What is the Death Positive Movement? | w/ Caitlin Doughty

Death — it happens to everyone, but it’s steeped in misunderstanding and negativity. That's why mortician Caitlin Doughty aka "Ask A Mortician” on YouTube, wants to open up the conversation about death and dying.

Bringing death back into life

A Youtuber, bestselling author and the world's most famous mortician - Caitlin Doughty aka AskAMortician wants to expose our fear of death. While the cultural mindset is that death is something terrible to be avoided — in recent years, a new social and philosophical movement has taken shape. The concept - created in 2004 by Swiss sociologist and anthropologist Bernard Crettaz - has been popularized by Jon Underwood, who held the first one in London in 2011. It’s called the death positive movement, and it all started with a tweet. Tweet: Why are there a zillion websites and references to being sex positive and nothing for being death positive?

“Here's what the death positive movement doesn't mean. It doesn't mean that you're a real positive about death. You're not like “Woo-hoo, my mom died”. Not what it means, death positive is saying it's OK to be interested in death. So being death positive is saying hey we want to improve our culture, we want to have more eco-friendly death practices, we want to have better conversations around death, and nobody has to hide that. the last hundred years or so death has been taken over by men. It's become a consumerist thing, it's become capitalistic, it's become we'll take your body and then we'll charge you for these services. Whereas 100, 150 years ago, women were taking care of the body in the home. And I think that there's so many women in our movement because there's this feeling in women that wait a second, we did this. This was our job and now the body is just picked up in the middle of the night and taken away and somebody else does it. And that doesn't feel right to me”, states Caitlin Doughty.

This mortician who founded Undertaking LA - an alternative funeral home, to help people bury loved ones in a more sustainable way, is on a mission to bring death back into life.