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5 Stunning Pieces Of Art That Prove Death Doesn't Have To Be Sad

This is not a story about death. It's a story about life. And how to contemplate the end – every breath taken, every day lived – can make the weather longer, healthier and happier. Really, as alive as possible.

What makes life worth living? This question has devoured the minds of philosophers, scholars and writers for centuries. Socrates felt that he was striving to know us and to understand us. Alice Walker said that it was to express our deepest feelings and emotions. Positive psychologists of today believe that it is meaningful work, a game, a love and a service to others. We do not know which of them, if any, is right. But maybe, just maybe, the way to really find out what gives a person time on this meaning of the earth is to reverse the issue. Perhaps we should ask ourselves: What makes life worth living?

It is the position of the growing movement of positivity of death that postulates that accepting the end of life and exploring the feelings caused by this knowledge. here and now. This is a 180 degree change from the way most of us currently think about death – which is not the case. Instead, we change the subject when it comes up, we delay planning for the end of life and escape our words at funerals. But real mortality has merit. Research shows that thinking about death can reduce the urge of a smoker to turn on, boost motivation for training, and even push people to use more sunscreen. It also puts into context the difficulties and troubles (for example, fighting with your spouse), which can reduce anxiety, stress and depression, says Kathy Kortes-Miller, Ph.D., assistant professor. at the Lakehead School of Social Work. University of Thunder Bay, Ontario, studying how to have healthy conversations about death and death.

But what does the thought of death look like? How do you get from death as "terrifying abstract concept" to death as "verification of reality" that adds a purpose to everyday life? A wave of artistic efforts helps to analyze this. Caitlin Doughty, funeral director in Los Angeles who initiated the death-positivity movement in 2011, saw a wave of gatherings where people informally discuss death and death. (Death Cafe, a non-profit group, has hosted more than 5,500 events worldwide to date.) Books on the acceptance of death fill the shelves (and shopping baskets in line). People even download apps like WeCroak. Based on a popular saying of Bhutan that says to be a content person, one should consider death five times a day, the application sends philosophical quotes on death at random intervals. The ironic thing is, these activities do not make people obsessed with death. On the contrary, they lead some to finally do things that they have been afraid to act for years, like pursuing a new career. For others, it's less dramatic; they can call a friend they do not talk enough or finally move to make a will. People can take such steps because, in their hearts, the acceptance of death is simply a reminder to lead. "I do not plan to die tomorrow or in the near future, but I consider what will be important to me at the end of my life," says Kortes-Miller. "Then I ask," Why is not it important today? ""

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This guide is our way of asking ourselves this question and to do the same thing.There is no religion On the other hand, it is packed with ways to deal with the last hurray, starting with the images on these pages, a reimagination of "death art", a historically macabre genre. asked artists to create paintings based on responses to Candy Chang's "Before Dying" public art project, which invites people to share what they would like to accomplish before moving on. "Let's party here and now, together."

Writing on the Wall

In 2011, after struggling with grief over the death of his mother, the artist Candy Chang covered up the side of his life. an abandoned house in New Orleans with the statement, "Before you die, I want ________. "Within 24 hours, passersby had picked up the chalk provided and filled the entire wall. Since then, more than 3,000 "Before I Die" walls (including the one in Atlanta, above) have been created in more than 70 countries. "Many people shared how the wall helped them re-appreciate their current life," says Chang, a graduate in urbanism, graphics and architecture. Most entries, she notes, revolve around a handful of themes: finding inner peace, love, helping others, traveling and connecting with family. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they reflect the deathbed regrets typically heard by hospice workers, who understand not spending more time with loved ones, not staying true to who they felt, and living a contact too sure. The illustrations below capture some of the most poignant responses people have written, seen through the eyes of the women artists we commissioned to bring them to life.

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