I have only recently started to learn about the amazing work of Jon Underwood and the Death Café movement, and will be attending my forst Death Café next month with a view of starting up my own? So I was shocked and saddened to hear of
Jon's untimely death in June of this year. I thought I would pay tribute to him by sharing part oh his wonderful obituary that is featured in the August edition of the Funeral Director monthly. These words are not my own but I have edited them to make the
article a little shorter.
Jon Underwood was a businessman and charity worker who founded the Death Café movement in 2011. He died suddenly at the age of 44 from an undiagnosed Acute Promyelocytic Leukameia. born in Chester England in 1972
he was educated at Queens Park High School and Chorpus Christi College Oxford where he studied Philosophy and Economics.
Jon was married to Donna whom he met at university. They had two children frank and Gina, where they lived as a family in
Hackney in East London. Jon was a practising Buddhist and remained close to his spiritual teacher, Geshe Tashi throughout his life. In September 2011 from his home in Hackney Jon started the very first Death Café. It would go on to become a huge success
with almost 5000 Death Cafés being run in over 50 countries. The venus are diverse and welcoming. Popping up in a wide variety of locations Death Cafés can be found in funeral homes, at festivals, coffee shops, tea rooms, schools and universities
not to mention peoples private homes. Death Café has recieved unprecedented media coverage spanning the globe includong the fron page of the New York Times.
Jon also built and manged Funeral Advisor in association with the Natural Death Centre
charity and also ran impermanence an umberella company which brought together his different commitments to doing good in the world, by encouraging society to deal with death in interesting and innovative ways. Jon's wife Donna said 'Jon was uniquely and unusually
aware that life is short amd appreciated his life fully, reflecting on this through daily practice.
Through his life Jon Underwood helped hundreds of people all over the world to reguarly come together, drink tea and eat cake whilst taking time
oiut to remeber what really matters. He has single handedly changed cultures around death and end-of-life awareness, not just in the UK but across the globe. Death Café is a remarkable achievement. It's continuing quest to break down barriers and help
people come to terms with life's impermanence will be a remarkeable and valuble legacy.
Jon's mother, Sue and his sister will continue his work on the Death Café movement, as Jon requested.