South Koreans Are Faking Funerals for Life Lessons

Death is a touchy subject — for some people its really uncomfortable, for others they have a “bring it on” attitude.

Turns out there is a service in South Korea that is offering free funerals — but you have to be alive.

More than 25,000 people have participated in mass “living funeral” services at Hyowon Healing Center since it opened in 2012, hoping to improve their lives by simulating their deaths.

Reuters reported on some of the experiences one being that of 75-year-old Cho Jae-hee, she said, “Once you become conscious of death, and experience it, you undertake a new approach to life.” The living funeral ordeal is part of a “dying well” program offered by her senior welfare center.

Dozens both young and old took part in the event. No cutting corners here, they do funeral portraits, write out their last testaments and lay in a closed coffin for around 10 minutes.

The head of the healing center, Jeong Yong-mun told Reuters that the Funeral company began offering the living funerals to help people appreciate their lives, and seek forgiveness and reconciliation with family and friends.

Jeong said he is heartened when people reconcile at a relative’s funeral, but is saddened they wait that long. He said, “We don’t have forever. That’s why I think this experience is so important – we can apologize and reconcile sooner and live the rest of our lives happily.”

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