns, fears, thoughts and interests related to the end-of-life journey as well as making the most of every present moment we have – living in the now.

brooks kasson

i never understood why i joined the austin memorial and burial society when i was a youngster in my early thirties. it just seemed like the right thing to do. thirty-five years later, i am beginning to get it.

for the last few decades, i have been looking for answers to who i am and why i’m here. this discovery process has led me into the twelve-steps, into sweat lodges, a massage calling, motherhood, wifehood, art pursuits, and a meditation practice.

i am wanting to appreciate life in all its myriad forms and complexities. one of the most effective ways i know to value something is to want it and not to have it. rather than wait until i’m dead to truly appreciate life, i am excited about exploring its opposite through the death café medium. i want to share others’ ideas and experiences of this end-of-life process in order to treasure all the diversity and richness that is inherent in being alive. 

One more thing...
We are also doing a Mini Death Café on June 16th for the counselors / therapists at Capital Area Counseling. Their executive director, Ruslyn Smith, requested we do this in a closed session just for their counselors. While that will be our “first” Death Cafe in Austin, it is not for the general public.


  1. Can't get the RSVP link to work.

    Where is the meeting going to be held?


  2. Hi, Terry (and anyone else who wants to register for a death cafe in Austin)...

    To register for a Death Café in Austin, please send an email to deathcafectx@gmail.com with your name, phone number, and best time to call so we can get back to you with details.

    As of June 20, our July 16th event is full up, and our August 22 event is nearly full, so email us ASAP!

    Nancy Walker
    Co-Facilitator of July Event

  3. You can also "like" the Austin Death Cafe by following this link, where we'll post about upcoming events and other relevant stories:



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