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.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Clodagh Kilcoyne / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: The Sydney Skinny, a Glacial Arch, Pelicans at Play

    Skijoring in Montana, a Russian presidential candidate in Moscow, a walkout against gun violence across the U.S., the stark and lonely route of a German volunteer mailman, and more.

  • Olivier Morin / AFP / Getty

    Photos: Surfing Norway in Sub-Zero Temperatures

    AFP photographer Olivier Morin recently spent time with surfers above the Arctic Circle on the beaches of Norway’s Lofoten Islands.

  • Andrew Kelly / Reuters

    The Student Walkout Against Gun Violence, in Photos

    Across the United States today, students participated in walkouts to protest gun violence one month after the deadly shooting in a Florida high school.

  • Lee Jin-man / AP

    Photos of the 2018 Winter Paralympics

    Athletes have gathered in Pyeongchang, South Korea, one more time for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.