Kel McBride has always been fascinated by birth, sex and death.
Working for Planned Parenthood and the Kinsey Institute at IU, McBride helped people plan for pregnancy and prevent infection. Now, McBride focuses on death through her business, Clearly Depart.
McBride opened the business in November with the goal to educate people on how to prepare for the end of their lives. People get sucked into the details of a loved one’s death rather than emotionally engaging with the loved one, she said.
“People get lost in the businesses, hospitals and aesthetics,” McBride said.
McBride solves this problem.
The intent of Clearly Depart is to help people comprehensibly put down their wishes and thoughts, so when they die it’s easier for the people they leave behind, McBride said.
“It’s a gift to the people we love,” McBride said.
Clearly Depart offers workshops, such as the six-part “A Death Changing Experience,” which goes through step-by-step the legal forms and options one has around their death.
There are people who work with those who are dying, McBride said. However, as far as she knows, McBride said she is the only person in the United States approaching it from this angle.
“In my conversations with funeral directors and green burial folks, everyone keeps telling me I’m the only one looking at this from a comprehensive scope,” McBride said.
McBride said she does not consider herself an expert, but rather a teacher or trainer.
“I can’t help people with mourning, and I can’t help people make a medical decision,” McBride said. “I can give you health care information, and I can guide you and show you what information is available.”
McBride said her clients vary, but the youngest participant she has had was 29 years old.
“She told me, ‘I wish I’d done this sooner,’” McBride said. “I found this very intriguing.”
McBride ditches the stereotypical morose death discussion and keeps her audience engaged through lively and interactive workshops, she said.
The most rewarding part of her business is seeing immediate results, McBride said.
For example, one client bought a green grave plot, which is an environmentally friendly burial site, two days after attending one of the Clearly Depart workshops.
Clients are also finding a new perspective on life, McBride said.
“Being more aware of their death is making them want to live life more fully,” McBride said. “It’s an extra bonus.”
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