Most people are afraid to even talk about death, but New Zealand’s Kiwi Coffin Club is facing it head on. Founded by Katie Williams, a former midwife and hospice nurse, members build and then decorate their own customized coffins as a way of celebrating their lives and highlighting their unique personalities.
“Death’s pretty natural, you know,” says Williams. “It shouldn’t be a frightening sort of situation. It’s part of living.”
Building coffins not only helps break the taboo around dying, it can also break down the feelings of stress and isolation that many people experience in old age. The club has built a strong, supportive community where people can have frank conversations and reflect on their families and their future. Members think this is a healthier approach to death, and it can help people who might otherwise be lonely or afraid at the end of their lives.