Learning Life Lessons by Faking One's Own Funeral

While South Korea’s economy has experienced strong growth in recent decades, another troubling statistic has grown as well. For years now, South Korea has had the second-highest rate of suicide in the world. Public and private programs have been developed to address the problem, and one getting notice lately is called “Happy Dying.” The program, led by Mr. Kim Ki-ho brings participants together to reflect on their lives by experiencing their own fake funeral. They write their own eulogies, make out mock wills, and pen farewell notes. Then, they dress in traditional burial linens, climb into coffins in a darkened room, and meditate on their lives for 30 minutes. Responses vary, but many said that acting out their own deaths made them appreciate their lives more, and consider the consequences of their deaths more seriously.

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