As a new coffee shop seemingly springing up on every other corner, you’d be forgiven for not knowing about the world of death cafes.
With the aim of providing people with a place to go to talk about dying the Death Café movement first began in 2011. Since then more than 2000 pop-up cafes have appeared across the world and now London is poised for the first permanent Death Cafe.
One of life’s more taboo topics, death and dying is often not a welcome point of discussion, with most of us burying our heads in the sand and ignoring the inevitable. Not intended as bereavement support groups, rather than being morbid places, the aim of the Death Cafe movement is, according to founder Jon Underwood, “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives”.
He goes on to explain that the point of Death Cafes is not to “shove death down people’s throats” and that they instead, “want to create an environment where talking about death is natural and comfortable.” A funeral advisor himself, Underwood is certain that Death Café London will be beneficial for society, adding that in his experience when people talk about death and dying, all their pretences disappear.
Running as a non-profit community benefit society, owned and managed by those who support it, Underwood will be offering shares in the permanent Death Cafe from next month.
What do you think of this concept? Would you welcome the idea of discussing death in an everyday environment such as a cafe?
Find out more at deathcafe.com