A Death Café Is NOT What You Think – By Neil Fogarty

I know what you’re thinking, “what on earth is a Death Café?”  Well it isn’t a morbid or macabre event held in a dungeon or creepy old house and it is not solemn and somber time either.  So then what is a Death Café?  The origins of this movement go back to a Swiss sociologist in 2004, and evolving into its current format in 2011.  Jon Underwood developed and hosted the first event in the UK and the idea has spread to many other countries, including the United States.  In fact, the first Death Café in the US occurred in Ohio.

At these events, hosts may not lead, promote, or have an agenda to discuss.  The format is truly open, allowing participants to ask questions and have conversations about any and all topics related to the end of life. 

Ideally a Death Café will provide a space that allows people to become more comfortable with discussing death and the realities of that inevitable event.  The event is merely a discussion group, not a support group and not a counseling forum.  It is open to people of all beliefs, backgrounds, and understandings.  All thoughts and ideas are welcome.

Before I Die Festival Ohio will host two Cafés during the festival weekend, one on October 27th and 28th respectively.  The sessions will be facilitated by Gail Rubin, founder of Before I Die New Mexico.  Each session includes a light lunch and beverages.  So, what are you waiting for? Come with an open mind, lots of questions, and sign up to reserve your spot at a Death Café!

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