A near disaster at the table.

I’m a writer in the throes of putting together a book about aging and dying, so it makes sense I’d want to facilitate some real-life conversations. And the idea of a dinner party designed specifically for that purpose sounded like a brilliant idea. To garner my husband’s support all it took was an explanation of...

Women Physicians’ support network has dinner

Our organization sponsored a “Death Over Dinner” event for our regional Women Physicians’ support network. It was enjoyed by more than two dozen of us, from three counties: sharing, caring, and lots of laughter. As a Palliative Care professional once shared: “It is a neophyte’s mistake to think that discussions about the end of life...

Dinner in Dallas

“Death Over Dinner” as a dinner party theme? Who would have thought that we would have had such an easy and comfortable time? I planned the menu, had an agenda in my mind, reviewed the website ideas for conversation prompts, and I printed out sheets…I was prepared. What I didn’t plan for was the fact...

Mountain Valley Hospice death dinner

By Lisa McCoy We weren’t quite sure what to expect because we did this in a community format similar to what had been done in Olean, NY. It was a rousing success!! The feedback was overwhelmingly positive…people appreciated the information we shared, the questions we answered and the forum we gave them to share with...

Talking about our own death means talking about life

By Emilia Gempeler We invited 10 people, for the conversation, but only 7 arrived. The beginning of the meeting, was beautiful and very emotive, when each of us honored someone special who had died. Using the structure suggested was great because it helped us to begin the conversation very easily. Everyone had a great experience...

Our First Death Dinner

by Catherine Braxton As we staggered the tissue boxes across the long dining table, one of the wait staff approached, “We have a running bet as to what is going on here, can you tell us so we can determine the winner? Some of us think it is going to be a sad book club,...

Invoking the names of loved ones

Our dinner began with learning that half of the 10 participants did not do the homework in advance of the dinner. As we began by invoking the names of loved ones who had died, the mood turned from wariness to feeling the love as we shared memories. Ultimately we ended up having really wonderful conversations...

Ages 21 to 77 in Tacoma

17 of us gathered for dinner (ages 21 to 77) and conversation about our own wishes regarding death and dying. Lots of great conversation, laughter, surprises and insights. We’ll probably gather for “round two” to finish the work we began. Thanks for the tools to get this important conversation started. — Michelle in Tacoma

Ursuline College

death over dinner was an amazing experience. the conversation was enlightening and every time I meet with my classmates I learn how much I appreciate them. this experience has enhanced my knowledge and understanding of pateints and loved ones who are at end of life. – Donna Sheahan This was an wonderful opportunity to share...

Thinking about death clarifies your life.

The students enrolled in my Health Communication course at Eckerd College accepted my invitation for a Death over Pizza conversation during our last class of the spring term. It was a wonderful experience. Like Candy Chang noted, “thinking about death clarifies your life,” listening to their conversations made me feel an immense amount of gratitude...

Hofstra University holds Death Dinner

Hofstra University’s Palliative Care and Hospice class, in the Undergraduate Department of Health Professions, held a Death Dinner as a final project on Monday, May 11,2015 from 4-6 PM. Approximately 20 students participated in this event. In a discussion about what we wanted to relay about the experience, it was agreed that insights about life,...

Running group faces death at local hang out

My running friends and I have been discussing these issues periodically on our runs. Thank you for helping us organize our thoughts and plans. We had our first Death over Dinner, January 8th, at a local hang out and was a great start for our planning. Thanks again!

WSU dinner, the ripple effect…

I conducted a Death Over DInner event last fall with 40 medical, nursing, pharmacy, and other health professional students (5 tables of 8). The discussion was robust and we intend to offer this interprofessional activity again every semester (we have a local donor sponsoring the dinner). The “ripple effect” has been tremendously satisfying, with many...

Ages 20 to 77 gather for dinner

Seventeen of us gathered, ages 20 to 77, to discuss our own unique wishes and ideas regarding end of life and death. Lots of great conversation, laughter and good food. All enjoyed and appreciated this important conversation. Thanks for the starter packets !!  

Inviting the elephant to dinner.

I invited 7 friends to come for dinner to talk about death. People were so engaged and moved by the deep conversation, learning and sharing that the dinner/conversation went on for 5 hours and the guests asked if we could meet again to continue the dialogue. One guest, (after reading one of the homework assignments,...

DOD in the 303!

When Shanika and I learned about Death Over Dinner parties, we couldn’t wait to host our own! At work, we’d always talk about subjects surrounding death, so this was right up our alley. We had a black, white and red theme and requested guests to wear those colors. We knew it would be a memorable...

We laughed. We cried. Death over pizza.

My Death Over Dinner experience was more than wonderful. I nervously hosted an event with 10 of my closest girlfriends to talk about death and dying; specifically my death and dying. The ages ranged from 37-43 and most of the group has a limited experience with death. The topic has been lurking in my brain...

suicide. kept in the dark.

I am the founder of the Dying to Live Healing Heart Center for Grief Support located in Sedona, Arizona. I am also a Thanatologist, had a master degree in Thanatology (Death, Dying and Bereavement) from NYC. Our center’s grand opening was on November 1st, 2014, 2 days ago. But we have already host our first...

Class of 2014

For our last meeting of the class, we had a death over dinner prior to the final seminar. The idea was to talk more about discussing end of life issues with patients by being sure we all knew how to talk about it with each other and our families first. We found a special room...

Death Over Breakfast

We have a group of six couples who gather twice a month on Sundays to discuss topics both spiritual and non-spiritual. I took the opportunity to lead a Death Over Dinner conversation with the group and had a wonderfully engaged discussion. There was plenty of laughter as well as a few tears. The format helped...

Talking Death over Dinner in London since 1991

Death over Dinner has been happening in London, UK for over 20 years! As part of the Natural Death Centre charity launch in April 1991 in London, we conducted a huge dinner discussion with invited speakers. This became a common event. At the first one we had 120 guests, but numbers began to dwindle to...

A knock on Death’s door

When my first child was born in 1990, I took an alternative birthing class, which led me to write a very detailed birth plan. As a first-time mother with absolutely no experience of labor and delivery or newborns, I spent hours on that plan, listing everything from the music to be played at various stages...

Death over coffee and cake

I am studying Counselling and Psychotherapy in Ireland. In Ireland, the ritual of the death, removal and burial is very much part of life yet the subject is still avoided as much as possible. I took your concept and adapted it for a experiential presentation on Loss and Death. I wanted to create a scene...

These few hours of pure honesty…

My mother, Enee, and I hosted a Death Dinner at the beginning of this year at her studio in St. Petersburg, Florida. As it was during my winter break from college in Massachusetts, most of the guests were my mother’s colleagues or family friends. Still, they were handpicked and chosen for their potential adaptability to...

4 generations break bread and taboo. Northern CA

By Shannon Pettypiece 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...

Old Man and The Sea. Vanuata

Jean-Paul Billandon, 68, a retired carpenter, and Casey Kelbaugh, 39, a photographer and the founder of Slideluck who is visiting to work on the Vanuatu Pacific Foundation , discuss Dinner Over Death on a remote island in the South Pacific on Saturday, August 24th. Photograph by Jerry Songolapa

There is a power in speaking about something. Manhattan

By Shannon Pettypiece 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. “I think about it a lot and talk about it very little,” Landauer said to...

A picture that says it all. Tokyo

On August 24th 2013, these 22 Japanese women gathered to have a death dinner. We wish we had a full transcript of the conversation!

Death in the Cougar Room. Seattle

By Greg Lundgren On Saturday, August 24th, we hosted a lovely dinner at Vito’s (Seattle) titled Let’s Get Together and Talk About Death. It was one of several hundred dinners happening around the world, and the invention of provocateur Michael Hebb. Thank you all for coming out, sharing your ideas and very personal stories and...

50 Gather to eat pasta and sauce and talk about end of life. Chicago

Life Matters Media celebrated its first anniversary with a ‘Death over Dinner’ event this week at the Italian Village in Chicago’s Loop. More than 50 gathered to share their end of life wishes over wine, pasta and birthday cake. “Our conversation is not meant to be a morbid one, but instead a very human discussion...

Father and Son. Boston

by Ethan Lisitz founder of Apliiq – co-hosted by his father Lewis A. Lipsitz, M.D., Vice President for Academic Medicine and Director of the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, MA, where he holds the Irving and Edyth S. Usen and Family Chair in Medical Research. I was curious about how a...

100 people share a feast. Olean, NY

One bucket list item on the wish list at “Death Over Dinner” stated the participant would like to race in the Iditarod before he died. Another said she wanted to be a grandma before life slipped away. The wish list, containing comments from participants at Wednesday’s dinner gathering, was one of many aspects of the...

Assisted Living Facility hosts monthly death dinner. Anacortes, WA

By Katie Eastman Our dinner was held at an assisted living facility and included a diverse group of people at different ages and stages. The conversation was rich with sharing of fears about how we may die and our choices as we face dying. There was palpable expression of emotion as we laughed and cried...

Day of the Dead

by Christine Thomas My husband and I were invited by our son and his wife to a Death Dinner. Our daughter-in-law made it a special occasion by decorating the table with black lace, flowers, and Day of the Dead skulls she had painted. They made a fabulous dinner while we read our “homework” – the...

Hale Ku’ike Alzheimer’s care home. Honolulu

We hosted a Death Dinner for the families of the residents of Hale Ku’ike, an Alzheimer’s care home in Honolulu (halekuike.com). We had 17 family members attend. It was a warm and touching evening. I will ask the families to leave feedback with you on this page as well. Here are some photos of the...

Dining at the grave of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Scottsdale, AZ

By Ken Ross We had 2 boys there that had never been to a cemetery and it was quite the experience for them! They both seemed to have a very good time and gained much from the experience. I know my mother would have loved the idea of the picnic so she could join in...

I set out a fresh box of Kleenex near the dining table. Texas

By Pamela Skjolsvik Yesterday, I fretted over setting a nice table and creating a dinner that would provide a certain level of comfort to the six people who would be coming to my house. I knew at some point during the meal that someone was going to cry, and not about the burnt garlic bread...

Dinner in the Deep South. Decatur, GA

By Catherine Godbey On a cold winter evening, nine friends, relatives, partners and strangers gathered for a dinner party. Candles flickered on the wooden oval dining table as Karen Thomas welcomed the guests. “We are here tonight to talk about death,” she said. “Let’s start with a quick toast to those who have gone before...

MCDM Student hosts a Death Dinner

[note: as part of the University of Washington MCDM Course COM 592 each student generated their own death dinner and documented the results.] “For the devoted cook, and especially for the true host, few pleasures can compare with the intellectual satisfaction of planning a notable meal.” – Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb. There...