Death is not always an easy subject to talk about, but everyone will be confronted with it one day. For the city council of The Hague (Netherlands) GetOud portrayed 8 people in relation to this subject.

For instance Hans. He owns a special bookcase that is can easily be converted into a coffin when he dies. And Nelly (92), who has a ‘do not resuscitate’ tattoo on her chest to prevent people to perform CPR on her. With these portraits the city council of The Hague wants to encourage people to talk more about ‘death’ and hence lift the taboo on the subject.

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Hans – Bookcase

My bookcase is designed in such a way that it can instantly be converted into a coffin after I die. The shirt I am wearing is the shirt in which I cycled to Santiago de Compostella. I will wear it in my coffin. My relatives don’t have to worry about the arrangements after I die, my funeral card for example is already printed.

Shalini – Hindu ceremony

When my grandfather died in Suriname he was cremated according to tradition. We scattered the ashes on the river. It was a beautiful Hindu ceremony. In the Netherlands we can’t do that, here we scatter the ashes at sea. The white sari I am wearing and also omitting jewelry and makeup, is the symbol of modesty.

Nelly – Tattoo I don’t want CPR

Every time I think: What a wonderful life I have. If anything happens to me, it’s all right, I don’t want CPR. This is very clearly tattooed on my chest. In a black briefcase I have all the necessary papers ready in case I die, even letters to cancel all my subscriptions. If you arrange everything when you are alive, why not for after you die?

Mimoun – Buried in Morocco or The Netherlands?

My roots lie in Morocco and when I die, it would be logical that I’d be buried in Morocco. At this moment, I ask myself: do I want to be buried in Morocco, as my children live in the Netherlands? I am Muslim and there are Muslim cemeteries here, so why should I opt for Morocco?

Sander – ADO football

The ADO football stand is my favorite spot in weekends. With friends and family we sing “Oh oh, The Hague or we shout ‘Come on The Hague’. I don’t think a lot about death yet, but when I die, there is a unique ADO urn that you can choose, so even after your death you remain faithful to ADO.

Adrie – ALS

ALS is a terrible and debilitating disease. You are fully conscious, but your abilities deteriorate gradually. I live by the day. Luckily I have my friends and family who help me a lot and visit me often. I am also happy with the volunteer of the Terminal Care Foundation who regularly comes by to talk.

Taky – Democracy

I came from Iraq to the Netherlands. For me this is the most beautiful country on earth. There is democracy here and freedom of expression. I may be born in Iraq but I have no doubt where I want to remain after my death. I want to die and be buried in the Netherlands.

Mariska – Time to talk

At the Hague University, I had the opportunity to sit down at ‘Resto van Harte’ to talk to elderly people and write down their life stories. The conversations I have with them are great and make me happy every time. I find that listening and writing down the story at the end of their life is of great value.