Health wellness trends have been around for a while, but have you heard of death wellness? As we get our footing on living well, we now are starting to look at the other end of the spectrum – how do you “die well”? At the risk of seeming morbid, this subject is fascinating. A cottage industry is emerging aimed at helping people reimage the death experience, providing additional ways for people to die with dignity, and creating more options for eternal rest. From human composting, forest cemeteries, death doulas, to death cafes for group discussions, our “death” options are multiplying. This type of disruptive thinking grabs our attention and gets our mental wheels turning.
“Death” as an industry is not new. The concept and practice of “life” insurance has been around since the Romans, eventually becoming a trillion-dollar industry. The funeral service industry accounts for billions in profits every year, yet with limited options. With the death positive movement gaining traction, how far away are we from “Death” insurance? Will there come a day when a vendor offers a death policy that allows you to “buy” coverage and select how your remains are disposed? Would employers be interested in offer this type of policy? Would consumers be interested?
As Benjamin Franklin is attributed to saying “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” It will be interesting to see if this trend gains momentum and if the movement makes the subject of death feel less taboo.