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As Benjamin Franklin once said ”In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”, and yet death is something that we generally try to ignore. But a group of people in New Zealand are facing up to their mortality, and are building their own coffins.

A group from the Rotorua branch of the University of the Third Age have have taken up the idea of creating their own coffins, as it combines learning DIY skills and making something personal for them as a personal statement. One of the group, Katie Williams, said 

“Facing your own mortality is very, very difficult for a lot of people. It’s to do with how we’re brought up, you know stiff upper lip. We’re not really allowed to bellow or just cry as we really want to.”

But they are encouraged to personalise their coffins and decorate them to their own taste – one of the group, Allison McLean, has even included wallpaper in her coffin, and she says “If you don’t do that – you’re leaving some special part of your life to someone else”.


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