It’s a new week, and it’s time to start a new book! The next 10 posts or so (assuming I’ve planned this out correctly) will be on From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty. She’s been on Adam Ruins Everything on TruTV, and was in the followup podcast. I personally am a fan of her YouTube Channel and Order of the Good Death
In From Here to Eternity, Doughty documents death rituals from around the world. Each chapter handles a different region, and I’m going to focus one post on each story. Doughty advocates for death acceptance, and for mourning loved ones to be more comfortable with the physical remains of their deceased loved ones. She argues that western society should at least be open to returning in some ways to the traditional way a funeral was handled up until the turn of the twentieth century or so. She challenges the notion that bodies have to be embalmed, that funerals have to be exorbitantly expensive, that decomposition is something to be avoided at all costs.
I expect that Doughty handled this book with the same introspection and respect that she handles other issues of death. The introduction clearly outlines her stances on death positivity. She tells the story of a Bolivian man’s experiences with the deaths of his loved ones. It makes me really think about my own experiences with death. Three times in my life, someone I know has died. Twice it was a member of my family, and once it was a fellow student at my high school. All of them took place before I was sixteen, so I had a completely different outlook on life at the time. I never physically saw their bodies, and I didn’t want to at the time. But years later, I think about why I chose the way I did, why my family and my friends chose the way that they did.
I hope that Doughty meets my expectations in her book, but it seems from the introduction that she most likely will.