To facilitate or to join in?

I've run a few Death Cafe events over the past couple of years both in person before the pandemic and online afterwards.

This blog post isn't so much a post imparting wisdom but a question to others running Death Cafe events on their experience with being the facilitator. 

Depending on numbers of attendees and how I've personally felt at the time, I've sometimes joined in as a participant in the conversations around death but at other times have remained on the outside, mindful of needing to be available to anyone who might want to ask me anything. So far I've never been required by anyone and my duties at the events have been  restricted to a brief welcome and introduction at the beginning and a timely closing at the end.

I wondered what the experience of other facilitators was and if people felt it better to take part in the conversations or not.

I'd be really grateful to hear anyone's experiences.

Many thanks. 


Martin Poole 

Death Cafe Wirral 




I've found the elements available as the meeting progresses dictates the needs of the participants. I enjoy when I am not called to participate but the impersonal online environment has made it necessary. I usually read from a book, This is It or Rumi. I hope this helps. Feel free to reach out

Posted by Esme

What I do

I have run several Death Cafes in Grimsby both face to face and online. I always join in the conversation. But at the same time I am always listening. Yes i have had times when I have had to facilitate the group for many reasons but on the whole my main job is to make sure everyone (including myself) is enjoying themselves and safe.

Posted by Craig Doyley