All About the Death Positivity Movement and Funeral Homes

By: Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation
Monday, April 18, 2022

Do you want to learn more about the death positivity movement and what it has to do with funeral homes in Fulton, IL? Keep reading to find out.  

The death positive movement, however, seeks to accept death as a natural part of life without treating it as taboo. When you think about funerals or cremations, you most likely picture somber, dark rooms full of grief, formality, macabre moments, and feelings of loss. Like most, you probably associate death with negative feelings and thoughts. But the movement centers around the concept that, as death a natural part of life, we need to be comfortable with talking about, planning for, and generally accepting death. 

Now gaining popularly around the world, the death positive movement is thought to have first been derived from the work of anthropologist Ernest Becker in his 1973 book “The Denial of Death.” The term “death positive” was later created by coined by author and mortician Caitlin Doughty, who was heavily influenced by Becker. The movement’s leaders give examples including having honest discussions with loved ones and family about the process of dying, what happens to bodies after death, death rituals and traditions, options for burial, funerals, body disposition, and ceremonies to honor a person’s legacy.  

The idea that hands-on participation in the service, body preparation, and burial or cremation can be healing is a core death positivity belief. Modern generations are very uncomfortable with death and dead bodies. However, the positive death movement believes that personally taking care of a loved one’s body after death results in open and healthy grief. They also believe green or natural burial options should be available for all. Natural burials are when the body or cremated remains are buried without embalming or a shroud and in a simple pine casket or cremation urn. This does necessitate a quick process after a death, but it is most similar to how our ancestors lost and grieved. 

The movement believes that family-centered funerals should be the norm. Instead of written in a will or discussed after a death with a funeral director, end-of-life wishes should be openly and honestly discussed with the family. This encourages positivity and normalcy around death and also helps ensure the deceased’s final wishes are carried out. The death positivity movement also believes in the incorporation of meaningful rituals and ceremony into the activities surrounding a death. Science has shown rituals such as eulogies, readings, songs or singing, donating a body to science, or even the simple act of burial or cremains scattering offer closure, aid in grief, and lead to healthier mourning.  

No matter how or what you do as part of the death positive movement, its main idea is that if we talk about and approach death from an open and honest place, we won’t be so afraid and anxious about it.  

We are here to help if you want to learn more about the death positivity movement or have questions about Fulton, IL funeral homes. Please call or visit us today for more information on how we can help. 

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