Death Cafe

Living fully through death awareness, one conversation at a time

Death Cafe is a free monthly meetup held online via Zoom the first Thursday of the month from 6 pm to 8 pm PST. This is not a class or lecture but a frank, open discussion about death, dying, and bereavement, where people are listened to with compassion and equanimity. Death Cafe is an international movement founded in England by Jon Underwood, inspired by the work of Bernard Crettaz. Their website can be found at

At a Death Cafe, people gather as equals who are all going to die, each having unique wisdom to offer. As such, there is no intention of leading to any particular conclusion, view, product, or course of action. This is an inclusive and confidential space where people of all communities, ages, and belief systems can express their views and experiences openly and be received with reverence and respect. In person, this would include refreshments of hot drinks and baked goods, to support a sense of ease and comfort. Online, you are encouraged to provide your own nourishment. 

What to expect: We will begin with going over the basic guidelines, followed by each person introducing themself and sharing something if they wish. This could include where they are joining from, what brought them to Death Cafe, and anything which has been coming up for them around the topic. After everyone has been heard from who wishes to speak, the floor will be open to any deeper sharing.

The conversation will consist of one person talking at a time, with other participants actively listening until it is clear they are complete. Long periods of silence are normal and encouraged for deepening. The space is free of advice giving, and free of commenting with opinions about what others have shared. While rhetorical questions of all kinds are welcome, none of them will be answered by anyone else. Each participant will do their best to speak from their own experience, avoiding speaking from a universal we. About 20 minutes before the close, we will go around again to hear everyone’s voice in sharing any final thoughts and what they are taking from the time together. Passing is always an option.

This free community event is open to all; preregistration, however, is required. Registration is limited to 24 people, and we will have breakout rooms if needed. This event is hosted by Kristin Markling and co-facilitated by Ryy Strife, Mindy Fitch, and Laura Goldstone.

This series, like many Rewild Portland programs, is made possible through sustaining monthly donations from dedicated supporters of our mission. To become a monthly supporter or to make a one-time donation, check out our donation page. To get involved with volunteering, please see our volunteer opportunities page.