When someone you love passes away, it’s impossibly hard to prioritize all the logistics. You’re facing unimaginable stress and grief all at once, so when it comes time to negotiate funeral planning, insurance records, legal and financial documents and more, it can be overwhelming.
So it’s important to get all of this sorted before you’re reeling from loss.
Enter Bereev, a death preparation app that’s beginning to make waves in Australia. Its purpose is to destigmatize the conversation surrounding end of life, turning death from a taboo topic to a dinner conversation. With planning and preparation, according to Bereev, we can ease the lives of the people we leave behind.
To spread the word, founder Izumi Inoue launched Death Convo Game, a campaign asking 31 questions about death over the 31 days of May.
“Initially it was all about getting folks to get started on their preparations, mainly getting their affairs, instructions, documents, and messages in order so that the people they leave behind will get the chance to grieve, instead of running around dealing with the death admin which can be very traumatising,” said Inoue.
“We sat down as a team and asked ourselves, what are the biggest/most burning questions about death that we ourselves as individuals want to talk about? With that, we started off with close to a hundred questions, which we then put on a vote amongst a small group of our existing users and picked the top 31.”
The game, and the wider app, asks you to challenge your preconceptions about death. Each day you’re prompted with a new question to open up a dialogue with your loved ones.
“How would you like to be remembered?”
“Who would you like to be surrounded by towards the end?”
“When do you feel most alive?”
For every day that users participate in the Death Convo Game, it gives them a greater chance to score free access to the Bereev app, where they can prepare their plans.
From there, the app coaches you through the difficult process of organising your end of life plans, no matter what you might choose to do. It also has a focus on inclusivity, with options for Muslim users who wish to upload their Wasiat and Hibah to their preparation plans.
“We started off in Malaysia back in 2018 and Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities and religions,” said Inoue. “It taught us a lot in terms of navigating a spectrum of beliefs, and like it or not, death and religion can be very intertwined. Because of that, I think that every death tech startup should take their communities’ beliefs into account and weave that into their user experience.”
Death tech is a hugely promising arena, with everything fromand through to dealing with the concept of end of life care. It’s little wonder that apps like Bereev have such an invested audience, when all of us are guaranteed to face death at some point during our existence.
It stems from the concept of death positivity, which is all about destigmatizing the conversation. Death positivity doesn’t mean you’re looking forward to death — it just means that you accept what comes and you learn to talk about it in a healthy way.
That’s why Inoue and the team behind Bereev believe it’s even more important to deal with the paperwork before it comes time.
“I’ve lost both of my grandparents and have seen with my own eyes the toll an unprepared death takes on the people left behind,” said Inoue.
“It causes friction, additional trauma and it tears families apart. No one in their right mind would want to inflict that one their already grieving loved ones … I have a saying that I stick by: When I go to heaven, the last thing I want is to put my loved ones through hell.”