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From Here to Eternity : : Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

Doughty, Caitlin. Book - 2017 363.75 Do, Adult Book / Nonfiction / Social Science / Sociology / Doughty, Caitlin None on shelf 1 request on 2 copies Community Rating: 4 out of 5

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Adult Book / Nonfiction / Social Science / Sociology / Doughty, Caitlin 4-week checkout Due 03-03-2023

Describes death customs and rituals from around the world, exploring how they compare to the impersonal American system and how mourners respond best when they participate in caring for the deceased.


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Fantastic insight into death practices submitted by lexinylander on August 7, 2018, 8:28pm "All that surrounds us comes from death, every part of every city, and every part of every person."

I really, really enjoyed this. I like Caitlin Doughty's style of writing a lot, especially because it's kind of fun and snarky and gives me My Favorite Murder vibes.

I also really like talking about and thinking about death. My family kind of always has, and I appreciate a lot of what Caitlin Doughty is trying to do in terms of bringing a different kind of death practice to the Western world, because we kind of suck at it.

I was especially struck by the continuous mentions of these death practices in the book being intricately and intimately tied to women. "So decomposition becomes a radical act. It's a way to say, 'I love and accept myself.' ... Women's bodies are so often under the purview of men, whether it's our reproductive organs, our sexuality, our weight, our manner of dress. There is a freedom found in decomposition, a body rendered messy, chaotic, and wild." and "I was more interested in women like Doña Ely and Doña Ana, and the hundreds of other people at the Fiesta, who were using their comfort with death to seize direct access to the divine from the hands of the male leaders of the Catholic Church."

Finally, "We won't get our ritual back if we don't show up. Show up first, and the ritual will come. Insist on going to the cremation, insist on going to the burial. Insist on being involved, even if it's just brushing your mother's hair as she lies in her casket. Insist on applying her favorite shade of lipstick, the one she wouldn't dream of going to the grave without. Insist on cutting a small lock of her hair to place in a locket or a ring. Do not be afraid. These are human acts, acts of bravery, and love in the face of death and loss."

Without a doubt, this book and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes have absolutely changed the way that I think about death as a concept, as well as my own death and the deaths of the people that I love. I want to be present and there in more ways than one and getting that sentiment from these books is more than I could have ever asked for.

Death Positive submitted by ginarae3 on August 14, 2020, 8:46am If you enjoy Caitlin Doughty's YouTube series you'll love this, and if you haven't watched; go now! This book takes a difficult topic (death mainly), makes it fun and easy to read about, and sets you off on an adventure around the world.

Cover image for From here to eternity : : traveling the world to find the good death

New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2017]
Year Published: 2017
Description: xiii, 248 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Format: Book


Undertakers and undertaking.