The Death-Positive Movement encourages people to talk about death openly and honestly. It encourages accepting death as a natural part of life and finding ways to make the most of the time we have as well as thoughtfully reflecting on life experiences.
The Death-Positive Movement is gaining traction, especially among millennials. A recent survey found that 60% of millennials are open to discussing death, compared with just 30% of older adults.
Several factors explain why the Death-Positive Movement is significant in society. First, talking about death can help us to come to terms with our own mortality and make the most of our lives. Second, this can help us make more informed decisions about our end-of-life care and funeral arrangements. Third, accepting death as a part of life can help us support loved ones who are grieving the death or impending death of someone close to them.
Getting involved in the Death-Positive Movement requires only simple steps:
- Talk about death with your loved ones. Let them know what your wishes are for your end-of-life care and funeral arrangements well before they are needed.
- Attend a Death Cafe (Cafes Mortels). These are informal gatherings where people come together to discuss death over coffee, tea, and cake with people facing death themselves or with a loved one. There is no agenda, no homework, no conclusion you’re necessarily led to accept. It’s simply food and drink with people discussing an aspect of life.
- Read books and articles about death. These could include:
- Many resources exist to help you learn more about death and dying, including planning resources to help family members after you have died. These include:
- Support Death-Positive Movement businesses and organizations, which work to make death more accepted in our society.
For those who work in the estate planning field, like me, the Death-Positive Movement helps when discussing estate planning.
By talking about death openly and honestly, I can help my clients understand the importance of estate planning and encourage them to make informed decisions about their end-of-life care and funeral arrangements. This is helpful for their loved ones left behind because my client’s wishes are in writing and the loved ones, often struggling with their grief, don’t have to guess about what their relative wanted.
The Death-Positive Movement is an important step in making death more visible and accepted in society. By talking about death openly and honestly, we can help people come to terms with their own mortality, make informed decisions, and support loved ones.