Few people like to talk about dying. A grassroots movement is trying to change attitudes.
It's called the Death Cafe--and its central notions are that death deserves discourse and that learning to think and talk about it without anxiety can help people live their lives most fully.
There's no profit motive, no set agenda. Tea and cake are served. The aim is to provide a comfortable setting so that people can talk about death without fear.
I recently attended L.A.'s first Death Cafe, at the Topanga Canyon home of Betsy Trapasso, an end-of-life guide. The invited group was eclectic and included a psychologist, a film director, and a Los Angeles police sergeant who talked about his encounters with sudden, violent death.