What Matters in the End
Updated: Aug 17
We founded Wake to provide practical solutions for real community needs. When planning for dying and death there are few places to turn for help, outside of private companies with a vested interest in selling products and services. Wake is a non-commercial resource for people who are confronted with death, either their own, or another’s. Whether you want to set up a healthcare directive in the prime of youth, or are looking for a death doula or home funeral guide at the end of life, we can help you connect with the right solution. We also offer Death Cafes as a platform for discussing dying and death, and we are working to provide affordable, green burial solutions in the State of Louisiana.
We are rooted in a belief that everyone deserves access to meaningful, sustainable deathcare and we seek to approach deathcare holistically. Historically, racial and class disparities have resulted in unequal treatment in death, as in life, and not everyone enjoys the same access to land and spaces of memory. In New Orleans, as in many urban areas world-wide, space for low-cost burial has become scarce. The only low-cost cemetery within the city limits is over-filled and there is an acute need for more affordable burial options. Furthermore, the funeral industry has a surprisingly toxic footprint on the planet and “green burial” solutions, while quite simple and traditional, are still difficult to access.
Finally, we believe that our culture is generally avoidant of death and, as a society, we suffer from fear and anxiety about the subject, making it taboo and seldom discussed or contemplated. We seek to approach this as a mental health issue, and to engage in a conversation around death, as a form of exposure therapy. The Death Cafe model, pioneered in Europe and now popular in many countries world-wide, provides a useful way to engage the subject. Drawing together people from many walks of life, with no formal agenda or moral or commercial pressure, to discuss the subject openly and broadly in a safe environment, can help reduce collective trauma and fear. This has become particularly pressing in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic.