We often wonder whether the death of a loved one is “good” or “bad.” But framing a death as “good” or “bad” carries baggage from intuitions around well-being. By focusing on this dichotomy of well-being, we lose the opportunity to make meaning and instead generate burdens for those facing death. By examining various well-being theories, we claim that a well-being focus unjustly universalizes and moralizes the liminal experience of death. A meaning-making approach, on the other hand, allows suffering, life, and death to become transformational in positive ways while also promoting patient inclusion in conversations about the end of life.

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