A Death Cafe is a safe place where people get together to talk about death and have tea and delicious cake. The idea originated in Switzerland as the "cafe mortel", is organized from the UK, and has spread to France, Australia and the US. Events are low key, held in public places, and are safe and informal.
The Ann Arbor Death Cafe is the first of these events to be held in Michigan. It is hosted by Merilynne Rush, who is a retired nurse and home birth midwife and who has been active locally in at home death care and natural burials since 2008. I talked to her today about it and she said that people "don't have enough chance to talk about death in their life."
The first meeting of the group is at Eastern Accents on Saturday, November 17, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Subsequent meetings are on the third Saturday of each month, except for the December meetup which is on December 8. There is no fee for attending, but please RSVP to Merilynne at firstname.lastname@example.org so that she and the restaurant can make plans.
For more information, please see:
- Merilynne Rush's announcement, "Death Cafe comes to Ann Arbor"
- DeathCafe.com, the organizing body behind this series of events
- Twitter: @DeathCafe
- A Facebook page for the Death Cafe has information on events around the world
- A 2010 account of a Paris Death Cafe in The Independent