How death came to dinner
On August 24, 2013 we launched Death Over Dinner and in a single night we tracked over 500 dinners in 20 countries. Since then there have been over a hundred thousand #deathdinners around the globe.
This adventure began when we learned that 75% of Americans want to die at home, yet only 25% of them do. When we learned that how we end our lives is the most important and costly conversation America is not having. And when we realized that a conversation among loved ones, friends, and even strangers could begin to change these numbers, and bring the conversation about death back into mainstream culture.
It all started with a University of Washington graduate course called Let’s Have Dinner and Talk About Death, taught by Michael Hebb and Scott Macklin, which quickly grew into a beautiful website designed by Seattle agency Civilization with content developed by Angel Grant. Our platform has now grown into a global project with an Australian Edition, a Jewish Edition, and even a Doctors and Nurses Edition currently being designed and built. We are thrilled to announce that we are now part of the RoundGlass family of initiatives, which will allow us to expand this project to millions of individuals and dinner tables.
This project was created as a gift, an invitation and a simple set of tools to help families and friends address the basic human fact that we are all, at some point, going to die. We suffer more when we don’t communicate our wishes, we suffer less when we know how to honor the wishes of our loved ones. As we build greater comfort and literacy around this important topic, every single one of us wins.
You might ask: Why would I have this conversation over dinner?
The dinner table is the most forgiving place for difficult conversation. The ritual of breaking bread creates warmth and connection, and puts us in touch with our humanity. It offers an environment that is more suitable than the usual places we discuss end of life.
So we raise a generous glass to you and your loved ones and humbly submit version 2.0 of Death Over Dinner!