If you die right now, what is number one thing you will regret not having done in your life? I bet even when I ask you this question, you don’t know the answer for sure. It is because the real answer is hidden in your subconscious, and thanatotherapy can supposedly help you discover it. “Thanatos” means death in Greek. It is therapy by death.
As soon as I heard about it, I knew it was for me. I like extreme and exciting kinds of activities, probably more because of the intense hormones of happiness they give me than the therapeutic affect itself.
And so I decided to try it.
I was putting it away and putting it away until one day I couldn’t anymore. I was cooking something in the kitchen as I told my partner “I want to spend this night inside a grave, will you please cover me with earth?” I could see he was not as comfortable as me with this idea, but I really begged him to support me and so he did.
I dug my grave in the garden behind my sunflowers. I tried to make sure neighbours wouldn’t see me. It is Ukraine, and Thanathotherapy is not a big thing here. Villagers would think I am crazy “The man is putting his wife alive into a grave!”
We did it at night. I brought my yoga mat and sleeping bag, and he covered me with branches of trees, and piece of black thick plastic, and earth on top. Above my head we left a hole through which the air would come in.
I was not afraid. I was just lying there, listening to crickets completely at peace. I was dozing off and then coming back to consciousness.
I did this to find the meaning of my life, but my subconscious suddenly told me something from a totally different area. I knew this was not the question I asked, and this is how I knew the answer was real.
At some point I slightly moved inside the “grave” and felt pain in all my joints! They got stiff from 3 hours of no movement, but now the pain was unbearable. I did not promise myself to stay here overnight, more like, let’s see how it goes, and so I decided to climb out.
The biggest fear hit me when I realized the branches and earth were heavy on top of me. One effort of my stiff body did not overthrow them. I panicked hard at this moment, and pulled myself out of the “grave cocoon” through the breathing hole above my head.
I was scared, my body was in pain and I had one answer to the question I never asked. Rather a strange experience, but very special.
Let me know in comments if you have any questions.
If you want to learn more of what it feels like to live in a Ukrainian village, check out the video I made