Death Education

Joan Halifax Roshi, director of Upaya in Santa Fe in a video I saw not long ago says something to the effect of, "We have sex education in this country but we don't have death education." Amen to that. I have always been struck how babies are welcomed into the world with great anticipation and celebration, but dying people are as though the consummate national embarrassment. Ironically we all belong to the category of dying person the moment we are conceived. What would death education look like? For one, we would be taught from an early age that at some point our life will end. There would be no morbid superstitions about this reality communicated to us, no taboo in talking about death and exploring its implications. Death would be treated the same way we treat any other subject of investigation: with curiosity, respect, and attention. For those who think we'll soon have the technology in place for physical immortality, consider whether it's [...]