Help Expand Mortality Discussions by Supporting the Death Cafe Movement!

Dec 11, 2023 | 0 comments

Jon Underwood

Jon Underwood, founder of the Death Cafe movement

Gail Rubin was one of the first people in the United States to hold a Death Cafe in September of 2012. She spoke to London-based movement founder Jon Underwood over Skype in January, 2012, shortly after he held his first Death Cafe and launched the website. He was thrilled to be speaking with The Doyenne of Death® and sharing his insights about this nascent death discussion phenomenon.

Even though Gail’s motto is “Talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about funerals won’t make you dead,” death came for Jon Underwood surprisingly early. He died suddenly at the age of 44 from a brain hemorrhage caused by undiagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells.

But his work continues, thanks to his sister, Jools Barsky. She just sent the letter to Death Cafe hosts (see below) to help raise funds to pay for the trademark renewal for the Death Cafe name. Watch this video to learn more about Death Cafes:

About Death Cafe by founder, Jon Underwood

Here’s the letter from Jools Barsky:

I’m reaching out with something important and close to my heart. As many of you know, I’ve been steering the Death Cafe ship since Jon’s death in 2017; Death Cafe’s founder and my brother. Today, we’re facing a new challenge that needs our collective effort.

Our trademark – a seal that protects the integrity and ethos of Death Cafe – is due for renewal. The cost stands at £4,500 (approximately $5,646 USD), a sum that’s vital for us to continue our work in the way Jon envisioned. This trademark isn’t just a legal necessity; it’s the guardian of our unique space for open, agenda-free conversations about death and dying.

I understand that not everyone will be in a position to contribute financially, and that’s perfectly okay. As hosts, your role is pivotal, and your networks are extensive. Sharing this message within your networks could significantly amplify our call for support. Spreading the word can be just as powerful as a donation.

For those who can and wish to contribute, any amount, big or small, will make a significant difference. Here’s the link to our fundraising page which contains detailed information about what we’re doing:

If you’ve already contributed to the trademarking funds, I want to express my deepest gratitude for your support.

We also welcome your thoughts, ideas, or even words of encouragement on this journey. As always, I am here to answer any questions and provide further information.

Thank you for being a part of Death Cafe – for your support, your conversations, and for keeping Jon’s vision alive. Together, we can overcome this hurdle and continue to provide a meaningful space for discussing death and dying, something that touches us all.

With gratitude,

Jools x

Jools Barsky

Co-founder, Death Cafe

You can also support the Death Cafe movement by becoming a benefactor on Patreon. The next Albuquerque Death Cafe will be held Saturday, January 6, 2024, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

A Good Goodbye