The product that has turned every sadness into a sales-op and every funeral into a retail event?



“The ‘buy now, die later’ brand of package deal has meant a lost connection between the sale of funerals and the delivery of them, and with it the loss of face-to-face accountability between buyer and seller that used to provide reliable consumer protection. Now the recipient of the services (the bereaved) and the provider of same (the funeral director) are both perilously out of the loop of the original transaction: a deal often brokered years before, between a commissioned salesperson and the now newly deceased. In such an environment there can be little real accountability.”Thomas Lynch

Over at the Oldie magazine agony aunt Mary Kenny is talking about funeral plans: JR from South Wales warns that, even when pre-paid, there can be a hefty bill – “she was appalled by the undertaker’s charges after her husband’s recent death.”

Here at the GFG we were invited a couple of days ago by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries IFoA) to contribute to a consultation which will “address concerns regarding actuaries’ involvement with pre-paid funeral plan trusts” and “help them develop a mandatory Actuarial Profession Standard leading to members playing a stronger role in “assessing the financial viability of such trusts and in helping trustees and plan providers ensure that they can continue to provide the funerals they are contracted to provide to planholders.”

Down in Bristol, according to the Daily Mail, “Barbara Graham, 72, was left in tears after salesmen from Golden Charter funeral planners asked her if she wanted to pre-plan her own burial. Despite telling them she was currently battling cancer, the firm called back again a few days later to try and sell her the same service. 

We’ve had quite a lot of angry reaction to this, so we asked Golden Charter to respond. This is what they said:

Golden Charter do not cold call. Any agency from whom we receive leads complies fully with all relevant legislation and codes of conduct. Despite what you may have read we did not contact her after being told she had cancer. We did not call her twice in a week. We contacted her on the 20th October. Erroneously we left that lead in the list that could be called, as she informed us that she had arrangements in place. On the 6th November we called her again at which stage she informed us of her health issues. Our representative apologised and removed her from our list.

It seems Mrs Graham took part in a third-party survey and indicated that she was interested in funeral planning. A third-party survey is a survey done by a third party research company sometimes by phone, sometimes online, sometimes on the high  street or in retail shopping centres where people are asked if they are interested in a specific range of products. If they indicate they are, and the person consents to being contacted, then these companies offer those details for a consideration to organisations who sell those services.”

It goes without saying that Golden Charter deplore the Mail’s failure to get in touch and check facts.

What do we think? We think that funeral planning is inherently a vexed business. There are people passionately for and people passionately against.

Over in the US, Thomas Lynch is passionately against:

“The aggressive pre-selling of funeral wares is a late-twentieth-century invention, driven entirely by vendor interests and the cash hunger of consolidators”

Boomers “love these things. Planned parenthood, prenuptials, prearranged funerals – always this hopeful notion that we might pre-feel the feelings … the sense that these unpredictable existential events might be turned into manageable retail experiences.”

’You don’t want to be a burden to your children, do you?’ Why shouldn’t I be a burden to my children? My children have been a burden to me. Lovely burdens, every one of them … And they will be paying for [my funeral] emotionally, financially, actually. Since they have to live with the decisions, why shouldn’t they make them? … If the burden of my death, borne honourably, makes them feel as capable as bearing the sweet burden of their births has made me feel, I can do them the favour of leaving well enough alone.”

“The pie of funeral expenses and revenues, formerly distributed among providers of goods and services, rarely provided more than single digit profits. Now the slices were many more and accordingly narrower – a commission for the contract seller, a piece for the referral and finder’s fees, something for the marketing and management of the pre-need account and, of course, a profit for the financier … These transactional expenses, which paid for neither mortuary services or merchandise, came out before the funeral director and the clergy, the florist and newspapers, the soloist and cemetery, stood in line for theirs. It was money spent on the shuffling of paper.”

“The junk-mailed, telemarketed, bargain-in-the-briefcase brand of pre-sold funeral service that has turned every sadness into a sales-op and every funeral into a retail event has not been good for the funeral, the funeral consumer or the funeral director. Nor has it been good for their [professional] associations.

“… there ought to be no profit in in pre-need transactions … the buyer, not the seller, should initiate the transaction.”

Finally, Lynch quotes Howard C Raether: “If funeral directors insist on soliciting preneed funerals, they are in fact prearranging the funeral of their profession.”

Do feel free to sound off. Passionately.

The man from the Pru

Guest post by Quokkagirl

When I was no’but a girl, I used to like Friday evenings…..because the man from the Pru used to call. I say the Pru but it could have been any insurance company. I don’t recall the specifics, but it was an insurance man. This was an exciting event because in his previous life he had been a member of a briefly famous Solihull band called the Honeycombs. That was about as exciting as life got…..that and knowing that my cousin’s friend once went out with Helen Shapiro.

This was an entirely normal weekly happening in the 1960s (and earlier) for almost every working class family up and down the country. The man from the Pru would call, mum or dad would give him a shilling or whatever a small sum was in those days (I don’t go back as far as the penny policies). This was a basic life insurance policy in the days when it was important to poorer families to know that they had at least provided enough money for their funeral. It wasn’t yet a working class aspiration to leave property and capital to their children.

Somewhere in the ‘you can have it all’ 70’s, 80’s and 90’s things changed. Insurance policies became more complex, working classes got mortgages with endowment policies attached which would not only pay off the mortgage if you popped your clogs but also leave a bit left over for your funeral expenses with luck.

Then in the noughties it all changed again – endowment policies failed to make their predicted growth and properties began to fail in their growth value. But somewhere along the line, my generation seems to have missed out on the thought processes that our parents had about who is going to pay for the funeral when you peg it. I include myself in this. When I was a young adult I had a small life policy but when mortgages and endowment policies became de rigeur, I found myself swallowed up in the hype and cancelled the old fashioned life policy.

Now we have people all over the country being plunged into funeral debt and many calls on the state to provide funding for funerals, the grants being totally inadequate for the average needs.

Now, clearly I have left it too late to start an old fashioned life policy for myself. I am staring at a life policy plan for the over 50s……or a funeral plan policy – both of which seem to have been designed by, and are the workings of, the anti-Christ. Yes, I have a smidgeon of property value and yes, I have a couple of reasonable pensions all of which will surely cover those expenses in death benefits but finding £3,500 (or even a half deposit as required by many funeral directors) overnight should I or one of mine suddenly peg it, would currently be a lump sum too far.

The alternative is to save of course. Did I hear someone say saving? And snorting with derision? Oh, that must be me then.

It’s almost too late for me. Luckily I wouldn’t want the whole £3500 shebang — a simpler and cheaper affair would suit me and my personality far better — but those of you who are younger should take note of this life-weathered old woman. The truth is, despite corporate hype or whatever the adverts tell you, nothing changes really. The basic rules of life still apply and will never change. You will die one day and someone will have to pay for it….even the basics. So get yourself the simplest and most reasonable little life insurance policy – just to pay for your send off. If anyone can recommend a simple, SIMPLE, honourable and doeswhat-it-says-on-the-tin-policy, I would be interested to hear about it. As I’m sure would the rest of you.

Find the SunLife Cost of Dying report 2014 here

What do you want at your funeral?

Guest blogger RR writes today for ‘the silent majority of consumers’.

With the plethora of funeral options, some people choose to give their own send-off advance thought and leave instructions to their next of kin. This brief survey aims to focus the mind on some of the boxes that might need to be ticked. If answering this questionnaire, feel free to give additional comments. For example, if you want music at your funeral, and already have specific favourites, do share…

1 Have you been involved in planning a funeral before?

2 Did the dead person leave instructions for the funeral?


3 Do you intend to leave instructions for your own funeral?


4 What are your preferences for the ‘disposal’ of the body?
Donated to medical science

5 Where do you want your funeral to take place?
Church and crematorium
Woodland burial ground
Alternative venue
At home
Direct cremation with no funeral service

6 Who do you want to officiate at your funeral?
Religious celebrant
Humanist celebrant
Civil/secular celebrant
Family member

7 Which of the following do you want included in the funeral service?
Full religious liturgy
Exclusively secular format
Mix of religious and secular
Bible readings
Secular readings
Classical music
Contemporary music
Moment of silence
Collective call-out of memories

8 How do you want funeral guests to dress?
Specific theme
Anything goes

9 What are your coffin or urn design preferences?
Other (eg cloth shroud)

10 What transport do you want to your funeral?
Traditional hearse
Horse-drawn carriage
Alternative hearse (eg motorbike and sidecar)
Own transport

11 Who do you want to carry the coffin at the service?
Undertakers’ pallbearers
Family and friends

12 Do you plan a committal ceremony after the funeral?
Graveside (burial of coffin or urn)
Scattering of ashes
No committal

13 Do you plan a memorial service or gathering some time after the death/funeral/committal?

14 If your body/ashes are to be buried, how do you want the resting place commemorated?
Planted tree

No marker of the spot
Not applicable

15 Do you plan to budget in advance for your funeral?
Specific funeral plan financial product
Regular financial product (eg ISA)
Instructions in a will for the next of kin
Agreement with next of kin to cover costs
No plan

16 How much do you envisage spending on your funeral?
Up to £1,000
Over £10,000

17 Which of the following do you want at your funeral?
Big turnout of family, friends and aquaintances
An intimate gathering
Funeral venue hire
Social venue hire
Service sheet
Burial site
Memorial stone or plaque
Musicians and choir/singers
Food and drink
Catering staff and waiters
Memorial slide/video screen

18 Before the funeral, where do you want your body to rest?
Cold storage in hospital/undertaker’s morgue
At home
No preference

19 What are your preferences for viewings of the body at a vigil or wake?

Closed coffin
Open coffin

20 If viewings are welcomed, which options do you prefer?

Visit to undertakers’ chapel of rest
Viewable any time at home
Embalmed body
Temperature-controlled, un-embalmed body

21 Do you believe in some form of life of the soul after death?


Funeral wishes are no more than wishful thinking

 ‘You can decide everything in advance if you wish, down to the kind of music you’d like – and there’s no charge for changing or updating your wishes at a later stage.’ Golden Charter

‘…pre-planning your funeral is actually a thoughtful and responsible way to show that you care your family … your family are spared the emotional and financial burden of organising your funeral, with all the decisions and problems this can entail, at a time when they least cope.’ Golden Leaves

‘With a Liberty funeral plan you can … choose your own funeral arrangements for your own peace of mind.’ FPS

‘Where do you want your funeral to be held? Do you want readings and, if so, which ones and read by whom? Perhaps there’s even a particular route you would like your hearse to take. By taking the initiative and setting out what you want now, you can get on with living your life, knowing that when the time comes your loved ones will know what you wanted and be spared from having to make difficult decisions.’ ‘…by capturing your funeral wishes in writing you’ll know that your requests will be honoured.’ Dying Matters in association with the National Association of Funeral Directors

‘Nottinghamshire residents could soon be able to design and record their own funeral ceremony with the help of the County Council. The proposed service will allow individuals to work with registrars to make their own choices about their funeral ceremony and take away difficult decisions family members would otherwise have to make at a time when they are coping with a bereavement. The ceremony plan will be stored at the County Archive and accessible to the next of kin or the person arranging the funeral after their death. Mansfield and Ashfield Chad

What they don’t tell you, even in the small print (we’ve checked) is this: you can design your funeral, record your wishes, choose your music and your readings, select a route for the hearse and issue myriad such instructions to be acted on post mortem, but nothing you say or write or sign, however insistently, changes this one overriding fact: none of it is legally binding on the person with the responsibility to dispose of your body – or as all manner of information sources euphemistically and wholly inaccurately express it, “arrange your funeral”, an entirely separate and optional event).

You have no legal right to prescribe the manner of disposal of your dead body, nor can you prescribe the palaver that is to accompany that disposal (the funeral in other words).

You can issue legally binding instructions regarding the disposal of your property – this is the purpose of a will. But you cannot issue instructions regarding the disposal of your corpse because in law there is no property in a dead body, end of.

Sure, most ‘families’ will be grateful to learn that Mum wanted to be cremated and asked for the hearse to pause outside the village hall on the way to the crem. Most will want to do what the dead person wanted. But not all will want to.

Memo to anyone out there who sells funeral plans or encourages people to record their funeral wishes: tell them all the facts. They need to know. 

Big is beautiful

Golden Charter just got bigger. It’s now going to be the conduit through which Sun Life will sell its over-50s life assurance plans to those who ask for a funeral benefit option. 

As Golden Charter say, this “significantly boosts Golden Charter’s market share and choice for consumers”.

The reckoning is that Sun Life Direct customers will now have access to a network of nearly 3000 independent funeral directors across the UK, which Golden Charter says will support job creation in the profession. The deal will also take its own share of the UK pre-arranged funeral market, which is growing rapidly, above 50%.

Funeral Planning Authority figures show 67,484 pre-paid funeral plans were sold in the UK in the first half of 2013, putting the market on course for growth of 12% this year on the total sales of 120,731 in 2012. The average price of Golden Charter’s pre-paid funeral is £3,100.

Ronnie Wayte, managing director of Golden Charter, said Golden Charter sales were up by two thirds in the current financial year.

All of Golden Charter’s surpluses are used to support its independent funeral director members.

ED’S NOTE: That 3000 figure looks a touch optimistic. Using surpluses to support, ie reward, undertakers doesn’t look, on the face of it, customer-facing. 

Your kids, your legacy

From today’s Times Diary:

Given a reminder of mortality by Michael Schumacher’s recent accident, Sir Matthew Pinsent, who is a year younger than the German racing driver, decided to have a serious talk with his three children about his plans in the event of anything happening to him and his wife. The oarsman-turned-presenter discussed wills, guardians, inheritance, etc, only for one of his sons to pipe up: “Who gets your torch?”

Well, you can’t blame the child for wanting a piece of memorabilia, especially when his dad is one of our greatest Olympians, but it turns out he wasn’t referring to the gold torch that Pinsent carried in the London 2012 relay. “No, it was just a standard, battery-driven number powered by three AAAs,” Pinsent says. “And none of them had any concern for my medals.”

Apocalypse? What apocalypse?

There’s a wide and growing measure of agreement that the next big scandal to hit the funeral industry is going to centre on pre-need funeral plans.

On the one hand, there is intensifying anxiety concerning the robustness of trust funds. There are dark and disturbing rumours flying around about plans coming in underfunded.

On the other hand, there are rising fears of greedy or desperate small funeral directors pocketing money paid to them by clients for funeral plans. In America, scarcely a week goes by without some wretched undertaker or other being dragged off to court to answer a charge of embezzlement. 

With the Ponzi word being murmured ever more loudly, it’s no surprise to see one funeral plan provider seeking to gain a competitive advantage among undertakers by playing on fear: 

With increasing focus on the financial security of pre-payment funds, you may feel that now is the time to find out more about how your current provider operates. For example, do you know what guarantees are in place … you may be aware that the Actuarial Profession has set up a Working Party to review the prudential regulation of funeral trusts…

For consumers, a funeral plan’s attractions obscure its inadequacies. It gift-wraps money in a way no other financial product can. It’s an easy sell — which is why Age UK can get away with flogging pricey Dignity plans to its less well-off clients. 

It’d be interesting to know how many financial advisers have bought a funeral plan. And yes, how many of you undertakers and celebrants out there have bought one, eh? Come on, hands up. 

In the present climate Golden Charter has been dissed more than most. The perception is that it has grown increasingly aggressive in its selling methods to both undertakers and the public; that it is overheating and riding for a fall. There are some who mutter that Golden Charter is a hubristic bubble business. 

Unverifiable smears and rumours, exacerbated by industry factionalism, muddy the waters. They create fear and despondency; they are unfair. But they also serve their purpose. They intensify scrutiny; they compel plan providers to exert themselves to demonstrate their viability. They stimulate openness. 

So it is valuable to be able to publish the following communiqué from Golden Charter to its member funeral directors: 

As we are all aware, the funeral planning industry is founded on trust and confidence. We need the public to have total faith in the certainty that the money which they have laid down is secure and will provide the benefits that they have been promised when the time comes. 

Equally important in this equation is for the funeral director to know that the money secured in an insurance policy or Trust will be there when required and will produce a meaningfully relevant sum which will enable their services to be carried out profitably and in full. 

In recent years, inflationary growth has been low and has been considerably outstripped by funeral cost inflation. The wider economic picture is no different where wage growth has struggled to match inflation. This issue is one of the reasons why Golden Charter has grown a legal services business, providing a way of generating profits which can be added to the maturity values of our contributing funeral director’s plans. We will be making a further annual distribution of this surplus very shortly and, while this helps to address potential shortfalls, it is only useful if the underlying funding arrangements remain completely secure.

The ramifications of the banking crisis continue to rumble on and the financial regulators remain the recipients of much criticism, currently over the appointment of the former Chairman of Co-operative Bank. As a result, public confidence in finance companies remains fragile. With the media screaming about a multi-billion pound black hole in the Co-op Group’s balance sheet, it would be surprising if some plan holders weren’t concerned and that anxiety may also spread to holders of other plans. 

To avoid any possible doubts arising in the minds of our plan holders and your customers, Golden Charter will make a series of announcements about the strength of the Golden Charter Trust. The details will emerge following next week’s SAIFCharter EGM as it is only proper that we inform our owners first. We can, however, announce today that the Trust currently holds more assets than it requires to fully meet all of its forecast liabilities and, furthermore, it is in its strongest position ever. That calm progress through the financial storm has been achieved by following a cautious investment policy and adding prudent levels of growth on plans. Reassuringly, the Trust remains a firm foundation for all of your plan holders. 

More detailed figures will be released around the end of this month and any plan holders seeking more information about the Golden Charter Trust can be guided to the Trust’s website at

Location, location, location

Guest post by author and journalist Ann Treneman

Over the past four years, I have spent almost all my spare time in cemeteries for my new book ‘Finding the Plot: 100 Graves to Visit Before You Die‘. One of the key things that I have discovered is that having the right funeral is all about planning. There’s no point in dying and just hoping for the best. You’ve got to treat your funeral as if it were a major event in your life (which, of course, it is, except for the tiny detail that you are dead).

So, here, then, are three cautionary tales: three brilliant men who got their deaths quite wrong.

The first is Charles John Huffam Dickens, as his full name was. The man who wrote so much about cemeteries (not to mention grave-robbing) and funerals did his best to micromanage his own: “I emphatically direct that I be buried in an inexpensive, unostentatious and strictly private manner; that no public announcement be made of the time or place of my burial; that at the utmost not more than three plain mourning coaches be employed; and that those who attend my funeral wear no scarf, cloak, black bow, long hat-band or other such revolting absurdity.” So what was the only thing he forgot to stipulate? Yes, that’s right: location.

Dickens died in 1870 at his home Gad’s Hill, near Rochester, Kent. Apparently that is where he wanted to buried but The Times newspaper had other ideas (just a tiny unostentatious plot in Westminster Abbey) and as this was the one detail that the hyperactive novelist had failed to mention, The Times prevailed. Thus, in the middle of the night, a grave in Poet’s Corner was dug. The body arrived at 9.30am by anonymous hearse. Only 12 people attended although history does not record if any dared to wear an “absurd” hat-band. But, even as the quiet event finished, journalists were banging at the abbey doors. In the end, the grave was left open for two days as thousands came to pay their respects, throwing in flowers. So not quite the strictly private event that Dickens decreed. In fact, not at all.

If only Thomas Hardy had studied his Dickens a bit better he might have been more explicit about what was to become of him. The great novelist had told his literary executor that he would like to be buried at St Michael’s Church in Stinsford in Dorset (the mythical Mellstock of his writings). “I do not, in truth, feel much interest in popular opinion of me,” he said, “and shall sleep quite calmly in Stinsford, whatever happens.”

But when Hardy died in 1928, at the age of 87, he was overruled and he was no longer there to argue otherwise. His executor Sydney Cockerell and J.M. Barrie of Peter Pan fame decided that he must, instead, be buried in Westminster Abbey, as close to Dickens as possible. (How ironic is that?) His family were outraged. Finally, the vicar at Stinsford came up with a classic English fudge: his heart would be buried in Stinsford, the rest of him, after cremation, would go to the Abbey.

Thus, on 16 January 1928, there were two funerals. The great and the good gathered in the Abbey while, at Stinsford, there was a much simpler service, after which the small heart-sized box was buried in his first wife’s grave (left). Of course, in the pubs, this was the spark for many a joke, including those about resurrection (where was the rest of him?) and speculation that, actually, a cat had eaten his heart while on the slab. But, I have to say, having visited both the Abbey and Stinsford, that I have no doubt where he belongs – and it’s not London.

Finally, then, we come to Byron whose will had stipulated that he was to be buried with his beloved Newfoundland dog Boatswain in his glorious plot that still lies in the ruins of Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire. But Boatswain died in 1808 and his master lasted (just) until 1824. Byron, of course, was the king of scandal, with rumours and accusations of infidelity, sodomy, violence and incest all playing a part.

No one was surprised when he fled to Greece, where he died while fighting for independence. His body lay in state in Athens for three days before returning to England by boat. But back home, it turned out Westminster Abbey did not want him. And the new owners of Newstead Abbey (he had sold it to pay some debts) weren’t going to have him interred with Boatswain either. So it was nearby Hucknall for him. 

The funeral cortege that left London was really most peculiar. The first hearse contained a coffin, the next vases with his internal organs. Many of the other coaches were empty, their owners having hit on the marvellous wheeze of “ghost” appearances as a way of paying tribute to the poet without, actually, being seen to condone his behaviour. In Hucknall, though, people queued for four days to see the coffin. Creepily, in 1938, the coffin was re-opened with the vicar reporting that Byron was, indeed, there, including descriptions of his deformed foot and his genitals. Truly, for Byron, there was no peace in death, though we should not be surprised.  

Ann Treneman’s book, Finding the Plot: 100 Graves to Visit Before You Die, is published by the Robson Press at £12.99. You can purchase it online through Amazon or the publisher ( or in all good bookshops. It is also available on Kindle.

ED’S NOTE: We read a review of Ann’s book and asked her to write for us. We are very grateful to her for agreeing to do so. 

What the…

An undertaker passed on to us the email below. Anybody know anything about Liviana? It’s difficult to believe that any outfit marketing itself in such sub-literate terms could achieve any sort of credibility. The netherworld of pre-pay funeral plans just got murkier.  

Dear Sirs , Just a quick introduction email from me today. Allow me to introduce Liviana an our Pre-paid funeral plans! If you are already acting as an agent or have not yet been approached by other providers, please let me explain why you are better off recommending Liviana.

Firstly, we offer a commission of 40% of the profit and operation fund which is equivalent to approx 16% of the total sale value of the plan! Our trust fund is the strongest and most secure in the industry and is managed by Morgan Stanley and right now we can provide the most affordable plan available in the UK which is offset against the most expensive! This pricing structure is unique within the industry, with a large variant between our basic and our most inclusive plans! Will writing companies and funeral directors have the greatest success rate when it comes to selling pre-paid plans and many companies actually consider the plans as the most valuable part of their business! We see ourselves as THE market leader within 3 years. Along with the co-op we are the only company that operates with a 3 tier security net for its clients which we believe is necessary for any self regulating industry. With public interest in mind we urge our competitors to do the same! Our website is still under construction and our launch date is October 30th this year. We also have over 50 plans underwritten by Axa and Sunlife, which offer high commissions. For more information, a copy of our brochure or to arrange an informal meeting please reply to this email or contact us on the number below.


William Anderson

Liviana UK
19 Heddon Street
London , W1B
Contact Us: 0207 1833193

Death Over Dinner

It seems that Death Cafe has spawned a little brother, birthplace Portland Oregon, dob sometime earlier this summer. It’s name is Death Over Dinner. 

The aims of Death Over Dinner are pretty much the same as those of Death Cafe, namely, to get folk together to talk about you-know-what. It’s the initiative of Michael Hebb, who works at the University of Washington. The rationale for dinnertime deathchat? In Hebb’s words: “The dinner table is the most forgiving place for difficult conversation. The ritual of breaking bread creates warmth and connection, and puts us in touch with our humanity. It offers an environment that is more suitable than the usual places we discuss end of life.”

It’s a good formula. Death Cafe has already taught us that the model works. I must own up here to my own blindness to Death Cafe — I didn’t think it would. How wrong, sometimes, can we be.

The Death Over Dinner website is excellent. It is simple, instantly understandable and, above all, empowering. You can rapidly plan your own dinner party online. It is suggested that you give your guests, and yourself, a bit of homework in advance. You choose that from a bunch of truly excellent resources. The system generates an invitation to your guests together with tips about how you might facilitate the discussion. When it’s over, you can share your experience with the website which, usefully, pools them with others. 

The website is highly functional. It’s a lovely piece of work. Top marks go to the collection of resources, written, audio and visual. 

There are downsides. It is very US-centric. I very much didn’t like: “We have gathered dozens of esteemed medical and wellness leaders to create an uplifting interactive adventure” because like most Brits I don’t like being told what’s good for me by leaders of any sort. These initiatives work best if they’re bottom- up — like Death Cafe.  

Given Death Cafe’s viral spread around the world, there’s probably a lot to be said for the two initiatives working together. 

You can have a dummy run on the website — fill out the form and see what you think of the contents of the email you get back moments later. 

There is much to commend this enterprise. Find the website here