Writeup for Columbus Ohio Death

I Need to Know

By Lizzy Miles


This Death Café was an exciting event because we had just recently been featured in the Huffington Post in an article, “Death Cafes grow as a Place to Discuss, Learn about End of Life.” The article garnered hundreds of comments and I started to get emails from people who were interested in attending. I worried that we might have TOO big of a crowd.


But let’s be real here.  People aren’t beating down the doors to have a conversation about death. It take a brave soul to face their own mortality. I used to worry about attendance, but now I just let it flow. The Death Café has taught me that everything happens as it should. We had a good size group of fifteen people and discussions in groups of five. When the discussion started to wane slightly at one table due to a disproportionate number of introverts, we mixed the groups up.  What I really love is that we now have repeat attendees and we have brand new attendees.



Also present at this event was a radio reporter. When we were discussing his potential attendance, I set the ground rules. No recording during the Death Café. He had to participate as a regular guy. Then afterwards, we would ask for volunteers as to who would be willing to talk for radio. Several people volunteered and we had a mini Death Café discussion. The reporter had been assigned the story and was not sure how he felt about listening to people talk about death for two hours. After the event though, he acknowledged that it was actually an interesting conversation. I felt he did a good job of capturing the essence of the Death Café in his WOSU broadcast, “Columbus Death Café concept Spreads Across the U.S.”


The reporter mentioned that the first Death Café in New York City is coming up. As a side note, if any New Yorkers are reading this, the date for the NYC event is actually February 20th. I have been sharing some best practice ideas with Audrey Pellicano, who will be facilitating that event. I am so happy to see the Death Café concept spreading to the bigger cities.


So what did we talk about at this event? As always, new stuff. I wonder if I will ever stop being amazed. The most amusing thing that I heard was a living will specification which was expressed in all seriousness, but with knowledge that it was quirky.


I asked for and was granted permission to share this. One attendee has a note in her living will that says if she is in a coma: When all else fails, play Marc Anthony’s I Need to Know.  She even has the CD attached to her living will.



If you take out the part that he is singing to a girl, the lyrics are actually quite appropriate.


They say around the way you've asked for me

There's even talk about you wanting me

I must admit that's what I want to hear

But that's just talk until you take me there, oh


If it's true don't leave me all alone out here

Wondering if you're ever gonna take me there


Wow. I wonder if Marc Anthony ever thought of the dual meaning of his song lyrics?


We talked about so much more than what could be summarized here, but you’ll just have to come to a Death Café for yourself to see what it is like.  The next Columbus Death Café is March 13th.  No RSVP required.  The event will be from 7-9 p.m. at the Westerville Panera 782 N. State Street.  Please contact Lizzymiles@gmail.com with questions.


We now have a Facebook page to advertise our events.  Please “like” us at:


As always, to follow Death Café events worldwide, please visit www.deathcafe.com   


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