Death Cafe debuts in the Shenandoah Valley

newspaperAt a Death Cafe people drink coffee and tea, eat cake (or cookies), and discuss death in a relaxed group discussion. With the participants setting the agenda and direction of the conversation,

Death Cafes are always accessible, respectful, and confidential. Death Cafés are open to any and all who are interested in discussing end-of-life issues in an open, meaningful way. Death Café events are open to anyone who wishes to engage in conversation about dying, death, living, and life.

The objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives, or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session.

Death Café of the Shenandoah Valley will host a series of six events: three in Staunton Virginia at Temple House of Israel (15 N. Market Street, Staunton VA), and three in Harrisonburg Virginia at Congregation Beth El (830 Old Furnace Road, Harrisonburg, VA).  The Facilitator for these events will be Rabbi Joe Blair.  These events will be from 7 to 9 pm on the first Wednesday evening of each month from January to June [January 6, February 3 and March 2 at Temple House of Israel; and April 6, May 4 and June 1 at Congregation Beth El.]

The events are free; donations to offset the costs of hosting the events are welcome. No RSVP required.

Death Cafe is an international movement started in Europe, developed by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid, based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz, with the objective of “ increasing awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of our (finite) lives. “

Since September 2011 Death Cafes have spread quickly.  As of today, over 2500 cafes have taken place worldwide. Clearly there are people who want to talk about death, and many are passionate enough to organize their own Death Café.

To learn more about the global Death Cafe movement, visit

Contact the group locally at or visit and like the Facebook group page at Death Café of the Shenandoah Valley., or call 925-272-8563 and leave a message.

augusta free press news
augusta free press news

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