How exactly do you talk about death? For many it’s a topic best avoided, but Death Cafe founders are tackling it head on, and it’s a question they’ve been trying to answer since 2011. Death Cafe is a non-for-profit organisation that has premises in 32 countries across the world and carries a simple mission statement: "To increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the best of their (finite) lives".
It might seem a lot to take in over a slice of cake, but there’s apparently a market for talking about death. So much so that the concept is growing across the UK and its first "real" café is set to open in central London, with the help of a Crowdfunder campaign.
Described as a "social franchise", the idea behind the café is that anyone can hold their own discussion by following a list of guidelines. It seems that as the inevitable approaches, people have been searching for safe spaces to discuss stories, jokes and and share their fears and thoughts.
Now, Death Cafe is working to set up a 'real"'premises in central London and have launched a Crowdfunder campaign to fund it. So far, they've raised £16,000 of their £250,000 target and need it met by December 19.
Founder Jon Underwood, who started the first Death Cafe in his house, says: "We’ve been invested in the idea of creating a space to talk about death for a couple of years now and this is really exciting.”
Underwood says that it’s aimed at people who are struggling to deal with the idea of dying. "We (society) don’t like to talk about death. It’s almost eliminated from sight and the main way we consume death is through news, and it's shocking and horrifying and weird. The death cafe is about reflecting how people really feel about it.”
But why now? "This generation are increasingly open to talking. They want to take the power back into their own hands, politically and economically. There’s a shift in thinking."
If you like tea and are freaking the fuck out about dying, then this could be the perfect place for you.