Despite its name, the death positive movement isn’t a yellow smiley face–substitute for grief. Instead, it’s a way of moving toward neutral acceptance of death. It’s embracing values that make us more conscious of our day-to-day living.
Having death anxiety can help motivate us to “live life to the fullest”. It can encourage us to make our mark in the world. Focusing on our legacies is another positive impact of a natural fear of dying.
In contrast, death anxiety can lead to erratic or cynical behavior, such as extreme vanity, controlling others, or denial. Proponents of the death positive movement argue there are healthier ways to discuss death and even propose methods of relieving death anxiety in the process.
Having a more positive view of dying allows us to voice concerns, get advice, tell stories, and mingle in a free, open way. In my family, death positivity has allowed us to be free to discuss end-of-life wishes, concerns, and more.
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