What Is Death Existentialism?


Martha Robinson

Death existentialism is a philosophical movement that focuses on the significance of death and the impact it has on our lives. It is a branch of existentialism that explores the concept of mortality and how it shapes our existence in the world.

What Is Existentialism?

Before delving into death existentialism, it’s important to understand what existentialism means. At its core, existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes individual freedom and choice. It proposes that we create our own meaning in life because there is no inherent meaning to existence.

Death in Existentialist Thought

Existentialists believe that death is an inevitable part of life, and thus, it must be embraced. Death can bring about feelings of anxiety and dread, but these emotions are also viewed as necessary parts of life.

Many existentialists believe that confronting the reality of our own mortality can lead to a greater appreciation for life. By accepting the fact that we will die someday, we can focus on living authentically and making the most out of our time on earth.

The Importance of Individual Choice

Existentialists also emphasize individual choice when it comes to death. They reject the idea that society should dictate how we approach death or mourning rituals. Instead, they propose that everyone should be free to choose their own way of coping with mortality.

This freedom extends beyond just death-related decisions. Existentialists believe that individuals have complete control over their lives and must take responsibility for their actions.

Is Death Existentialism for Everyone?

While some people may find comfort in embracing death as a natural part of life, others may not be ready to confront mortality head-on. Death existentialism is not a philosophy for everyone, as it requires a certain level of acceptance and understanding about the nature of existence.

However, even those who do not fully embrace death existentialism can still benefit from some of its core principles. By recognizing the importance of individual choice and taking responsibility for our actions, we can live more authentic and fulfilling lives.


Death existentialism is a philosophy that encourages us to confront mortality and live authentically. It emphasizes individual freedom and choice, rejecting societal norms when it comes to death-related decisions. While it may not be for everyone, its core principles can help us lead more fulfilling lives.