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The Bucket Interview

Don’t Forget, You’re Going To Die

Hansa Bergwall, creator of the app, WeCroak

By Joyce Alla

WeCroak was inspired by a Bhutanese folk saying, but what motivated you to create this app and share this philosophy with the world?  Were people shocked at this idea, and is there a growth of understanding?

Being mindful of your mortality is central to a lot of religions but it’s hard to do in modern culture without reminders. Many people I spoke with just thought I was crazy, but the response has been very positive.

Hansa Bergwall

What has WeCroak meant to you personally?

It’s a companion that nudges me, or interrupts me five times a day.  It’s an opportunity to check in with myself to see if what I’m doing is aligning with my values. If I’m off course, I have the opportunity to correct myself; I can take a walk, for example. If I’m caught at a good time, I can reflect in that moment.

And, what have you learned as you present death awareness to the public?

HB: It seems in times of upheaval– technological, political and even environmental upheaval– there is a need to embrace our awareness.  Knowing that our time is limited and we are going to die is a definite truth.

How has it been received? Has anyone reached out to you to share their experience?

The numbers are great: 50 thousand downloads and over 12 million messages delivered.  But what has been more meaningful are the emails I’ve received from people telling their story of getting these notifications. I’ve heard from an entrepreneur who gains courage and takes more risks, not worrying as much about rejection. I’ve been contacted by people who are grieving – a mother who lost her son, a man who lost many friends from opiate overdoses – and they find comfort knowing impermanence is real. Most people write to describe how the app helps make them motivated, productive, courageous and happy.

What is the future of WeCroak?

We recently launched the WeCroak podcast where we talk about things we don’t talk about enough. We feature interviews with authors and have hosted Sally Tisdale, Alan Lightman and Massimo Pigliucci. You can check out the podcast on our website.

Can you share any items on your bucket list?

I guess I’d really like to visit Bhutan in the Himalayas someday!

About the Writer

Joyce Alla (Bucket age – 33) is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Parents Magazine, Family Fun Magazine, Boston Globe Magazine and other publications. Joyce has added house swapping to her bucket list; destinations include Thailand, Morocco, and Costa Rica.  She’s currently working on her first novel.  Joyce can be reached at


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