Rest in Peace: Ukrainians using ‘coffin therapy’ to help prepare for death

Jordana Divon
Contributing Writer
Daily Buzz

That's one way to scare up some free publicity.

A Ukrainian coffin maker has extended his product line to include the living thanks to a service he calls "coffin therapy."

Stepan Piryanyk is confident that people who possess an acute terror of death can tackle their deepest fears by lying in one of his custom-made coffins for 15-minute stretches.

Closed casket is optional — unless you're looking to simultaneously cure your claustrophobia.

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"At one time our parents, as a rule, kept a coffin in the attic. Then our grandma—who didn't have an attic—came to us because she lived in an apartment. She asked us to make something that she could put in her apartment. So we decided to make her a coffin couch," Piryanyk told ITN News, in an anecdote that suddenly puts everything into perspective.

Piryanyk is convinced that his therapist-free therapy should be enough to cure everyone of what ails them — at the relative bargain price of $25 a pop.

"When a person lays here, it should be like confession. She should think of her negative actions. Maybe she'll lay there, think and repent," he told BBC News, adding that he'd eventually like to add trained medical professionals to the service.

One of those trained medical professionals will not be psychiatrist Vasily Pavlov.

"If psychotherapy pays attention to death and the attributes of death in seances, then this could cause psychological distortions, maybe not at once, just after the seances but later. At minimum, a depressed state, at maximum it could even provoke some suicidal things," the decided non-coffin-therapy-fan told Reuters.

But despite concerns from the psychiatric community, the nascent practice already has a devoted following.

"When you lay in the coffin it feels just like a bed. It's the same sheets, the same pillow. The coffin is wooden, but we sleep on metal beds that are absolutely not good for your health. A wooden coffin has its own aura inside, its own biofield. And I rest," said lawyer Artur Dickey, in a quote that was not actually written by the Onion.

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If you prefer your casket time to include a little more social interaction, Piryanyk already has you covered.

His local Eternity Restaurant can accommodate diners who enjoy the process of chewing and digesting in a 65-foot coffin.