Psychology / Consciousness & Altered States

When I die

In this intimate portrait, Philip Gould wrestles with the meaning, and unexpected ecstasy, of impending death





Philip Gould was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in 2008, and in the summer of 2011 he was given three months to live. Filmed during the last two weeks of his life, this intimate portrait reveals Gould’s quest to find meaning in what he called ‘the death zone’.

Gould believed that for the terminally ill and those close to them, there can be moments of joy, resolution and inspiration just as intense as those of fear, discomfort and sadness.

‘I am not redefining death, I am offering another way to perceive dying. I have been offered an opportunity to live every moment until there are no more moments for me to live and for that I will be eternally grateful.’

Language: English

Director: Adrian Steirn

Producer: Nicola Howson

  • Micha Schellingerhout

    Beautiful video. Thank you, and rest in peace Philip.

  • Mark Folashade

    Thanks for the great video. I'm glad I could wake up to something soul-inspiring on a Sunday morning. Thanks again.

  • Fabian

    Depressing. I don't want to die. I will never die.

    • Annie Stratton

      You will. And when the time comes, you will have the memory of this man's journey to help guide you. And the experience of other people you know and care about, as long as you stay with it and pay attention. Your compassion for them, and your gift of helping them through their journeys will all prepare you for feeling compassionate toward yourself. And prepare you for fully living your life until then. I know that sounds backward, but it really is the way it works.

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