Everyone reacts to losing a loved one in different ways, but for some, it can ignite a fire. For artist Candy Chang, she decided to use her loss to create.
One afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, she took to the side of an abandoned building to flesh out her idea. Painting it with chalkboard paint, she and her friends covered the space with the phrase, " Before I die, I want to _____" and bolted a bowl of chalk to the side of the wall. Then they walked away, leaving it for people to discover and fill in as they liked.
The social experiment was a great success. Before she knew it, the wall was covered in replies, showing off people's dreams and wishes of what they wanted to do with their lives.
Inspired, Candy and her friends created a toolkit that people all over the world could use to make their own "Before I Die" projects in their towns. Today, over 250 "Before I Die" walls have been created in countries all over the world, including Kazakhstan, Portugal, Japan, Denmark, Australia, Argentina and South Africa. They have also been written in many languages, all of which you can see at the project's website.
"Each passerby is another person full of longing, anxiety, fear and wonder," Candy writes on her website. "With more ways to share in public space, the people around us can not only help us make better places, they can help us become our best selves."