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"Suitcase for the Final Journey Exhibit"

A groundbreaking art exhibit that asks its participants to reflect on issues of loss, mortality and ultimately death.

Photo of Carlyn Lynch
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In order to “re-imagine” the end-of-life experience for ourselves and for our loved ones, we must first confront what it means to live and what it means to die.

In today’s society, the topic of death is a subject that is largely avoided until we are given more-than-subtle reminders of the tenuous nature of life: a terminal diagnosis, the loss of a loved one or a tragic event. Our death-adverse culture fails to encourage meaningful contemplation and discourse regarding end-of-life issues.

In order to determine our wishes and desires at the end-of-life, we must first embrace our own mortality. An effective, yet subtle catalyst is needed to inspire an honest and open look at death and dying.

To that end, The Hospice Educator’s Affirming Life (HEAL) Project announces the U.S. debut of “The Suitcase for the Final Journey Exhibition: A Trip to the Afterlife and Back". A European-inspired art exhibit, this presentation will launch in San Francisco, CA in April 2017. Under the direction of The HEAL Project, this 30-day Exhibit will travel to major U.S. cities and Canada over the next 5 years.

Based on the Exhibit’s proven track record in Europe, The HEAL Project is confident that this experience will inspire poignant reflection on the preciousness of life and generate dialogue on many end-of-life issues, including conversations on how we want to die.

In unique and innovative ways, this Exhibit utilizes the power of art to create an interactive and inspiring set of experiences that awaken and touch mainstream audiences of all ages. By creating a safe and non-threatening environment, Exhibit participants are invited to reflect upon issues of loss, mortality and ultimately death. In this space, individuals are free to explore what it means to live and to "imagine" how they want to die.

The HEAL Project is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 to develop and implement end-of-life education. The educational initiatives developed by The HEAL Project provide information and training to healthcare institutions, hospices and the general public on topics related to caregiving, grief, loss and death. In keeping with The HEAL Project’s strong commitment to end-of-life education, their will be a comprehensive offering of educational events running concurrently throughout the 30-day Exhibit. Collaborative engagements with health care experts, public policy leaders, universities and aligned community organizations will serve to further the dialogue on end-of-life issues.

For more information on The HEAL Project or how to get involved in the groundbreaking debut of the “The Suitcase for the Final Journey Exhibition: A Trip to the Afterlife and Back”, please contact Carlyn Lynch, Associate Executive Director of The HEAL Project, at


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Hi Carlyn, thanks for the post! It'd be great to add an image with this. Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.