Matters of Life & Death
There is one thing that we can be absolutely certain of: we will die. What is far less certain is that death is something to be feared.
In this class, we will look at what philosophers and theologians, film-makers and poets have said about death. We will ask whether there is such a thing as a good death and how we might mourn the loss of others well. We will see if we can catch a glimpse of what J.M Barrie called ‘an awfully big adventure.’
On the one hand, it is almost commonplace to say that it is suffering that we fear, not annihilation. But on the other, anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one, or faced death themselves, will know that it is no trivial incident.
If the way that we disguise death and keep it out of sight is anything to go by, we might even be best described as a death-denying culture. So how can we re-evaluate the way we, as individuals and as a collective, think about death – what should we make of it, what resources are there to help us deal with it?
In this class, we will:
- Engage with our mortality in order to motivate us to live a more fulfilling life
- Confront our own limits to prepare us for everyday losses and life transitions
- Explore how to reprioritise sources of deep meaning in our life
- Ask what our life’s legacy might be
- Discover some examples and tools for experiencing grief, loss and mourning
- Discuss the concept of what makes a good death
This class provides us with a set of tools, insights and sources of comfort to assist us with confronting life’s greatest certainty; death.
TIMETABLE - Sun 14 April
12.45pm Drinks & welcome
1.00pm Class begins
2.30pm Break (times vary)
4.00pm Class finishes
'Unbeing dead isn't being alive.'
- E. E. Cummings
Our classes have been designed to give useful insights around the big themes in life. You’ll be challenged to think deeply and have courageous conversations about the issues that matter most, and you’ll be encouraged to step outside your comfort zone in a safe space with other curious, open-minded individuals.
To find out more about what to expect when you come to a class or workshop at The School of Life, take a look inside our London classroom.
These sessions are designed by experts and taught by members of our faculty. They include a mix of lecture, conversation and group activity.
Vashti Whitfield is a speaker, documentary maker, author (Spartacus and me - life, love and everything in between) and mindset and resilience expert. Vashti also works intimately as an educator, speaker and facilitator in dealing with loss, with grief and the preparation required when facing death.