Have you ever encountered the term death positive and wondered, “What does death positive mean?” According to those who are death positive, speaking freely about death is not morbid or taboo. They view open discussions on death and dying as the basis of a stable society. Death positive refers to the idea that those around you should support you during and after a death, including having the freedom to express your sorrow and feelings.
It does not imply that you are happy and “positive” after someone has passed away. It also doesn’t require us to merely “accept” death; instead, it encourages us to fight against the systems and circumstances that result in “unacceptable” deaths from violence, a lack of access to treatment, etc. Let us take a closer look at being death positive and understand Why death is important in life?
What is the "death positive" movement?
Caitlin Doughty popularized the phrase “death positive” as a play on “sex positive.” A social and intellectual movement known as “death-positive” promotes open communication about death, dying, and corpses. Death cafés, end-of-life doulas, death positive libraries, and funeral houses that allow you to prepare your loved one’s body for cremation or attend the cremation are all examples of this rebranding of death.
Apps like WeCroak are supporters of this notion as it sends five statements about death daily to your phone. (Don’t forget—a gentle reminder will appear on the screen—you’re going to die.) If you find yourself wondering why is death positivity important? Despite its name, the death-positive movement isn’t a yellow smiley face alternative for mourning. Instead, it’s a means of moving toward neutral acceptance of death and embracing principles that make us more aware of our day-to-day existence.
The fallout: when we don't talk about death
Discussing death and dying with those we care about is tough for all of us. We tend to avoid it since it evokes uneasy feelings. It frequently seems taboo to discuss death in our culture. But at some time in our life, everyone will suffer the death of a loved one, and being more open about it may feel less frightening. Most individuals are uncomfortable discussing death with family or close friends, and many don’t know their loved one’s final wishes (such as their preferred burial type).
People who have experienced the death of somebody close to them have expressed that they were ill-prepared for what to expect. They regret not being able to have more honest conversations with the dying person, their loved ones, and friends, as well as having a greater understanding of the physical changes that can occur as someone approaches death. People say they were unsure of the appropriate questions to ask medical experts or the person dying on the practical or emotional aspects of their impending death.
Often, we wait until a person is towards the end of their life to start asking questions; we may ignore what is going on until it is imminently fatal. However, initiating early dialogues is crucial to allow everyone to speak candidly and freely. If you wonder, “How do you make a death positive?” Communicating allows us to all express any concerns, apprehensions, or requests we may have. We may discuss death—ours, theirs, being there for someone’s passing, finding out what they’d want, and knowing what to expect and do when the time comes—in a way that we know our loved ones would understand.
Individuals should include children in these discussions as well. The issue of coping with death crosses generations and impacts us all. These discussions provide a chance to begin the preparation of wills, the arrangement of money, and the discussion of other requests, such as life support systems, organ donation, cremation, burial, or the type of send-off we would prefer.
Discussing our concerns, fears, or wishes with our loved ones can help us get the information and skills we need to deal with the care and support of a dying relative or friend if necessary. The order of the good death is a platform that supports the positive death notion, and it seeks to help individuals deal with death and take their minds off of the Negative effects of death.
Talking about death with a loved one
Although we avoid discussing death and dying, most of us secretly hope that we will pass away quietly, dignifiedly, and without suffering. We hope that once we are gone, everything will be well and that our family will be able to carry on without us. We can express this inner wish and contribute to its realization when we make arrangements for death. We can choose the type of arrangements we want for ourselves. We can be confident that our requests will be honored and that our family will get attentive care when we communicate our wishes with our loved ones.
By taking into account the practical aspects of dying, such as our health and psychological care, our Will, our burial, our house, finances, pets, and more, we may relieve a great deal of our burden and reduce the stress that our relatives may have to endure at a difficult time. Furthermore, when we are willing to discuss death and dying with our loved ones, we open up the possibility of having crucial conversations before it’s too late. Saying things like “I love you,” “I’m sorry,” or “I’m proud of you” may feel liberating.
Resources for talking about death & end of life wishes
Discussing healthcare preferences with your family is a blessing, so we must take advantage of the time we have to do so. Important choices regarding your care may need to be made by your loved ones and the medical staff if you become seriously ill and cannot express your preferences. These choices might significantly alter how you experience dying.
Making a plan and knowing how to talk to your loved ones about end-of-life care ensures that your loved ones will respect your choices; this is the essence of death positive meaning. More significantly, it relieves your loved ones of the stress of making educated guesses about your preferences. Please spend some time considering the conversation before you start it.
Using the sample end-of-life conversation starters below, you can start the conversation and choose which information is most crucial.
- What will be most important to you when you pass away?
- Who will represent you in the family?
- Do you have any preferences for specific treatments?
- Do you wish to spend the remainder of your days at home?
- Who would you want around you?
Where can I learn more about death preparedness?
Asking a healthcare professional about families’ challenges when a loved one passes away might teach you a lot. Hospice workers frequently find families in the emergency department or ICU corridor, trying to figure out what the patient would have wanted. People frequently give the end-of-life experience that we will all go through less attention than they do when arranging for the family vacation—the travel, the scheduling, the food.
In terms of the specifics of end-of-life planning, every adult should have two papers, according to the healthcare industry. The first is an advance directive, often known as a living will, which outlines desires for the medical care you do and do not want (for example, “no feeding tubes, please”) and organ donation. With these contracts, your medical providers will fully know your wishes.
Choosing your power of attorney for healthcare, also known as a healthcare proxy or agent, or the person you want to speak on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself, is the second stage in preparing for death. Preplanning and conversations can help us have positive views on death.
What does that look like, exactly?
Young individuals without significant assets might make a simple will with internet services (which could also include your healthcare advance directive and proxy). The creation of trusts, the designation of guardians for young children, and multigenerational planning, which are more complicated aspects of death preparation, must be done with the assistance of an estate planning attorney.
The finest estate preparation and advance care take place long before they are required. It is advisable to reassess your estate plans when significant life events occur, such as marriage or cohabitation, the birth of a child, or divorce. There are several occasions when you should update your estate plan, including when laws change, someone you’ve designated as a beneficiary or executor passes away or becomes ill, or you get an unexpected windfall of funds like an inheritance.
Even the best-laid ideas will only be helpful if you share them with loved ones and medical professionals. Hence, a living will or trust just being stashed up in a safe deposit box is useless. Discuss these plans with close friends, family members, health care providers, a life partner, or anyone else in your network. Additionally, pick a regular event, like a reunion or holiday, to update your family on your intentions in case anything has changed throughout the year.
Death as a positive mindset
Death hasn’t always been such a dull topic, even though our 24-hour news cycle thrives on deaths, making it difficult to imagine that early demise was more typical back in the day. The average American was only predicted to live to turn 39 back in 1880. But, as healthcare has improved, so has death gotten more remote. The New York Open Center, an innovative learning facility that established the Art of Dying Institute, sought to transform how people see death. It encourages people to make plans and make the topic of death more natural.
Many people spend their whole life savings on pointless medical treatments in the final six months. The loss of somebody may frequently split us open and reveal pieces of ourselves that we don’t always want to see, admit, or experience. We overlook death’s reality more often as it is easier to keep those pieces of ourselves neatly hidden away. The positive death movement comes to life when we openly discuss them.
People frequently worry about initiating discussions about death for fear of upsetting or offending others. But if you’re experiencing anything, chances are that others are also. Everyone will have a different method of starting a conversation. Thus there is no right or wrong way to do it. Nevertheless, we hope this post about the death positive movement inspires everyone to start a dialogue about death.
We at Clocr understand that a person’s family suffers the most after their demise, especially if the estate they own is not planned properly. Our wide range of services help you plan your estate by making living will as well as a last will. Our other services like digital estate planning helps you to take care of all your digital assets. Join Clocr today and choose the services that suit you the best.