You know what they say: You only die once (YODO) — so you might as well do it right. Or so the thinking goes in the “death wellness movement.”
A growing number of services in the dollars-for-death business are shifting the focus from funerals and services to designer death experiences.
It sounds creepy, but there’s a thriving cottage industry around dying. Death doulas — who, like birth doulas, support patients — operate in at least 6 states.
Death Cafes across the country let people gather over tea and cake to talk candidly about dying. A number of companies help elderly people produce “legacy videos” before they pass.
There’s even a death festival of sorts in San Francisco, Reimagine End of Life, that offers spiritual and scientific programming to end taboos related to death.
Dying isn’t always cheap. The average American funeral costs about $9k, and although death doulas’ fees vary, some packages could set families back a few thousand dollars a week.
Other death services like legacy videos can cost as much as $7k, pushing premium postmortems out of reach for many.
But even if not everyone can afford the white-glove dying experience, the death wellness movement wants to shift culture to provide support and positivity to all people in their final days.