“I want to be a guide”: Kirthan Aujlay on grief and death acceptance

Pearl Leung

Pearl Leung

Digital Marketing Coordinator

We don’t talk enough about death.

If you’re staring at your screen with a grimace right now, you’re not alone. Freelance writer and CSI member Kirthan Aujlay is more than familiar with those strange looks and questioning glances.

Her passion for the topic has spanned over a decade: “I’ve always been the weird person or the morbid person who was always turning the conversation to death. I don’t understand why so many people are in denial about their mortality when it’s the one thing you can be sure about.”

Briefly, Kirthan considered a career as a funeral director — but something about trying to upsell a casket didn’t sit too well with her.

“For me, it’s about education. There are so many people who don’t know the basics. […] They don’t know that you don’t have to get embalmed. […] They don’t know about the environmental impact of traditional burials. They don’t know that you can appoint a power of attorney for personal care, or about advance directives.”

 

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That’s why she created That Good Night, an information hub for death acceptance, green funerals, and grief. In conversation, Kirthan is often told “wow, you know so much!” — and it just made sense to share her knowledge with everyone else.

“A lot of people don’t know their rights or their options [when it comes to planning for death], so I want to be a guide for them,” she said.

 

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Kirthan hopes That Good Night becomes a resource for education and empowerment.

Speaking about death can be uncomfortable and painful: “As humans, we avoid pain and don’t want to think about what’s going to happen. But once you start talking about it, you can regain a sense of control.”

Our society has made death out to be serious subject matter, when it really doesn’t have to be.

“You can have fun with it,” Kirthan said. “Sometimes I often talk about what my funeral would be if I could do anything. Imagine you were planning a wedding: what kind of music do you want? What kind of food do you want? What kind of venue? It’s the same thing for a funeral! There are actually a lot of parallels.”

As Kirthan continues to create and curate content, she hopes to expand That Good Night into grief and death acceptance workshops. Above all, Kirthan hopes her work helps create a more empathetic, understanding world.

If you’re ready to take the first step into the death acceptance community, give That Good Night a follow. (And if you have any specific questions, just send Kirthan a direct message!)

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