Death is a hard problem to solve. But perhaps the hardest challenge is that we find it so difficult to talk openly and directly about what death and dying mean. If we could solve that problem, might death become easier?
Our social interactions provide us an opportunity to confront death and allow others to think, talk and ask about what it means to die.
Start a Conversation
This idea is low-budget: start a social campaign to encourage those dying and those around them to publicly display the death affecting them.
In the past few years, social campaigns like Black Lives Matter, LGBT rights, women's rights and mental health awareness have provided organic, visible, inspiring and effective platforms for change and progress.
This idea imagines a social campaign that provides people with a recognisable way to display their relationship with death, to start a conversation that begins with "I'm dying and..."
The end will never be the same, but maybe a single idea could start an unending conversation.
A visual identity - maybe an icon or image - could go hand-in-hand with the simple statement "I am dying and..."
The icon could be augmentable - to add a religious element or some other important image for those using it. Or it could become a short hand for us to acknowledge, recognise and mourn.
The icon could be re-used on the anniversary of a loved ones' death - to allow us to remember - and for those around us to engage thoughtfully.
Someone who is dying could wear a simple badge, saying "I'm dying and..." to encourage those around them to question, console and connect.
Someone who is close to a dying loved one could display a badge on their social media icon with the text "My mom is dying and..."
Someone who has died could leave behind a letter to their loved ones that starts "I am dying and..."
Social media and social campaigns have become such a powerful way to communicate and share important ideas - let's use them to tackle our relationship with death - one thing we all have in common.