I Died Today: An Intimate Encounter with Mortality
“I Died Today: An Intimate Encounter with Mortality” is an integrative experiential learning encounter that provides participants with the unique opportunity to reflect upon their own mortality and the meaning of life via a series of innovative and immersive activities. Through writing their own eulogies, taking part in their own living funeral, and engaging in an paint-brush autopsy, participants experienced firsthand how it is like to be ‘dead’, helping them to contemplate on the inevitability of death, and in turn bringing greater awareness and connectedness to their sense of spirituality and aliveness.
Participants laid down on symbolic paper “coffins”, covered from head to toe in white sheets. A short meditation on impermanence was carried out to prepare participants for reflective work. Next, accompanied by the live music of a violinist, participants experienced ‘being dead” while facilitators quietly read out their pre-written eulogies beside them. Participants were then “resurrected” and invited to use different art materials to express their cognitive and emotional processes while experiencing “death”. This integrative experiential learning encounter ended with a small group discussion where participants shared their experiences with each other. This event also served as a performance art exhibition that drew crowds of students and public to take interest in and engage in dialogues with the event facilitators about mortality and death awareness.