Not Fair. Not Fair. Not Fair.

Caren Martineau
Jul 8 · 2 min read

How to Transform a Conversation No One Wants to Have

How we die in America was on my mind for a number of years before I decided to dedicate the rest of my life to death literacy. I wanted to know how I could change my end of life experience long before the end…how to prepare and protect my family, long before shit hit the fan.

The deeper I ventured in, the more I realized the commonality of the problem. Given we’re living longer and dying slower, how we die in America is a serious problem because nobody wants to think, talk, or deal with the topic until it’s too late. This reveal led me to launch Bevival and Dying to Know Day (D2KDUSA) — to modernize a taboo topic.

Then a year later, something awful happened. My husband was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer.

Like anyone receiving life-limiting news, we were devastated by the irony. This wasn’t supposed to happen to us, to me! How could life be so cruel? We had so much more living to do. And besides, I was immersed in the day-to-day mission of learning how to transform our relationship with mortality.

Not fair. Not fair. Not fair.

Over the past two years as my husband went in and out of remission, I chipped away at my family’s resistance — their demands to not talk about the inevitable, their white hot denial ever-present as we watched how life starts unwinding.

For me, the act of figuring out how to #dodeathdifferently hasn’t been easy — despite what I expected I could put into action. It’s been challenging. However, time and persistence have transformed our conversations in the most positive of ways.

So this is my personal confession and plea. There is no better time than now to decide how you want your end of life experience to be. Do it for yourself and for your family, *before* you reach a crisis. Have these conversations *while* you’re busy doing life, not when death has sealed your fate. The key to talking about death, differently, is to do it often. Eventually, everyone you love and who loves you will understand what the options are, long before the end.

Which brings me to today, Day 1 of our #dodeathdifferently Selfie Challenge for Dying to Know Day (D2KD) August 8th. What I’m asking is as easy as taking a selfie, tagging @bevival + #dodeathdifferently. All the details are here:

Consider this challenge an introduction to the rest of your life.

Will you join me?

And, really, thanks in advance for supporting death literacy awareness.


Creating end of life narratives, long before the end

Caren Martineau

Written by founder is on a mission to help change our relationship with mortality, long before the end. #DoDeathDifferently #DeathLiteracy #EndOfLife



Creating end of life narratives, long before the end

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