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Coffee and Death

  • Jack Fong
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter introduces the Death Café phenomenon, of which my work conceptualizes as an existential and transformative social movement. The chapter examines, among other things, the history of the Death Café, its global proliferation, and key activists in the movement. The chapter also examines these regular gatherings of primarily nonterminally ill Baby Boomers, their “vibes,” and how they unpack their orientations toward mortality over a healthy meal, drinks, and deserts. In such environments, Death Café participants enjoy one another’s company with unpretentious energies and a variety of mortality considerations are discussed. These include the logistics, services, and finances of attending to death, medical care at end of life, and if a good death can be had, are but just a few conversational topics. Considerations about the afterlife, what near-death experiences mean, whether the deceased are still “there,” and what it is like to be with a dying person are voiced, as are the realizations that death experiences have had in positively transforming Café participants. Café attendees tell their stories, ask for advice, support those that are still grieving, and provide wisdoms for one another. In the process, Death Café participants create communicative space where discussions about mortality can be made to promote a healthier outlook on one’s life and death. Finally, this chapter closes with an overview of other chapters in the text.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Fong
    • 1
  1. 1.Associate Professor of SociologyDepartment of Psychology & Sociology California State Polytechnic UniversityPomona CAUSA

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