I'm getting that your ideal is for people in each of the segments to identify as human beings who face a universal ending, and I'm with that. There's totally merit in a movement to make death universal in nature. I wasn't attached to that particular outcome, was thinking of it in terms of story rather than theory. If you're on the bus wearing a universal symbol, will a stranger on the bus have enough curiosity about you to strike a conversation? That's the story I'd like to see play out, and think that some more specificity would break the ice enough to make that more likely. I'm most interested in how humans in society relate with each other in the context of EOL. A facet of this design is the connection of brand/icon and identity: as it stands today, an individual nearing end-of-life does not identify the same as someone who is grieving.
Lots of good stuff to learn from field testing a universal symbol. I agree, it's great to have a symbol that acts as the universal anchor, despite its ambiguity. Variations on the symbol begets fragmentation and potential confusion - "life/death as concept" vs "life/death in context" will have their pros/cons. A little less fragmenting might be if it's the same symbol, and different colors express those different segments (e.g. awareness ribbons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awareness_ribbons).
I would like to see this iconic idea explore more specificity around icons. I imagine there could be versions of a base icon to communicate 1a) an individual nearing end of life vs 1b) the loved ones, and 2a) the deceased vs 2b) the bereaved and 3a) place containing an individual nearing end of life and 3b) place containing caregivers/bereaved.
For the bereaved in society, the Jewish tradition of Shiva includes a Keriah which is "The torn garment, usually a shirt, jacket or vest that "covers the heart," is worn throughout the shiva period (a practice known as "keriah"; alternative spellings "keriyah", "kria"), except on Shabbat. Conservative and Reform Jews will usually wear a torn piece of black ribbon instead of a torn garment. The torn garment symbolizes and expresses the grief of the mourner"