Before I Die, I Want to ___________

When Joan, a close friend to New Orleans designer Candy Chang died, the artist and urban planner was moved to invent and create the “Before I Die” wall on the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood, using chalkboards and chalk.

Passersby were invited to fill in the blank: “Before I die I want to _________.”

And the response was overwhelming. Since then, the project has spread as far as Brazil, Ireland, and Singapore. Track the BEFORE I DIE walls around the world here.

Having navigated her own bouts of depression over the loss of Joan, whom Chang describes as “a mother to me,” Chang says: “Preparing for death is one of the most powerful things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies life.”


The featured image is from the Savannah Before I Die project, photographed by Trevor Coe. For more information on Before I Die see  


The When You Die staff is committed to bringing death back into our everyday conversations as an integral part of our human journey.