Death Cafes are Near You

Ever wanted to go grab a coffee and some cake and talk about death? Well, that’s a thing and it’s called a Death Cafe.

Death Cafes are a non-profit place for those who want to get together and talk about the end of the road, and how that can affect us as individuals. If you’ve never heard of them. The idea originates with the Swiss sociologist and anthropologist Bernard Crettaz, who organized the first café mortel in 2004. Jon Underwood a UK web developer was inspired by Crettaz’s work and developed the Death Cafe model in 2011. He was instrumental in the spread of the idea. Since then they have been held in 66 countries. Now in 2021, they’ve sprung up all around the UK. Cafes have taken place in Folkestone, Brighton, Whitstable, Faversham and Hyde – just to name a few in the UK alone.

You may think Death cafés sound like negative and morbid space, that they’re only for old folks or goths, or the terminally ill; but actually, they’re there for anyone who wants to talk or listen about their experiences with death. Death is a part of life and at some point, it’s something we all need to talk about. These cafes offer a safe space where you can talk, un-load or remember the good times with your grandparent, mum, dad, sibling or any loved one who has passed away. Its quite a simple premise but the objective is:

‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.

Jon Underwood –

Death Cafés have become global phenomena, taking place from the United States to Trinidad, Sweden to Korea. On they state that they have hosted over thirteen thousand meetups in 80 separate countries around the world. With stats like that, it seems death cafes are becoming more and more popular. Who knows, in a year or two they may become the next hit trend. One thing we do know though is they provide an opportunity to share grief or other concerns in an accessible, respectful and confidential space.

What to do when a pet dies?

The death of a pet can leave a huge hole in the life of the owner. Whether you have a cat, dog, parrot, rabbit, or something cold-blooded like a fish, lizard or snake, your pet becomes part of the family and everyday life. Losing a furry (or scaly!) companion brings grief and the reminder that death is something we all have to deal with at some point in our lives.

Regardless of what kind of pet you own, there are several different options out there for owners who wish to commemorate their animal friends. Some of the options are listed below

  • Cremation
  • Burials
  • Taxidermy (Stuffing)

Cremation for pets

What to do when a pet dies

Cremation is a simple process where the pet’s body is burnt in a furnace and on the other side, you’re given the ashes. You can then choose what to do with them, whatever is best for you. You can keep them in a special container somewhere in your house, or bury them in the garden. If this isn’t an option, you could scatter them in a place that your pet liked to visit.

Dignity Pet Crematorium, based in Winchfield, Hampshire specialises in several different animal cremation services. Their prices start from as little as £50 and range up to £220 at the high end. On the Dignity website, they say that the pets they work with are: Cats, Dogs, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters Chickens Budgies, Parrots, Chinchillas, Snakes, Ferrets, Hedgehogs, Lizard, Bearded Dragons, Rats, Daegu, Tortoises and Fish. 

Another crematorium, southeast of London between Kent and Sussex, is Barnshaw. They are near Tenterden, relatively southwest of Ashford. These folks categorise pets by weight only instead of both species and weight. Barnshaw’s prices range from £89 for the smallest pets to £225 for the largest. 

Can I bury my pet in my garden?

What to do when a pet dies

Burial can be the first thing that comes to mind when a pet passes away. Lots of people with gardens find a home burial the natural choice, it costs as little as you like and means your pet can stay close to home in the natural world.

If you choose the burial route, you can bury your pet in the back garden if the following conditions are met:

  • You own the land you intend to dig the grave in.
  • It cannot be too close to a water source.
  • The pet remains must not be hazardous to humans or the environment (this is a rare occurrence)

Obviously, if you’re living in rented accommodation or in a flat/apartment this might not be an option for you.

Pet cemeteries

What to do when a pet dies

Another option is to find a local pet cemetery. The premise here is very similar to human cemeteries, you buy a plot and a memorial. Pet cemeteries are a good idea for those who still want to bury their pet, but don’t have the space in a garden and would like a resting place to visit. The price tag for burying a pet in a cemetery can vary depending on different factors. These can include the size of the animal and the resting place. Usually, they start at a few hundred pounds and can go up to several thousand.

Taxidermy (Stuffing a pet)

What to do when a pet dies

Stuffing is a pretty simple idea where you have the outside of your furry friend essentially preserved in a lifelike way. It is a little unorthodox and less common compared to burials and cremation, but it’s a personal choice that some people find comforting.

This might be a way to go if you’re someone who wants their pet to still be with you in your house after their death. Who knows? Stuffing your pet might make a nice conversation starter!

Whatever you choose to do after your pet dies, be it a cremation, burial or stuffing, at the end of the day, it’s your decision and the right choice will be a comfort to you.

Here for more related articles

Muslim Burials

The UK is an ethnically and religiously diverse country, which practices many different faiths and burials. Similar to other faiths that believe in the afterlife Muslims believe that in life if you follow the Islamic religious codes and do good deeds you will be granted entry into eternal Paradise.

As this is such an important ceremony certain rules and customs are put in place so the deceased can pass over in piece. Muslims are buried very soon after death usually within 24 hours if possible, which means no viewing, embalming or family visits. The body is washed by family members of the same gender usually 3 times before being taken to a mosque, this is called Ghusl. The (Kafan) is when the deceased is wrapped in large sheets, men traditionally would have 3 sheets and women would have five. 

Cremation is prohibited and all Muslim burial graves face Mecca. The deceased would then be placed in position so that their right side faces the holy city.  Whilst the body is lowered into the grave the congregation will pray. Most all of the mourners will be male however some Muslim communities allow women to attend the burial. 

The grave is 12 inches above ground level, this will not allow anyone to walk or sit on the grave. The funeral is usually quick, lasting only 30 to 60 minutes with prayer and readings from the Quran. During the prayers, everyone must face Mecca and mourners will each place 3 handfuls of soil into the grave. 

The Islamic religion view death as a transition to the afterlife and if you have lived a good life they believe you will go to paradise. 

The grave is then marked with a small stone or marker so that it is recognisable. It is prohibited to decorate the grave or erect any large monument.  This is because outwardly lavish displays are discouraged in Islam.  

How and why to live stream funerals in 2021

Funeral live streaming has increased significantly this past year due to Covid, but is it here to stay? Covid restrictions have made all aspects of life more difficult, but losing a loved one, and not being able to share the grief with friends and family, can be unbearable. Funeral live streaming allows for this important moment to be shared as the ceremony can be witnessed by anyone from anywhere. This technology makes travel, cost, timing and restrictions irrelevant.

How to live stream funerals

Streaming is absolutely something you can do on your own. Depending on your technical ability you can set up a webcam, DSLR or even a smartphone. Here are some tips to help you set up a live stream.


Live stream funerals

People often spend a lot of time considering what it will look like and forget about the audio quality. A funeral is a celebration of life: stories, sentiments and kind words are shared. It’s important your online guests can hear what is said. Make sure to test the sound quality of the built-in mic by recording a test phrase when setting up. Listen back to it, are the words clear? If not there are external mics available to buy or hire. You can place it closer to the stage or on a podium for clearer sound quality.

Where to share

Live stream funerals

There are plenty of suitable platforms for your funeral live stream. You just need to pick one that is free to use, has social media integration, privacy control and chat features. Here are a few we recommend: Facebook Live, Zoom, Google Hangouts, YouTube Live or Facetime. Just make sure only invited guests have a link and are allowed to join. You should also make sure someone can keep an eye on the live stream, and if anything goes wrong it’s always good to have a backup. Don’t forget to record as well. It can be a nice memory to hold so loved ones can watch again at a later date.


Live stream funerals

Now you have set up the invitees and the stream privacy you need to make sure everyone knows how to access the funeral live stream. Send guests an email or message with a link and detailed instructions on how to join. Think about making a short online tutorial for the older members of the family. Don’t forget to test the internet connection where the ceremony is taking place. If there isn’t any or it’s very slow it’s possible to set up a hotspot using your phone’s 4G connection. Be sure to test this in advance.

Bring in the Professionals

Live stream funerals

Although setting up your own funeral live stream is possible, and a great way to save a little on the cost of the funeral, it may be a bit too much to handle on this emotional day. Professional services can take the weight off your shoulders and keep your mind clear and focused on what’s important; the life and celebration of your loved one. There are plenty available so make sure to check the reviews and select one that suits your needs.

Have a look at our free funeral services directory to find a live stream funeral service near you.

How to Scatter Ashes In the UK

Symbolism & Significance: What does scattering ashes mean? - Urns ...

Scattering ashes and returning them to the earth is just one of so many choices. Choosing a location is important if you do decide to scatter your ashes. Consider certain things such as the likelihood of disturbed or become busy with onlookers that may hinder your ceremony. It’s very important to check the (scattering ashes law regulations the UK) 

Losing your loved one is often a heartbreaking experience. It can be very difficult to figure out the right way to remember them and honour their wishes.  

Times are changing and being willing to think of death ahead of you will help in so many ways. 

It’s a very personal thing so never worry what other people think, be as adventurous or as traditional as you like.  

Keeping your loved one at home is a great way to honour and keep them close but it can also make it difficult for others to visit and pay their respect. 

While traditional urns and scattering of ashes are still very popular, other options are plentiful and ashes can become almost anything these days. With a little imagination, anything is possible…. 

Top trends for cremation ashes in 2021

  1. Tattoo the ashes of your loved one, keeping them with you at all times.
  2. Fireworks made from the ashes of your loved one, create a farewell with a bang.
  3. A personal Portrait that includes the ashes within the portrait.
  4. For the music lover, have the ashes made into vinyl.
  5. For the diver, an underwater reef.
  6. A beautiful diamond solitaire can be made from Ashes 
  7. Grow a wonderful tree from Ashes. Choose their favourite type.
  8. Scattering ashes at sea, some companies now specialise in this. Check the regulations for this including EPA. 
  9. Art, ashes can become beautiful pieces of glass art. Choose something significant to the memory of your loved one.
  10. From the sky, either by plane, skydive or shoot your ashes to space letting your loved one continue their journey under the stars.