Death is something that every single one of us is aware of but completely ignores until quite literally the last possible moment because just thinking about it always makes us too sad or too uncomfortable. However, as seen on Netflix’s ‘The Future of: Life After Death,’ Cole Imperi aims to remove such hold-ups around the phenomenon because she believes them to be missed opportunities to develop connections. So now, if you wish to learn more about her, her life experiences, as well as her unusual yet fascinating work as a thanatologist and a death companion, we’ve got the details for you.
Who is Cole Imperi?
As a renowned expert on death, dying, and grief, it is actually not very surprising that Cole Imperi had her first encounter with fragile mortality when she was a mere teenager. Not only did she survive a life-threatening disease at 14, but she also lost her grandfather at 16 (for whom she performed the eulogy) and even held an entire funeral for the church goldfish. Her original plan was to become a yogini, yet it was during her study for the same that she realized “yoga is meant to prepare you to die,” and that she’d been immersing herself into the inevitable concept through a much different route.
Cole thus decided to pick up thanatology instead, which is essentially a study of death, loss, and its psychological mechanisms in an attempt to have a better understanding of it in the long run. She’d strangely found herself to be the happiest while empathizing with the bereaved or guiding them through the ups and downs of loss, no matter the kind, driving her to turn it into a career. Keeping a positive yet realistic perspective, talking openly about loss as if it always comes as a second chance, and respecting personal after-death decisions of every type are a few things she wholeheartedly believes in.
Where is Cole Imperi Now?
From what we can tell, triple-certified thanatologist, death companion, public speaker, and entrepreneur Cole Imperi, along with her husband Victor as well as their dogs, recently relocated to Los Angeles, California. Nevertheless, this hasn’t affected either her post as the Creative Director of Doth in Ohio or her running of the School of American Thanatology, where she imparts her knowledge to students from 20+ countries. But of course, her tenure as the Board of Overseers President at the Historic Linden Grove Cemetery & Arboretum in Covington, Kentucky, is up — it actually ended in December 2021.
Over the years, Cole has served as a thanatologist in jail, a mortuary college professor, a hospice volunteer, a grief support group leader for children and adults alike, and on the board of a green burial startup. All of these have given her undeniable experience and exposure, which is why she felt ready to expand her wings by penning a book entitled ‘A Guide to Your Grief’ (to be published by Kids Can Press in 2024).
We should mention that Cole has even given two TEDx talks as well as coined terms like Shadowloss (referring to things like divorce, bankruptcy, infertility, or getting fired), Dremains (referring to our digital remains), and Shadowlight. She is further pioneering the world of Thanabotany as well, that is, forming an intersection between plants and people dealing with death in the most sustainable but personal way possible.
“I am so grateful for my relationship with death,” Cole once said. “Everybody gets dealt shitty cards in the hand of life. Some people get more than one shitty card. I’m a reconstructionist toward death — the rubble left behind after a death is great rebuilding material.”
Read More: Where is Botanist Tyler Thrasher Now?