Announcing Our LGBTQ End-Of-Life Guide Project Learn More!

Let’s be clear—getting involved in death positivity doesn’t require signing up for mortuary school or drafting a bill to legalize open air funeral pyres in your state. The work you do to face your own mortality and help your family and community can be just as transformative as dedicating your life to the cause.

Learning your rights, having conversations about death, and creating your own death plan are all massive steps that are necessary and vital to the movement. Participate in the ways that serve you, your passions, your abilities, and your wellbeing.

Illustration of a red hand holding a black skull.

Step 1: My Corpse, Myself

Facing your own mortality should be step one for everyone interested in a more grounded, self-aware life. However, that doesn’t mean it’s something you can work on once and be over with. Building and understanding your relationship with mortality is an ongoing, lifelong process.


Since “go hang out with some corpses in a safe, rational environment” is not a viable option for most people, starting with books, films, articles, and podcasts are the next best thing. Do not be ashamed to be fascinated by death, its history, and its cross cultural impact.

Self Work

Now it may be time to go deeper into self work, including interrogating where your fears around death come from and how to transform them into something more workable for your life. Keep in mind, the “positive” in death positive doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any fears or anxieties when it comes to death. The journey is about your willingness to face those fears and try to understand them.

Step 2: Action Time

So you’ve been reading or watching content about death positivity and are ready to take some stone cold action, baby. Good for you! It’s going to involve a little paperwork & bureaucracy (don’t click away, you can do it, we promise) and a whole lot of open conversations with those you care about.

Creating Your Death Plan

Getting your end-of-life documents and death plan together can be a little overwhelming. But we promise you are going to feel so good when it’s complete. We have all the resources and information you’ll need in our Planning Your Funeral resource section.

Find a Death Buddy

The importance of death positive friendships cannot be overstated.  If you’re able, find someone with whom you can share your curiosity and fears surrounding death, ideally in a safe and relatively matter-of-fact manner.

Hard Conversation Time

Talking about death with the people closest to you can be challenging. The first time (heck, the first few times!) you approach them, their response may be brittle and closed off. But don’t give up. These conversations can be life (and death!) changing for the better. This is an important step toward also being able to address the larger issues that prevent people from accessing a good death.

Step 3: Become the Resource

You’re here to learn more and dive into some resources, but are you ready to become the resource? After spending time in the Movement, or perhaps being inspired by a death of someone close, some of you may feel confident taking on the role of trusted point person in your circle.

You’re the Person Your Community Trusts

One of the best ways you can help the people you care about, and your wider community, is by being a resource—that go-to person who is familiar with the laws, choices that aren’t quite “mainstream” yet (though we’re working on it)  like home funerals or green burial, or even assisting a family with the process of repatriating a body. This means you’re able to answer questions about funeral homes, suggest alternative options, track down further resources, make necessary calls, and help advocate on someone’s behalf—all things that have the potential to provide someone with a better death experience.

Sharing and Advocating Online

Let the people know! One of the tenets of the Death Positive Movement is the belief that talking openly about death is not morbid, but displays a natural curiosity about the human condition. You’ll find lots of people who are grateful that you’re willing to be so honest with these discussions and ideas. Using your platforms to share death information to spread awareness to your family, friends, and followers can be a useful tool. However, don’t be surprised if you receive some blowback; not everyone is ready to hear about the stages of decomposition or corpse wax or even the decision between cremation or burial. Be firm and unashamed of your beliefs, but maintain a deep kindness and respect for those who have death beliefs, practices, and wishes that are different from yours.

Attending Death Positive Events

Time to find your people. Events and gatherings, whether in person or online, are an excellent way to start branching out and finding others interested in death positive work. Connect with others you can learn from, provide mutual support, and check in with. Here is our (frequently updated) death positive events page.

Illustration of skeletons and humans holding hands in a circle

Step 4: Step Up For Your Wider Community

More traditional suggestions for doing death positive work in your community include volunteering at a hospice or cemetery. If you’re not an “on the ground” kind of volunteer (100% fine, not everyone is or can be) there are other options like actively supporting and lobbying for more sustainable death choices, or advocating for laws that positively affect everyone’s ability to obtain a good death.

Death Work

This is also where some may choose to attend mortuary school to continue the reform of the funeral industry or develop a practice as a death doula to help others die. Learn what’s involved and if this is the right fit for you in our Working In Death resources.

Illustration of death with megaphone

Step 5: Break New Ground

This step is for you, a rare death unicorn, galloping through the field of big ideas. You have (ideally) immersed yourself in the examples given in steps 1-4 and feel absolutely certain you have the passion, determination and ability to take on a rewarding, but challenging, leadership role.

You’re Ready to Create Your Own Project

One that helps to make the end of life more equitable, affordable, and human centered. Whatever you choose, we’ll be cheering you on all the way! Here are some examples, though not direct suggestions:

  • Creating a directory of LGBTQ friendly funeral homes and death care resources
  • Establishing community burial associations like this one
  • Opening a green or conservation burial ground
  • Developing a new method of bodily disposition
  • Pursuing higher education with a death & dying focus
  • Pursuing a long term artistic project on the subject
  • Insert your idea here- there are no limits (except death itself)