Death Doula Jill Schock on ‘The Perfect Death’

Each body has its own way of shutting down due to illness or injury. In a natural death, your breathing will simply slow until it stops. That is out of our control. Eventually all of our bodies will wear down to nothing more than ashes and dust. But American culture struggles with accepting mortality. We don’t like to age; we don’t like ugly. Unfortunately, neither idealizing nor ignoring death will make it go away.

Living on a Timeline

We all wonder what we’ll do, how we’ll react, if (or when) we receive news of our own or a loved one’s terminal diagnosis—and how we’ll go on living when we have that information.

Plan for Death As Though It’s a Birth

Sheila Kitzinger was a “champion of women’s rights in childbirth.” She spent her career pioneering birth plans that secured choice and autonomous control for women giving birth.

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.

In the Aftermath of Tragedy

Death frequently comes without warning. But when tragedy strikes, there is a certain suddenness and violence that can have overwhelming effects on us, our families, and our society.

A Matter of Death and Life

The Harley School in Rochester, N.Y., wanted students to excel in their academics — but also in life. That’s why the private school offered a class called “hospice.”

Inviting Death Back into Polite Society

But in the 21st century, death “is now considered impolite to talk about,” says Megan Rosenbloom, director of Death Salon, self-described “resident death expert” on Vice’s Entitlement podcast, and the associate director for Collection Resources at the Norris Medical Library at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “And people don’t know how to manage that.”

Rosenbloom has given the topic more thought than most of us do. She even talks about how she doesn’t want her own body to be buried after she dies and why.

A Good Death from ChemHeritage on Vimeo.

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

End of Life Doula

“There is nothing on Earth – nothing inevitable, anyway – that we are prepared for less than death, and I just don’t understand why that is. Where is our guidance for this? This thing that every single one us will have to face?”