I have been fortunate that my life has been enhanced by the principles of positive psychology and I would like this to be reflected at my death and beyond. I don’t really believe in the ‘afterlife’ as such but I recognise that we all live on through the genes we pass on and/or through the memories of others and the influences and consequences of the life we lead.

When I die I would like to become a tree.

To me this is a perfect solution to my wishes and fortunately thanks to people like designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel this is entirely possible. Their eco-friendly idea is to create biodegradable burial pods, called Capsula Mundi in which to bury the dead with a tree planted directly above it. The nutrients created through decomposition feed the tree that can continue to grow for hundreds of years.

Perhaps my idea of a beautiful forest that celebrates life and continues to renew the planet may seem idealistic and romantic but I believe it is more appealing than the reality of tombstones and neglected graveyards. In the spirit of positive psychology and the idea of a flourishing life, could we also have a quite literal, flourishing death? I love the idea of a tree that represents a person and continues to grow and mature over the years. Perhaps great, great, great grandchildren would get to enjoy such a tree, to climb it’s branches, to see it change in different seasons, and to recognise its life, strength and vitality instead of a slab of stone or an urn of ashes.

When I die I would like to become a tree.

You can read more about the world of Citelli and Bretzel here.

Do you have any thoughts about positive psychology and death? If so, please make a comment and perhaps this is a subject that can be discussed on one of the Forums? Death is something that effects us all at some time or another and yet in many cultures it is a taboo subject. How do we explain death to our children? How do we recover from bereavement? How can positive psychology prepare us and support us to face, accept and cope with death?


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