Funeral for Death Cafe pioneer Jon Underwood breaks new ground

Jon’s family have been overwhelmed by the love and support they have received from the Death Cafe community following Jon’s sudden death this week.


As we have read in so many of the beautiful tributes that have poured in over the last few days, Jon’s work was ground-breaking and pioneering.  His funeral will be no exception.


The Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London meant a lot to Jon. He gave up a well paid tech job in the late 90’s to become the manager of Jamyang and worked closely with Geshe Tashi, Jamyang’s spiritual teacher with whom he developed a lasting bond.


Geshe Tashi attended Jon and Donna’s wedding and was Jon’s close spiritual adviser throughout his life. Jon had always wanted the Jamyang to host funerals and was working closely with the centre and funeral directors ‘Compassionate Funerals’  to make this possible. In true pioneering nature, Jon’s funeral will be the first ever held at Jamyang.


The funeral will be held on Thursday 6th July 2017.  Unfortunately, space at the Jamyang Buddhist Centre is limited so attendance is by invitation only. The service will be filmed and extracts will be made available to the wider Buddhist and Death Cafe community initially, and others at a later date. A memorial event will be held in late October, around Jon’s birthday, and everyone who wishes to attend will be able to join together to celebrate his life.


Jamyang Buddhist Centre said “we are delighted to be holding the first ever funeral at Jamyang for Jon Underwood. Holding funerals at Jamyang is a long-standing ambition which Jon was helping us to realise. It could not be more fitting that the first ever funeral we hold is for Jon”


Allistair from Compassionate Funerals said “We are so pleased to support Jon’s family to provide him with the sort of the funeral he would want. We worked closely with Jon around the idea of holding funerals at Jamyang.  Jon’s contribution to the death and dying community was ground breaking, he really challenged us on what it meant to provide a ‘compassionate funeral’ and the services we have developed are all the better because if it.”


Please have Jon, his family and his friends in your thoughts on Thursday. 


A huge thanks to everyone who has been so generous in donating to the JustGiving that has been set up by Jon’s friends at the Good Funeral Guide.  Over £28,000 has been raised in Jon’s memory so far.


If you’d like to donate, you can do so here. 


My condolences to all of you at this very sad time.... I was one of the many inspired by Jon at meetings in Calgary.... I will continue on this journey as time and health permits....

Posted by Colleen Eide

I was one of many thousands of people who was inspired and enthused by dear Jon. This selfless man has left a powerful legacy for his precious family and countless peoples he has helped. My condolances to his grieving family.

Posted by Annie Whitlocke

May his next Life be of benefit to many people as indeed his last life was one of undestanding and love for Others.x

Posted by Richard Pannell.


I thoughts are with Jon's family and freinds today. Tonight when I host Highcliffe Positive Living Group talk I'll light our candles in memory of Jon. Also Highcliffe Death Cafe's last meeting this months I'll be collecting for Jon's fund. Such an exordinary man, let's remember his deads with love and admiration.

Posted by Lis Horwich

Thinking of Jon's family today.

Posted by Alex

Fine man in deed -

A wonderful and great man - Will be deeply missed; never forgotten.
Jon lives!

He generously helped me each time I asked -
We were 'brothers'... And I am eternally grateful to Source for his life, his work and our friendship -

Deep, mournful condolences to his family at this shockingly sad time.
Jon impressed the Buddhist teaching of impermanence upon me and right now it's really hitting home.

Love... Love... Love... Love... Love... Love...

Posted by Don Morris - Victoria, BC

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