As Benjamin Franklin once quipped, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” And since you already have a really great accountant, perhaps it’s time to start thinking about life’s only other guarantee. Here, six websites and apps designed specifically around death. We promise, they’re not quite as morbid as you might think.
Need someone to remind you that life is fleeting? This is the app for you. WeCroak will remind you five times a day that death is, in fact, imminent (well, at least at the time of publication). Seems macabre, but the idea behind the app was inspired by the Bhutanese phrase, “To be a happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily.” When the reminder comes, this alarm system wants you take a moment to contemplate your mortality so that you can “let go of things that don’t matter and honor the things that do.”
iWish is an app that focuses less on death and more on getting the most out of life while you’re still, you know, alive. Essentially, this is your digital bucket list. And while you can plan, make to-do lists, set reminders and track progress, it also gives you over 1,200 ideas of activities to do in every possible category—wellness, relationships, travel, sports, adventure, career, finance and lifestyle—before you kick the proverbial bucket.
According to its website, Afternote “gives you the opportunity to digitally store your life story, leave messages to loved ones and record your last will in one safe place.” And who knows, part of your last will might include shutting down your social media accounts, so they don’t remain active without your consent. Creating an account is free, but the value of dodging Uncle Jack’s unwanted (and weird) Facebook posts after you die? Priceless.
Dead Man’s Switch
This chilling service offers you the opportunity to send emails to loved ones (or, perhaps, enemies) posthumously. You write the emails while alive and then Dead Man’s Switch checks in every so often, to make sure you’re still breathing. Your emails go out once you’re safely six feet under. The site explains: “Emails are sent at certain intervals. By default, the switch will email you 30, 45, and 52 days after you last showed signs of life. If you don't respond to any of those emails, all your messages will be sent 60 days after your last check in.” For free, you can send two emails postmortem, and for $20 you can send up to 100 emails.
Unfortunately, we’re not all going to have museums dedicated to our life’s work or Broadway musicals based on our existence. But you can control some of the narrative with BeRemembered. According to the free site, “You can record stories of your life, add pictures and video, describe how [you want] your end of life funeral event to be, even store private messages that are delivered to loved ones after you leave this life.” And hey, we won’t tell if you exaggerate a couple of details in your biography.
Sure, a loved one can plan your funeral, but then you don’t get to choose exactly how things go down (and if they don’t play BoysIIMen, you’re going to be literally rolling in your grave). This gratis online service makes it so you can plan your own funeral. And it doesn’t stop there—you can also write your own obituary and design your own headstone. (Shout-out to all the control freaks!) How does it work? “Once you register, you can designate your ‘Angels’ inside your book. They are the people in your life who will know you’ve died, and will carry out your wishes,” the site explains.