If you’ve seen the new Greta Gerwig-directed ‘Barbie’ movie, you know that Barbie’s journey of self-discovery begins with her asking her friends an important question in the middle of a dance party:

The party comes to a complete halt, everyone stares in horror, and Barbie quickly backtracks and acts like she meant to say something different.

Sadly, Barbie’s experience is far too common!

So, Death with Dignity decided to give Barbie the answer she deserves: Sure, we all think about dying! It’s totally normal and very important. And you should never feel ashamed to think about it or to talk to our friends and loved ones about it!

How do you have a conversation about death and dying without bringing the party to a record-scratching halt?

Here are some tips:

  • Plan ahead – Talking about death comes easy to some of us, but not most people. Choose who you want to engage. Maybe even make some goals for what you want to get out of the conversation.
  • Be honest – What does this conversation mean to you? Maybe you want to share a positive memory, or there’s a cultural event (like Barbie!) that spoke to you. Don’t be afraid to share your genuine thoughts and feelings.
  • Listen calmly – Meet others where they are, and be a good listener. Let the person talk if they need to, and be empathetic to where they are coming from. 

Share these with your loved ones, and start a conversation. Check out our Volunteer Toolkit for more tips on talking about death and expanding conversations around Death with Dignity. 

Barbie knows what’s up, and she’d be proud of you for taking the first step towards a deeper understanding of life!