Press

We have been quietly building this project for the past year, and are thrilled that the media is beginning to tell the world about it. Here is some of the recent coverage.

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Discussing Death Over Dinner

In late January, in an Arts and Crafts house on a hill in Point Reyes, California, about 40 people—friends and family of Michael Hebb—gathered in a candlelit room at dusk. There, they witnessed pallbearers carrying the open, handmade cedar coffin in which Hebb was laid out, completely in white. For the better part of three...
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After her own tragic loss, WGN-TV reporter wants death to be a dinner discussion

Her husband, Chicago journalist Carlos Hernandez Gomez, died from colon cancer in 2010, and although the couple knew Hernandez Gomez’s cancer was incurable, they never discussed what to do if he had to be put on life support. When faced with that reality, Belisomo struggled to make the right decision. She has spent the years...
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Saturday marks National Healthcare Decisions Day to discuss end-of-life care

Breaking Bread, Breaking Silence Last week in Cambridge, Mass., I was invited to attend my first death dinner, led by Hebb. The eight others around the table, ranging from 33 to 64, were in some way connected to the health care space. They included Alexandra Drane, a co-founder of Engage with Grace, a pioneering organization...
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Why you should throw a dinner party to talk about death

When her father was dying, Jody Adams made him soup. A fan of cream of mushroom since she was a little girl — she admits to loving the canned variety — the chef-owner of restaurants Rialto, Trade, and Saloniki developed a version rich with heavy cream and stocked with a variety of mushrooms that she...
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The Endless Table: How recipes can keep your memories alive

Chef Jody Adams’ father Thomas knew his health was declining when he could no longer complete the New York Times crossword puzzle. The Brown University rare books librarian had never let physical limitations stand in his way, but when his brain stopped working the way he wanted it to — at age 87 — he...
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Death with options.

After burying her mother a few years ago, Sheila Holt found herself contemplating her own death. There was no urgency to it: she was in her early 50s and in good health. But the Summerville health services online school teacher was not inclined to look at death shyly. With a career in nursing behind her,...
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Dinner Parties Encourage Talk About Death

Last month, I got a jarring reminder of our mortality. In the span of a few weeks, four former colleagues, all in their early-to-mid 60′s, died. Two succumbed to cancer — three months and eights months respectively after they were diagnosed. The other two died suddenly, one from a pulmonary embolism and one from a...
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Talking About Death Over Dinner

Eric Weinstein, the managing director for Thiel Capital, and his wife Pia Malaney invite a diverse group of guests with ties to Silicon Valley to their home in San Francisco for a frank conversation about death. Five guests arrive just as the sun is setting on a Sunday evening. People introduce themselves in the living...
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Death Over Dinner: Why You Need to Have the Talk About a Living Will

Most of us don’t want to think about end-of-life issues. We believe there will always be plenty of time to consider and execute the very important decisions surrounding these issues. But then we hear of an elderly cousin in a coma after a car accident, or a 72-year-old neighbor who died from a sudden stroke. Events like...
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Zen and the Art of Dying Well

By COURTNEY E. MARTIN AUGUST 14, 2015 What is the “right” way to die? We’re experiencing a zeitgeist moment about that. “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” by Atul Gawande, is a best-selling book. Videos by Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old who wanted to die in a way of her own choosing, went...
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Death Over Dinner promotes talking, planning for end

Seventy-five percent of people want to die at home but only 25 percent actually do. Michael Hebb cites these numbers as why he founded Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death, an organization that encourages Americans to host dinner parties where the topic is — you guessed it — death. Its roster now boasts oncologists,...
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It’s time to talk about death over dinner

By Kimberly De La Cruz Las Vegas Review-Journal There’s no place like the kitchen table to come face-to-face with your own mortality. When it comes to planning for the end of life, food and drinks atop a dining table make a better setting than an emergency room table, according to the national campaign “Let’s Have...
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IDEO chief creative officer Paul Bennett + DeathOverDinner

An event signaling the birth of healthtech startup incubator Matter featured an unlikely subject. Death. Matter, which opened Monday, hosted an event called “How might design walk with us to the end of life” late last week at its space on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart. More than 200 attendees gathered for IDEO...
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Death and scones: Cozy gatherings make end-of-life conversations less scary

The baby boomers are not the only ones who have discovered death. Michael Hebb, 38, is the Seattle founder of Death Over Dinner, which provides a template for people to host dinners around the topic. The dinners range from Generation X gatherings to multi-generational meals with family members aged 9 to 90. Read full article...
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A deep dinnertime conversation about life and death

By Scott Kreiling I’ve attended some wonderful events in my nearly 20 years in the health insurance business, but I have never experienced anything quite like the one held the evening of April 16, which was National Healthcare Decisions Day. To observe this important day, I hosted a small dinner party to talk about something...
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What We’ve Learned in Two Decades Without Morrie

By Richard Harris Rob Schwartz has visited his father’s grave outside Boston countless times. But his trip this week — which required a flight from Tokyo — had special meaning because he and many others are marking the 20th anniversary of the death of his dad, Morrie Schwartz. Yes, his dad is that Morrie, as...
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Mortality on the menu

By Rudy Herndon Thursday, November 5, 2015 9:25 am If you show up at “Death Over Dinner” next week expecting to see a theater troupe’s adaptation of an Agatha Christie whodunit, you’re in for a much more profound experience. Grand County Hospice will be hosting its first-ever event to engage local residents in a dinner-table...
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No one wants to talk about death, but you need to anyway

In a culture in which speaking about death and dying has long been taboo, and with a healthcare system that does not foster such conversations, it should come as no surprise that only about 30% of Americans have advance directives for healthcare on file. Even then, an advance directive is just a paper form, and...
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One New Year’s idea: Have dinner and talk about death

Organizers hope hosts around the country will gather friends and families to talk about what matters in death and in life. On one of the first evenings of 2014, Rosemary Lloyd, a Unitarian Universalist minister from Lincoln, Mass., plans to have a few people over for dinner. She says she will “light a nice fire,...
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KUOW Death Over Dinner Video Series

There are conversations doctors have with patients, that doctors have with themselves and that families should have with each other concerning end of life. KUOW brought together a panel do do just that: talk about death over dinner. Food was provided by chefs Debi and Hayden Smissen, who designed the menu while his own father was...
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Let’s Have a Radio Show and Talk About Death

It’s the last LIVE Where is My Guru Show and what a better way to end it than to talk about death. Our first guest, yoga/meditation teacher Angel Grant talk about her latest project – Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death, the brain child of her partner, Michael Hebb. Along with supporting Michael along...
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A Different Kind Of Dinner Party: Why Families Are Talking About Death Over Supper

On a warm evening in late August, Betsy Trapasso, a 51-year-old former hospice social worker, gathered seven friends at a seafood restaurant in Topanga, Calif., for an unlikely purpose. She wanted to talk about death. Over the course of the three-hour meal, with the Santa Monica Mountains as a backdrop, the friends discussed losing loved...
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Taking the Fear Out of Death Planning

Taking the Fear Out of Death Planning By Daisy Maxey Nov. 19, 2013 11:08 a.m. ET Catherine Seeber plans to give her sisters a gift this Thanksgiving Day: a packet containing information to help them prepare for death. That will sound oddly morbid to some, Ms. Seeber realizes, but she feels there’s no better gift...
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Death Dinners at Baby Boomers’ Tables Take on Dying Taboo

At a Manhattan dinner party, former Citigroup Inc. (C) executive Steffen Landauer gathered an eclectic mix of guests at his apartment off Fifth Avenue to sip pinot noir, dine on seared salmon — and talk about death. Continue Reading Bloomberg Feature Here…
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How Doctor’s Die

BRAVE. You hear that word a lot when people are sick. It’s all about the fight, the survival instinct, the courage. But when Dr. Elizabeth D. McKinley’s family and friends talk about bravery, it is not so much about the way Dr. McKinley, a 53-year-old internist from Cleveland, battled breast cancer for 17 years. It...
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Huffington Magazine Features #deathoverdinner

As Michael Hebb, the Seattle-based artist who founded “Death For Dinner,” puts it, “This is what the table does well. It’s a good place to have difficult conversations.” Participants like Laura Sweet, who hosted a dinner party on her apartment building’s roof, are finding that frank conversations about death can be refreshing and enlightening. As...
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Eat, drink, be merry and talk about death

The wine was flowing and guests were mingling. On the menu for the night at Bacchanalia Ristorante in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood were pasta al olio, chicken breast parmigiana — and death. This was “Death Over Dinner,” or, as it’s formally known, “Lets Have Dinner and Talk About Death,” a guided discourse over a...
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Talking about talking about death. A movement unto itself.

In 1969, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler- Ross’ groundbreaking book “On Death and Dying” was released amidst a flurry of praise garnished with gener- ous portion of harsh criticism. She felt the need to begin the dis- cussion of death that no one was having, and 40 years later, we find ourselves in that same position. Michael Hebb,...
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WPR sits down with our Founder.

Let’s have dinner and talk… about death. Long a dinner table taboo, Anne Strainchamps’ guest believes its the single most important conversation we can have. He shares how to put on a fabulous dinner and open up a difficult but vital conversation. Listen to the conversation here.
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‘Death Dinners,’ a Sobering New Eating Trend

Some dining trends, like the cronut, bring joy to the world. Others, not so much. In the latter category is the death dinner, a dinner party where everyone invited gets to talk about dying and what to do when they pass way. Continue Reading Atlantic Feature Here… 
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Our Founder’s 2013 TEDMED Talk

TEDMED Explores Death As Dinner Conversation Watch Michael Hebb’s 2013 TEDMED talk from the Kennedy Center.  How would you like to die?  How would you like to be remembered?  And what’s the best death you’ve ever seen? It’s difficult thinking about these questions, let alone verbalizing answers. There are consequences, though, for trying to avoid...
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Midlifers Discussing Their Own Death At Dinner Parties

Ah, a lovely dinner with your baby boomer friends: Thai fish cakes, minted pea soup and a nicely chilled Sauvignon Blanc. Also on the menu? The discussion of an increasingly popular — but one-time taboo — topic: death. In a recent article, Bloomberg described a Manhattan dinner party at which former Citigroup Inc. executive Steffen Landauer gathered...
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Bloomberg News Video Exclusive

As the sun set over the Pacific, four generations of Fisher’s family shared pizza, salad, tiramisu — and their views on what they’d like to happen at the end of their lives. Even working in hospice care, Fisher realized death was still a taboo topic around her home and she was anxious to broach the...
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Let’s have dinner and talk about death

by Rebekah Denn Ready for some serious dinnertime conversation? Across the country on Saturday, hundreds of people are expected to engage in “Death Over Dinner” meals to discuss thoughts, experiences, expectations and fears about mortality and the end of life. The organizers’ hope: To transform “this seemingly difficult conversation into one of deep engagement, insight and...
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Breaking The Taboo Against Talking About Death / KUOW

Aired on TUE MAY 7, 2013  KUOW/NPR Listen Here  How do you want to die? Seattle food provocateur and entrepreneur Michael Hebb wants you to talk about it — over dinner. Hebb says how we want to die represents the most important and costly conversation Americans aren’t having. The price of end-of-life care can bankrupt a...
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The HealthCare Blog

Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death By ALEXANDRA DRANE Our family debates a lot of things over our dinner table – the best Looney Toon character, politics, whether or not (and where or when) something is appropriate…  For many of these topics, there are no right answers and no wrong answers – just a whole...
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COM 592 / What We Learned

Let’s get one thing straight; this is not a morbid piece of writing. These are the truest life facts we’ll all universally encounter and here they are: I’m going to die. You’re going to die. The strangers who cut you off on the freeway or held the door open for you at the grocery store will die too....