The Wake Up to Dying Project is an awareness and action campaign that encourages people to think and to talk about dying.
We do this by gathering and sharing stories about death, dying, and life. We also do this through art and hands-on opportunities to explore these important subjects.
It is our belief that if we consider this difficult subject more purposefully we will be more prepared, practically and emotionally, to face this shared human experience. We might find ourselves more willing to participate in the dying process of a loved one or a neighbor. We might even be less afraid to think about our own deaths.
The Wake up to Dying Project believes that if we pay just a little more attention to the fact that we die, we will pay more attention to the way we choose to live. And that could be a good thing!
Growing our campaign
Telling stories is a powerful and inviting way to share experiences. The Wake up to Dying Project offers people the chance to listen to personal stories about death and dying. We are invited to learn from each other.
- Tim talks about what it was like to lose his brother
- Claire describes the French Canadian wakes of her childhood
- Ellen describes how life changed after cancer
- Carolyn talks about how working with dying people has helped her see life differently
Our awareness campaign gathers stories just like these and shares them in a variety of creative ways, including our traveling exhibit and through our news and events page, Facebook and Twitter. We’ve produced more than 150 incredible stories based on 25 interviews – and we’re hitting the road to do more.
This campaign will also create podcasts, PSA’s, print campaigns, workshops, and presentations. We will also create new—and promote existing—opportunities to engage, including community art projects, round table discussions, trainings, volunteer opportunities, and the chance to share your own stories.
Joining a movement
There is a movement underway in our culture to promote conversation about death and dying. In the past few years, we followed NPR’s Scott Simon as he chronicled his mother’s death via Twitter, and saw Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg post her grandmother’s obituary on Facebook — and receive thousands of stories and grateful responses. There are a rising number of Death Cafes — gatherings for tea and talk about death. These are just a few examples of emerging interest in ‘death talk,’ and story sharing.
The Wake up to Dying Project is thrilled to be a part of such an important movement. We look forward to showcasing national and local initiatives related to death, dying and life in our traveling exhibit tent. We think the Wake up to Dying Project can help unify these efforts.