New Ideas! Death Over Dinner

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.

On August 24, 2013 Death Over Dinner launched and in a single night over 500 dinners in 20 countries happened. Since then there have been over a hundred thousand #deathdinners around the globe.

How we want to die – represents the most important and costly conversation America isn’t having. Death Over Dinner gathered dozens of medical and wellness leaders to cast an unflinching eye at end of life, and created an uplifting interactive adventure that transforms this seemingly difficult conversation into one of deep engagement, insight and empowerment.

75% of Americans want to die at home, yet only 25% of them do. Michael & Scott 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.

Death Over Dinner 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.

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.

Plan a test dinner: gather friends and family and fill a table. Then casually explain that you wish to become part of a coral reef. And please pass the mashed potatoes.

Bon Appetit! And Bonne Conversation!

Mark Noonan, Founder – Farewell Project
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