Due to unforeseen circumstances the site is not able to be updated at the moment. Please make contact if assistance is needed. Please check back periodically for updates to our site!

6 Amazing TED Talks on Death and Dying

By on October 31, 2014

Joe Joachim of funeralOne has created a brilliant collection of TED talks on Death and Dying

I have seen a number of them before and I use Dr Peter Saul’s talk in my classes at Nature Care College because I believe it is brilliant and everyone would benefit from watching what he has to say. You can see him in one of my earlier posts. He is quite correct when he says, quoting Gloria Steinham: “The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off”Dr Peter Saul TED

Joe of FuneralOne has done you a great favour collecting these together for you in one place. There is one more video I would add to his collection and you can see that here on The End Of Life Matters    It is Matthew O’Reilley’s video “Am I dying – The Honest Answer”

You can see Joe’s collection at the link below

6 Amazing TED Talks On Death & Dying

Joe explains: Isn’t it strange that death is one of the least talked about topics in today’s society, yet it’s one of the most important events of our lives? Starting my business in the funeral profession over a decade ago has helped me look at this in a new way. Not only do I think understanding and being comfortable with the reality of death is important, I think it’s vital for us to live healthy, fulfilled lives. I’m hoping that this collection of TED Talks on death and dying help your families and community better understand death and inspire them to start having conversations about it:

#1 “My mushroom burial suit” – Jae Rhim Lee  

I hadn’t seen this video before and as an avid environmentalist myself I think her Decompiculture is totally brilliant

Join artist Jae Rhim Lee as she introduces a new way to accept and embrace our mortality and minimize the environmental harm we leave behind when we die. Her invention, the Mushroom Burial Suit  is not only a new alternative for a green burial, but also a symbol of a new way of thinking about death and the relationship between your body and the environment.

#2 “Prepare for a good end of life” – Judy MacDonald Johnston

Having seen Judy’s story before I think you will find her story inspiring as an advocate for end of life planning.

In this emotional take on end-of-life planning, Judy MacDonald Johnston shares a touching story about her experience helping two people prepare for their end-of-life. Judy shares insights she learned as an end-of-life advocate for an older couple who owned a ranch and wanted to make sure all of their loose ends were tied before they said their goodbyes. Although you might shed a few tears, Judy’s story certainly teaches us the importance of creating a detailed plan so that everything runs smoothly when it’s your time.

#3  “Life that doesn’t end with death” – Kelli Swazey

I hadn’t seen this video before but am very grateful to Joe for sharing the link. “All humans will be intimate with death in a personal way at least once in their life”

What if funerals weren’t a one-time, private, somber event? What if they, like weddings and births, and were the glue to your community’s interactions? Anthropologist Kelli Swazey talks to us about the cultural importance of death and funerals in the Tana Toraja Regency, Indonesia and what the Western world can learn from them. In her TED Talk, she challenges us to ask ourselves what would happen if life didn’t stop at death.

#4 “Let’s talk about dying” – Peter Saul 

As I explain above I think this is a video everyone would benefit from watching

Dr Peter Saul

Dr Peter Saul

Peter Saul’s TED Talk can be summed up in his first line: “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off”. Peter’s talk about end-of-life planning starts with a study he did that found only 1 in 100 people had a plan for what would happen when they died, and a mere 1 in 500 had a plan in case they became seriously ill. During his talk, Peter uses this study to try to understand why people don’t plan for their death, the most inevitable thing about life. His dry and at times morbid sense of humor is almost impossible not to appreciate as someone who works in the funeral profession.

#5 “Changing the way we mourn” – Laura Prince

I haven’t seen this video before but am very grateful to Joe for sharing the link. It is a very powerful call for you to learn about death and dying and to be able to plan ahead of time. “heal yourself and your relationships”

After facing the suicide of her best friend at the age of 15, Laura Prince always had a hard relationship with death… until one day it was called upon her to plan a memorial for a family friend. Laura found that not only did she no longer feel negativity towards death, but she also felt the passion she experienced when planning the memorial exceeded every other passion in her life. And that’s when she decided to become a funeral planner. Join Laura as she takes you on her touching journey into the funeral profession, and why she thinks it’s time to change the way we plan funerals for the families of today.

#6  “Before I die I want to” … – Candy Chang

Abandoned House NOLA - Before I Die

Abandoned House NOLA – Before I Die

As an artist I really love what Candy is doing in her community

Candy Chang is an artist who has spent the last few years connecting people in her community through art in public spaces. And when she suddenly and unexpectedly lost someone she was very close to, she was prompted to think about death and realized how much clarity death brought to the things that are meaningful now. That’s when she created the now famous chalkboard wall called “Before I die”. It’s a chalkboard wall she created one evening asking people to share one thing they want to do before it’s their time. The response has been amazing – now countries all over the world are celebrating her idea with their own wall, and she even recently published a book with the answers to that infamous question. If there’s one thing you can walk away from during this talk, it’s that time and relationships are the most valuable things in our lives.


Do tell us which is your favourite video?


About Trypheyna McShane

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply