“Fearless & Friendly” Tucson Death Cafe



The Friendly and Fearless Tucson Death Cafes offer relaxed, informal and safe spaces for conversation about dying and death, with intentions for living more fully while we are here.  Death  Cafes are part of a global movement “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of our (finite) lives”.

Coming up on the first Tuesday of every month — so the next one is  on July 1st * (correction: September 2nd),  6 to 8 p.m. at Big Moe’s Coffee Emporium at the Metal Arts Village, 3290 N. Dodge Blvd. (north of NE corner of Ft. Lowell St.)  Moe’s is the only coffee shop in that complex of metal artisans, in  suite #H.

* Call ahead as their FB page is saying that they are on summer hiatus. Just got confirmation that the next Death Cafe is September 2nd.  So save the date.

Big Moe's Coffee Emporium, with loft upstairs in the rear
Big Moe’s Coffee Emporium, with loft upstairs in the rear










More info  at: www.deathcafe.com or specifically Tucson’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/TucsonDeathCafe

Please RSVP to Kristine or Cindy at 520-329-3724.

Carolyn’s note: This concept of death shouldn’t be too foreign to the Southwest/Mexican culture which embraces El Dia de Los Muertos as a time of remembrance and celebration of lives.  But it is a scary idea for those who are in denial that we all will pass away someday.  I still hear people saying “IF I die…”.  That’s not too realistic as all people do die someday, even my oldest, 101 year old aunt back in Hawaii.   And some people die very young, like a friend’s daughter at age 11 in 2003.  I’d like to join in this conversation to discuss why  some people live to their 90’s , and others pass away as much, much earlier.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Attended my first Death Cafe session today at St. Benedictine Monastery (basement) lead by group leaders Kristine and Cindy. About 35 people there for various reasons: recent deaths, curiosity, death w/ dignity, talking with children about death, societal views, religion, just to listen/share/learn. Kristine stated that this Tucson Death Cafe was the #3 to begin in the U.S., has been meeting for 2 years monthly, now quarterly. Brief introductions were given, then about five break out groups discussed various issues such as life is fleeting, talking to children, societal attitudes, the whole experience of death. Stay tuned for next session in a few months via their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TucsonDeathCafe. I recommended a book by Mitch Albom I recently read “Tuesdays with Morrie” about Mitch’s former college prof who is dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease, so Mitch spends many Tuesdays talking with Prof. Morrie Schwartz about life, etc.

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