Death Cafe profile for Jools Barsky

Location: United Kingdom

About Jools Barsky:

Co-founder of Death Cafe, sister of Death Cafe founder Jon Underwood.

Contact Jools Barsky

Jools Barsky's posts on the Death Cafe website

New Blog post: 5 Beautiful Ways to Remember Your Dog

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 20, 2021, 11:18 a.m.

Although your pet might seem full of life right now, one day they will die. Their eyes will lose their sparkle, their tail will grow still, and their life will slip away. Losing your pet can seem unbearably painful, but it’s something you need to prepare yourself for if you want the love, friendship, and devotion a dog brings to your life.


The death of your dog doesn’t have to be the end ...

Video: Death Cafe turns 10 years old

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 25, 2021, midnight 2 comments

For one day only, residents are invited to talk about this complex, painful topic...

The Bucks Herald:

Press: Why Talking About Your Funeral Now Is Tough, But Valuable

Posted by Jools Barsky on July 17, 2021, 6:47 a.m.

Death – and what you want after you die – is the conversation nobody wants to have. Unless, of course, you're librarian Andrea Castillo and have led discussions at the local Death Cafe.  

"I had started as a person kind of trying to confront my own anxieties about death," Castillo explained...

Press: A Dispatch From a Boulder Death Cafe

Posted by Jools Barsky on May 10, 2021, 11:46 a.m.

ince September 2011, small groups of people across the world have gathered over tea and cake to discuss mortality. I went to one in Boulder to learn how COVID-19 and the King Soopers shooting are impacting those conversations....


New Blog post: Remembering Sherry Gilles

Posted by Jools Barsky on March 14, 2021, 10:19 a.m.

We were so sad to hear about the death of our friend and long-standing Death Cafe supporter, Sherry Gilles, on 1st March 2021. 

After taking over Death Cafe following the death of Jon Underwood in 2017, Sherry was one of the first Death Cafe hosts that got in touch, and helped me to find my feet in a time of great turmoil. 

As someone who worked with Sherry for a number of years prior to ...

New Blog post: Death Cafe - 9 Today!

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 25, 2020, midnight 1 comment

*click the link below to watch the video

It's Death Cafe's 9th birthday today... Twelve months ago I could never have imagined there would be such huge changes in the way we operate. As Death Cafe enters its 9th year we are now regularly holding discussions about death with groups of people who reside in very different geographical locations across the world. People who live 1000s of miles apart are all coming together ...

New Blog post: Death Cafe and Covid-19

Posted by Jools Barsky on March 24, 2020, 7:54 p.m. 12 comments

Hello to all our Death Cafe hosts, both new and those who have been with us for a long time. 

We have never in our lifetimes had to contend with such unprecedented changes to our lifestyle, and threats to our health and wellbeing. Never has there been such a need to talk about death and dying, and we are not able to meet each other face-to-face to do this, with as yet, no specified end ...

Advance care planning and the urgency of now | Prof Brian Dolan and Corrina Grimes

An opinion piece co-authored with Corrina Grimes, by Professor Brian Dolan, whom I had the pleasure of hearing speak at the Countess of Chester hospital in January 2020. 


Prof Brian Dolan and Corrina Grimes outline the case for advance care planning in the context of patient time and their last ...

Attending one of the Capital Region’s only roaming cafes comes with a few conditions: keep an open mind and feel free to discuss death. At least that’s the case with Death Cafe Albany. “My friends say ‘You need to change the name’ I say ‘That’s the point ...

The Daily Gazette:

New Blog post: A note from Jools - Death Cafe reaches 10,000 events

Posted by Jools Barsky on Jan. 18, 2020, 10:31 a.m. 7 comments

Hi all,

I am delighted to share with you that January 2020 has seen us reach 10,000 events in 69 countries (and that's just those that have been listed on our website!)!!

When my brother Jon Underwood, the founder of Death Cafe, held the first Death Cafe in his home on 25th September 2011, we would have never imagined that so many people across the globe would be so enthusiastic about holding events ...

Sue in conversation with Jools Barsky, co-founder of the Death Cafe movement about how Death Cafes help us to live consciously for a better world...

Press: An evening at the Death Café

Posted by Jools Barsky on Nov. 12, 2019, 11:20 a.m.





An evening at the Death Café



A couple of months ago, I spent an evening at a “ death café’. If that phrase

means nothing to you, then I should say immediately that it has nothing to do ...


Video: Death Cafe turns 8 today

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 24, 2019, 7:11 p.m. 3 comments

Press: Stamford's first Death Cafe opens with a message

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 20, 2019, 10:35 a.m.

Stamford’s first Death Cafe has opened up serving a message that we should make the most of our “finite” lives...

Rutland & Stamford Mercury:

Press: Glasgow director Kally Lloyd-Jones on life and death

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 20, 2019, 10:33 a.m.

A PIECE of dance theatre about dying – accompanied by an after-show Death Café – comes to Glasgow tomorrow...

Evening Times:

Talking about death is a tricky topic for many of us reserved Brits. But Death Cafe is on a mission to break this stigma. Far from being creepy and morbid...

Soul And Spirit Magazine:

A pop-up death cafe has been held in Adelaide to spark conversations and help people overcome their fear of dying.

Conversations about life and death might not be common over coffee and cake, but almost 30 people gathered at church in Walkerville, in Adelaide's north-east, to chat about wakes ...

We know that we will all have to face it one day, but we put that “difficult” conversation off until tomorrow. Or the day after… Well it doesn’t have to be that way.

The people we talk to on this podcast are people who do talk about it. They ...

Press: 2019 Global Wellness Trends

Posted by Jools Barsky on Feb. 1, 2019, 4:47 a.m.

Each year, the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) identifies new trends that will have a meaningful impact on the $4.2 trillion wellness industry. Significantly, this is the only wellness forecast that draws from the insights of the 600+ executives who were delegates and presenters at the 2018 Global Wellness Summit ...

Global Wellness Summit:

Mancos has joined thousands of other cities around the world as it begins hosting a regular event known as a Death Cafe.

The event is hosted by the Mancos Public Library and facilitated by the library’s manager of development and adult programming, Shari Dunn.

The Journal:

Press: Putting Death on the Table

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 5:29 p.m.

They come because the philosophical notion of mortality intrigues them. Or because they are death doulas, end of life therapists, palliative care nurses, or someone else who works with the dying.

Maybe they’ve got a loved one who is sick. Perhaps they, themselves, suffer from a terminal disease. Maybe ...

Lion's Roar:

One Sunday evening this September, I stepped into a northeast Minneapolis art gallery, signed my name next to a human skull, and poured myself a glass of red wine. Then I joined a group seated in a circle, and we started talking about taking our own lives...

City Pages:

The first Wednesday evening of this month, (October 3, 2018) our family’s Great Dane passed away peacefully resting under a cedar tree. His body had been breaking down...

WE SAT IN a circle, clutching paper cups full of steaming coffee and tea. First, I said my name. "Hi, I'm Lexi." What came next wasn't an admission of addiction, but a statement about what I feared most about death. "I fear the unknown," I began, but paused ...


Press: A relaxing afternoon with Death

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 5:06 p.m.

Death isn’t a topic oft-discussed, but it is an end we all face and for many, it is a conversation worth having....

Worcester Magazine:

Press: Death Cafe comes to Dunnville

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 4:56 p.m.

For many people, death and dying feel like taboo subjects.

But Wendy Elliott, who will be hosting the Dunnville Death Café on Nov. 15, hopes to help change that.

"It's something that's been taken away from us. Years ago, death happened in the home," she said...

The Hamilton Spectator:

Press: Tribune Tries: Death and cake

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 9:56 a.m.

“I love the brownies.” “I’m interested in learning about death.” These are the icebreakers at the November session of McGill’s Death Cafe. Though the event drew a varied crowd, commonalities developed between the full room of people intrigued by both creature comforts and talk of mortality...

McGill Tribune:

Press: Death Cafe Makes Morbid Discussions Socially Acceptable

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 9:54 a.m.

Chaplain and Death Cafe member Michele Tae and members Joyce Harvey-Morgan and Susan Randall talk about discussions of death with Idaho Matters on Tuesday, November 13, 2018.

Boise State Public Radio:

Press: Death Café takes on a life of its own

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 9:53 a.m.

When Christine Cross and Cathy Coulter first conceived of hosting a Death Café in Virden, they didn’t know if anyone would be interested in casual conversations about death and dying. But the 20 spaces filled up so fast and the evening was such a hit that three more Death ...

Empire Advance:

Press: Talking death in Sudbury over tea and cake

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 9:46 a.m.

Most people are uncomfortable talking about death and dying but there’s a worldwide movement trying to change that. And surprisingly, it all starts over tea and cake...

The Sudbury Star:

Press: VIDEO: Death Cafe puts mortality front and centre

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 9:44 a.m.

It’s an average Monday night in Revelstoke. Seated in a circle at Dose Café, 12 complete strangers are sharing conversation. The topic is death...

Revelstoke Review:

Betty Ann McPherson's life got pretty dark several years ago when her daughter got sick and died of cancer.

"I was sure that once her life was over, my life would be over," she said.

"For a time, it really did feel like that."


Press: Strangers to gather in Nailsworth to 'demystify death'

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 9:20 a.m.

Strangers will be gathering in Nailsworth this week in an effort to demystify an important but uncomfortable subject...

Stroud News & Journal:

ON A BRISK NOVEMBER NIGHT, Tagine, a Moroccan restaurant tucked away on a quiet side street near Times Square, is alive with conversation. Nearly 20 people pack in around two tables cluttered with heaping, communal plates of steaming couscous, chickpeas, and yellow lentils. People exchange stories, laughs, and soft wedges ...

Atlas Obscura:

Press: Beyond sobs and scares

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 8:38 a.m.

Days prior to returning to Montreal this August, I visited my father’s grave for the first time in nearly a decade, 17 years after he died. As a child in visits past....

The McGill Tribune:

Press: LGBT seniors grapple with end-of-life issues

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 8:17 a.m.

While enjoying her seventh decade on the planet, Donna Personna knows her remaining days are numbered. Yet the prospect of her demise doesn't scare her...

The Bay Area Reporter:

Press: Taunton Death Cafe meeting in January

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 27, 2018, 5:58 a.m.

PEOPLE in Taunton are being challenged to make an unusual New Year's Resolution - to talk more about death...

Somerset County Gazette:

Press: Today in Lansing: Death Cafe at Willow Stick Healing Arts

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 24, 2018, 5:50 a.m.

TUESDAY, DEC. 18 — Demystify the fear and taboo surrounding the topic of death while enjoying a hot, comforting beverage...

Lansing City Pulse:

Press: Tribune Tries: Death and cake

Posted by Jools Barsky on Nov. 25, 2018, 2:56 p.m.

“I love the brownies.” “I’m interested in learning about death.” These are the icebreakers at the November session of McGill’s Death Cafe. Though the event drew a varied crowd, commonalities developed between the full room of people intrigued by both creature comforts and talk of mortality...

The McGill Tribune:

New Blog post: Death Cafe is 7 today!

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 24, 2018, 8:24 p.m. 6 comments

This is just a very brief message to commemorate today as being Death Cafe’s 7th birthday!! 

It has been a whirlwind and we’ve learnt so, so much in the last 12 months it‘s hard to know where to begin!!

Unfortunately I’ve had a pretty debilitating eye issue which put the brakes on getting the traditional birthday video filmed and edited for today.

I would still very much love to talk to ...

Created in 2011 by British entrepreneur Jon Underwood, "The Death Cafe is inspired by the centuries-old European salon (or cafe), an informal gathering to discuss philosophical, political or scientific ideas," ...

Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

Press: Death Cafe comes to Newport

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 14, 2018, 6:16 a.m.

The Death Cafe is almost upon us – but fear not, it’s much more jovial than it sounds. 

Coming to Newport’s God’s Providence House Tea Rooms in St Thomas Square on Wednesday (September 12) – the Death Cafe meets to discuss making the most of your life....


Isle of Wight Observer:

Link: Edna's Death Cafe!

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 7, 2018, 7:55 a.m.

New fiction book written about a Death Cafe:

As in life, death is not without its agenda. This is something seventy-nine year old Edna Reid finds out when her partner, Ted, suddenly dies.

To cope with her loss, she sets up a Death Cafe to break down the taboo around ...

New Blog post: Twelve months since the death of Jon Underwood

Posted by Jools Barsky on June 27, 2018, midnight 4 comments

It is hard to believe that an entire year has passed since we lost Jon Underwood. This post is to mark an anniversary that seems very hard to comprehend.

So what have we learned during these last 12 months?

We have learned that grief is a constant companion, but that it ebbs and flows and can change from a dull ache to something much more powerful in an instant, sometimes for no obvious reason.

We ...

The arriving guests who examined the floral china found skulls in the patterns. Books about death stood on tables at the corners of the room. Coffee, tea and cake were on the house.

Casper Star Tribune:

Link: The Grave Truth Behind Death Cafe Documentary

Posted by Jools Barsky on March 23, 2018, 6:22 a.m.

Death is an inevitable part of life but for most of us it’s a taboo subject. The documentary Dying to Talk hears from the people who are talking about it in 'Death Cafes' around the world. Presenter, Julian Keane and producer, Chelsea Dickinson answer listeners’ questions on the documentary ...

Press: Talking about dying over cake at Death Café

Posted by Jools Barsky on March 9, 2018, 7:06 a.m.

Video: What to say to someone who is dying

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 19, 2017, 3:40 p.m.

Link: The second Death Cafe Massive

Posted by Jools Barsky on Dec. 12, 2017, 1:51 p.m. 1 comment

The second Death Cafe Massive

A great big congratulations to HUCI who have co-ordinated the 2nd Death Cafe Massive taking place on 13th December across four countries and 23 cities:

Tucumán (Argentina), Toledo , Lima (Peru), Madrid and  Madrid 2 ,   Collado Villalba , Seville , Pamplona , Hospitalet , Granada , Talavera , Alicante , Vigo , Malaga , Zarautz , Algorta , Burgos , Donostia , Murcia ...

Practitioners question: Alcohol at Death Cafes?

Posted by Jools Barsky on Nov. 17, 2017, 3:34 a.m. 9 comments

Alcohol at Death Cafes?

Hi all,

I was contacted recently by an individual concerned that someone was offering a Death Cafe where alcohol was served.

My personal opinion (and from discussions that Donna and I had with Jon, his perspective also) is that it is okay for alcohol to be served so long as ...

This document is held under copyright by Hayward Group Ltd, publisher of the European Journal of Palliative Care. It may be downloaded for single academic use only. Reproduction for any other purpose is not allowed. For further information, please contact the journal by emailing

European Journal of Palliative Care:

Video: Jon Underwood's Birthday Memorial

Posted by Jools Barsky on Oct. 28, 2017, 12:32 a.m. 5 comments

Practitioners question: Media requests

Posted by Jools Barsky on Oct. 6, 2017, 7:34 a.m. 2 comments

Hello Death Cafe community! 

We still need experienced Death Cafe hosts to be media representatives - ideally we'll have several people in each country where Death Cafes are held.

If you're interested you will need to provide the following information:

1: Your name

2: Your email

3: Your location ...

Video: Death Cafe is 6 years old!

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 25, 2017, 6:22 a.m.

Practitioners question: Authentic Death Cafes revisited

Posted by Jools Barsky on Aug. 27, 2017, 5:55 a.m. 4 comments

Authentic Death Cafes revisited

Hi all,


Since I have been managing the admin on Death Cafe and keeping a closer eye on things, it has come to my attention that the below is still an issue. 

Due to the growing awareness of Death Cafe and the inevitable changes we're now facing, it's ...

Press: Death Cafe serves up insights into life's end in Japan

Posted by Jools Barsky on Aug. 10, 2017, 6:45 p.m.

In early July, seven men and women gathered over coffee and snacks at a Buddhist temple in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward to discuss death.

Over two hours, the talk ranged from how to reduce fear of death and cope with a loved one's passing to living out one's ...

Kyodo News:

New Blog post: Before Jon's funeral - words from Jon's mother-in-law Carol

Posted by Jools Barsky on July 5, 2017, 4:16 p.m.

A tribute to my lovely son-in-law Jon Underwood


You were a special person but it's only now you're gone I realise how special a person you really were.


I was quite intolerant of Death Cafe because I didn't understand it. I'm afraid to say you can still learn lessons no matter how old you are, but just because I didn't understand or agree doesn't make it wrong, it was ...

New Blog post: Funeral for Death Cafe pioneer Jon Underwood breaks new ground

Posted by Jools Barsky on July 3, 2017, 12:39 p.m. 6 comments

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 ...

New Blog post: A message from Donna Molloy, Jon Underwood’s wife

Posted by Jools Barsky on June 28, 2017, 5:21 p.m. 80 comments

As you all know the objective of Death Cafe is helping us all 'make the most of our finite lives'. With shocking poignancy on Sunday 25th June we experienced the finiteness of life at its most brutal. And more specifically the finiteness of the life of Jon Underwood, founder of Death Cafe, dad to two truly amazing children and my husband. He was 44.

Comfort is very hard to find right now, but there is ...

Death Cafe: Santa Barbara's first Death Cafe

Posted by Jools Barsky on July 2, 2014, 1:17 p.m.

With Jools Barsky

Feb. 27, 2013, 6.30 p.m. - 9.00 p.m. (PST)


Death Cafe: Death Cafe 253 in Tacoma, WA

Posted by Jools Barsky on Nov. 29, 2013, 10:35 a.m.

With Death Cafe Tacoma facilitator

Jan. 11, 2014, 2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time)


We want to support ourselves and our community in bringing death out of the closet!

Link: Costa Da Morte

Posted by Jools Barsky on Nov. 8, 2013, 8:40 a.m.

Costa Da Morte

So named because of the large number of shipwrecks that have occured on its rocky shores.

But despite the ominous name, it is still frequented by budding surfers looking for a thrill-ride!

Link: Death Cafe Pinterest

Posted by Jools Barsky on Nov. 4, 2013, 7:57 a.m. 5 comments

Death Cafe Pinterest

We're all about embracing new media, and we now have our very own Pinterest page with all sorts of intriguing deathy things!

You can follow us by visiting:

Art: Surfing skeleton

Posted by Jools Barsky on Oct. 25, 2013, 2:16 p.m.

Surfing skeleton

Video: Dead Now

Posted by Jools Barsky on Oct. 15, 2013, 3:41 a.m.

Video: Live life right

Posted by Jools Barsky on Oct. 15, 2013, 3:34 a.m.

Art: Sometimes we need a wake-up call like death...

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 30, 2013, 3:34 a.m.

Art: Calaveras

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 10, 2013, 7:25 a.m.


Cool skeleton art!

New Blog post: The new website

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 5, 2013, 6:20 a.m. 2 comments

It's been two years since this project began, and to see where it started and where it is today makes me beam with pride.

It is all thanks to the wonderful death-chat devoutee Jon Underwood, and all the fantastic contributors across the globe who have put so much time into making Death Cafe such a huge success.

Congratulations Jon, your new site is exceptionally elegant and exciting, informative and professional. 

Can't wait to ...

Art: Time passes too quickly

Posted by Jools Barsky on Sept. 30, 2011, 11:53 p.m.

Time passes too quickly

In the search for a cool new background to adorn our site, I came across this beauty from designer TopNinja. And how true it is!

Resource: Soul Midwifery

Posted by Jools Barsky on Aug. 16, 2011, 11:50 p.m.

New Blog post: Sky burial goes mainstream

Posted by Jools Barsky on Feb. 11, 2011, 2:22 p.m. 2 comments

After watching this weeks' episode of Human Planet on the BBC, I was intrigued to see the discussion of a practice known as "sky burial", as mentioned in our earlier post. In the mountains of Nepal, the high altitudes prevent Buddhists from practicing their usual method of body disposal (cremation) and so alternative methods are sought.


The deceased is taken to a remote part of the mountains and a ritual is performed by a specialist ...

Contact Jools Barsky