Experiencing The Death!
I am preparing a will, wearing a new dress… I am being photographed for the one last time… now, I’m entering into a wooden box… someone drops the lid shut, as it is time for me to lie down! Well, I am not alone… there are quite a few people around me who are doing the same…
Someone would be opening the lid of the coffin after 10 minutes, and we shall return to Life after this close shave with Death! Perhaps, we, then, will be able to realise the importance of Life, after experiencing those moments inside the coffin… we would realise in our guts that Life is not eternal…
This was how more than 1,000 people recently experienced their own death at the Hyowon Healing Centre in the South Korean capital of Seoul. A South Korean service – the organiser of the event that offers free funerals (but only to the living) – said in a statement that nearly 25,000 people have participated in such “living funeral” services en masse at the Centre since 2012. There, they have gone through each and every step: preparing wills, clicking pictures, to lying inside the coffin. Many more people will go through these steps in the coming years in the hope of enjoying their lives…
Jeong Yong-mun, the Head of the Healing Centre and main organiser of the event – titled ‘Dying for a better life’, believes that his initiative helps people tend to love their Life, and also fall in Love! “I’m heartened when people reconcile at a relative’s funeral, but am saddened they wait that long. We don’t have forever. That’s why I think this experience is so important – we can apologise and reconcile sooner and live the rest of our lives happily,” he stressed. Jeong also said: “I picked out those people who have asked themselves whether… they can actually commit suicide, and I reversed their decision.”
Currently, the South Korean youths are facing two major problems: unstable economy and unemployment. University student Choi Jin-kyu was worried about his future and career. However, spending 10 minutes inside the coffin helped him overcome tension. “I used to view others as competitors. When I was lying inside the coffin, I wondered what use that is. Now, I plan to start my own business after graduation rather than attempting to enter a highly-competitive job market,” insisted the 28-year-old. For his part, another participant in the living funeral, 75-year-old Cho Jae-hee, said: “Once you become conscious of Death, and experience it, you undertake a new approach to life.”
The situation in India
As per a report prepared by the World Health Organisation (WHO), South Korea’s suicide rate was 20.2 per 100,000 residents, almost double the global average of 10.53, in 2016. These figures have inspired Jeong to organise the event! “I want to let people know that they matter, and that someone else would be so sad if they were gone. Happiness is in the present,” he said.
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