24 Writing Prompts About Death

Writing Prompts about Death


It’s everywhere, all the time, kind of a bummer party guest we can’t ditch.

We barely talk about it in real life because it feels super awkward.

But now we will.

We’re about to take a deep dive into the land of the dearly departed with these writing prompts focusing on the theme of death.

We’ll face our fears, remember the ones we miss, and imagine all sorts of crazy ways to kick the bucket (in fiction, of course).

It’s gonna be a wild ride, but hopefully, we’ll learn a thing or two about life (and maybe even death) along the way.

Writing Prompts About Death

  1. As the end nears for an elderly character, they decide to pen ‘Legacy Letters’ to their loved ones, capturing life lessons, confessions, and timeless wisdom. Each letter unearths a different facet of their life, creating a tapestry of experiences, love, and regrets. Craft a story around one such letter and its impact on the recipient.

  2. Inspired by the real-world concept of Death Cafes, where strangers meet to discuss death over tea and cake, envision a scenario where two people from entirely different walks of life converse about their perceptions, fears, and acceptance of death. Through their dialogue, illuminate the universalities and diversities of human perspectives on mortality.

  3. After the unexpected death of a young artist, their family discovers a diary detailing the artist’s profound insights on life, love, and the ever-looming shadow of death. This diary reveals a side of the artist that the family never knew, prompting reflection and healing. Write a story centered on a pivotal entry from this diary.

  4. Two estranged siblings are given the task of writing a eulogy for a parent they had complicated feelings for. As they struggle with memories, the siblings come to terms with their personal grief and the flawed, human nature of their parent. Explore the reconciliation of love, resentment, and the finality of death.

  5. A woman receives an unexpected text message from her best friend, who passed away a week prior. The message is haunting, powerful, and provides closure. This incident pushes her to confront her feelings of grief and the digital footprints we leave behind. Craft a tale around this mysterious text and the woman’s journey through mourning.

  6. A retired journalist starts an unusual project: he writes obituaries for living people in his community, capturing their stories, dreams, and contributions. However, when he pens his own obituary, it becomes a profound reflection of a life lived with purpose and imperfection. Dive deep into the journalist’s self-written obituary and its revelations.

  7. After dying in a tragic accident, a man finds himself in an ethereal state where he can observe the world but not interact. He watches as his loved ones grapple with his sudden departure, learning about their unspoken feelings, regrets, and love. Narrate the emotional journey of this silent observer as he comes to terms with his own death.

  8. A terminal patient is given just 24 hours to live. Instead of succumbing to despair, they decide to live these hours to the fullest, creating a bucket list of small yet deeply meaningful tasks. These tasks become a testament to the beauty of ordinary moments and the transient nature of life. Document this poignant day, filled with raw emotions and bittersweet memories.

  9. A dying musician embarks on a project to compose one last album. Each track represents a different stage of his life or emotion tied to his impending death. As he creates, he reconciles with his past and the people in it. Write a story centered on the creation and the meaning behind one particularly powerful track.

  10. A photographer diagnosed with a terminal illness decides to capture one image every day until her final day, making her last year a visual diary of acceptance, love, and change. Her photos become a beacon of hope and reflection for her community. Explore a week from this collection and the stories behind the snapshots.

  11. Imagine a place where every individual goes immediately after death, a sort of waiting room before moving on. In this space, they have one hour to converse with any other departed soul. Two characters, strangers in life, share an unexpected connection here. Delve into their conversation and the lessons drawn from a lifetime’s experiences.

  12. As an old man lies on his deathbed, he summons a person from his past to confess a deep secret that has burdened him for decades. This revelation reshapes the listener’s understanding of their shared history. Narrate the aftermath of this confession and the transformative power of truth.

  13. An elderly woman, knowing she has little time left, returns to her childhood home, now abandoned. The house becomes a portal to memories, both joyful and painful. Through her eyes, we relive critical moments that shaped her life. Craft a tale around her final night in this home and the memories it evokes.

  14. In a world where everyone knows the exact words they’ll say before they die, a young woman grapples with her predetermined last words, which are cryptic and unsettling. She embarks on a journey to understand their meaning, finding purpose and connections along the way. Weave a narrative around her quest to give depth to her destined farewell.

  15. Upon death, every individual’s life story gets archived in a vast, cosmic library. A scholar of this library takes a special interest in the lives of ordinary people, discovering profound wisdom in mundane experiences. Follow the scholar as they uncover a particularly inspiring life story and its implications.

  16. A renowned chef, diagnosed with a condition that will soon rob him of his taste, decides to craft a final feast for his loved ones, infusing each dish with memories and emotions from his life. Through the courses, guests are transported to moments from the chef’s past. Describe this culinary journey and its impact on the guests and the chef himself.

  17. In a small town, there exists a clockmaker who has the unique ability to craft timepieces that count down to the wearer’s time of death. When he inadvertently creates one for himself, he’s confronted with the reality of his mortality. Explore the final days of the clockmaker as he reconciles with his creation and his destiny.

  18. An aging botanist plants a garden where each flower blooms in correspondence with a phase of human life, culminating in a rare bloom symbolizing death. As she tends to her garden, she reflects on each stage of her life, embracing the cycle of existence. Illustrate a significant moment in the garden and its resonance with her life’s journey.

  19. A man repeatedly dreams of a mysterious train journey where he meets souls who’ve impacted his life in ways he never realized. As the dreams intensify, he starts to understand that the journey foreshadows his own mortality. Recount one such dream and the revelations it holds for the man.

  20. An elderly couple, both former professional dancers, decide to choreograph one final performance, capturing their love story and inevitable parting due to death. As they dance, they relive moments of their shared life. Narrate the climax of their dance and the emotions it encapsulates.

  21. Legend says that a particular seashell allows listeners to hear the last words or thoughts of a departed soul. A young man stumbles upon this seashell, hearing echoes of a stranger’s life, prompting a quest to understand their story. Delve into the voice from the seashell and the profound connection it forms with the listener.

  22. A celebrated painter, losing her sight due to a terminal condition, decides to create one final masterpiece that encapsulates her perspective on death. As the canvas fills, it becomes a poignant representation of life, death, and everything in between. Describe the painting’s unveiling and its impact on its audience.

  23. In a society where people can auction off the remaining years of their life to the highest bidder, an old man with unexpectedly many years left decides to part with them for a cause. Through this process, he encounters diverse individuals with their own reasons for wanting more time. Follow the old man’s reflections as he weighs the value of time against life’s inherent worth.

  24. The owner of a unique café collects items left behind by customers who’ve passed on. Each object tells a story, holding deep emotions and memories. One day, a young woman finds an item left behind by her estranged mother, leading to a journey of reconciliation. Dive into the story behind the item and the bridging of a familial rift.