I was on the south coast heading
to a club above an art gallery where two women, both called Kate,
help people to get ready for death by building their own coffins. Right, so stand by your coffins. Now you’re going to slot… ..number two into number one. That’s it, give it a little
bit of welly. We really don’t like to talk
about death in this country. Mind your fingers. You know we’re incredibly awkward
around the whole… We don’t want to say the wrong
things so we say nothing. There it is. So Coffin Club is about
normalising talking about death. And that’s you in there, see.
I hope it’s big enough. Well, we might have to squish
you in a bit, your shoulders. Maybe, yes. That’ll be all right,
you won’t know much about it. And admitting that it’s
horrible, it’s hard, it’s sad, but, actually, there’s
also stuff about love and support. And if we can have those
conversations it’s much healthier. Look at that! If you are going to be cremated,
you need to think about how combustible things are. So the crematorium doesn’t like lots
of tissue paper pompoms stuck on because they whoosh in flames. So, here I’ve made you a beautiful
Star of David, I think. I’m not a believer, but I don’t want
anyone to think that I would go to my grave without
acknowledging that I was Jewish. Do you think it’s important
to embrace death head on? Whatever anybody says? I absolutely do. My dad died
when I was 13. It was horrendous. Was it? I had a week off school,
and my friends, when I got back, said, “Oh, don’t worry, Kate.
They’ve announced it in assembly, “and told everybody to be nice
to you.” And that was it. You know,
act like everything’s fine. But, actually, it was terrible
because I thought did nobody love him?
Why is nobody talking about him? The first session we had a guy and
he actually was too ill to decorate his coffin,
and his family did it. He’d travelled all over the world, so they stuck maps from where
he travelled. They stuck tickets from gigs
he’d been to. And that coffin was absolutely
central to proceedings. Everyone came up, looked at
all the maps and the tickets. They talked about him. Nobody was
frightened of the coffin. They talked to him.
They were patting it, going, “All right, mate?”
Leaning on it. It became this friendly
thing that represented him. You’re getting to grips
with death… It’s quite jolly, isn’t it?
Yes, it is. I mean, the thing is we are not
negating the fact that death impacts on people hugely. But we think this level
of being honest, even if it takes a tiny little sliver of
that impact away, that is a good thing.
I agree with you. I think it’s a wise thing
to try it for size. Good idea. That’s your lining if there’s
any seepage that you may have. So if you were leaking a little bit.
Right. Well, people do leak a bit, don’t
they? They leak quite a lot, yeah. So you’re snug as a little bug in
it. Oh, I see. It’s like getting into bed, almost.
Yes. Here we are. Right.
The moment of truth. Now, if I go down a bit like that. Oh, that’s perfect.
Hold on, lift this up. Yeah. Let’s get rid of that. Oh, she’s in, she’s in! LOUD BANG, GIGGLING Mind your head, love.
It is a tight fit. Do you want us to put the lid on? Don’t freak out. Don’t freak out.
Don’t freak out. We’re here, we’re here. Right now, that’s on. Should we take
it off? Yeah, take it off. You didn’t even freak out.
That was it, on. Yeah, but my belly gets in the way. It is actually quite tight.
What if we took the duvet off? Well, you don’t want to be rolling
around in it. You’ve not to put any weight on. No, I’ll have to diet. To diet for a
coffin seems somehow… It’s a goal, isn’t it? This could be
a new diet, the coffin diet. Well, we’ve tried every other one,
we might as well try that. I’m going to leave
my organs to science. Yes, so if they take them out… So there’ll be room. You’ll
woomf down a little bit. Yes. There we go. Look at that. Right. Knowing that that I’ve got
a proper box to go out in… Yeah. That’s a comfort and, oy,
is it cheap, you know! Yes. That also gives me pleasure.
Thank you so much. Thank you. Bye. You’ve been
absolutely smashing. I wanted to try it for size. I wanted to make sure I could fit
in it, because you don’t know when death is coming. It can suddenly bite you like that,
you know? Or else it will just sidle past,
like that gentlemen did, you know? You just can’t be sure.