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Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball reveals secrets behind the iconic finale

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Doug Hyun/HBO

Friday marks the 15th anniversary of Six Feet Under, and fans have a reason to step back to the pulpit and reminisce about the series’ final eulogies.

In preparation for the Six Feet Under marathon happening all weekend on HBO2, series creator Alan Ball talks about the show’s finale in an EW exclusive clip. (Spoilers ahead. Obviously.)

Viewers will remember the iconic ending to the five-season series as one that captured the essence of its “funeral” theme. “Somebody said we should just kill everybody,” says Ball. “We should flash forward in time and see each character as they die.”

Ball also recalled how the cast handled the death of Nathaniel (Peter Krause) toward the end of the final season. “Over the last few episodes as we were filming, the actors got a chance to grieve the show,” Ball says in the clip. “When they were grieving Nate, they didn’t have to dig very deep, because everybody was saying goodbye to something they loved a lot.”

The series housed a great deal of Ball’s personal experiences; in the clip, he recalls how the show echoed his own mother’s advice that he live his life despite his family’s turmoil. “It was a profound gift that she gave me, the most loving thing she ever did,” Ball says. “That’s in the final episode of Six Feet Under, the Claire and Ruth scene. That’s basically my experience.”

Ball also shares his favorite moments from the finale, what scene choked him up the most, and which of the final deaths they shot last.

Fans can revisit Six Feet Under during the weekend-long series marathon, which continues through Sunday on HBO2, or stream the entire series by signing up for HBO NOW.

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