Upcoming book from mortician Caitlin Doughty explores how other cultures care for their dead.
From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty – Pre-order now
Death positive mortician Caitlin Doughty, best known for her Ask a Mortician series on Youtube and her best-selling book Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, just revealed her latest offering. In stores October 3rd, her new book From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death explores the intimate death rituals of cultures around the world that often seem so macabre and grotesque to Western society.
“This is three years in the making,” Caitlin wrote in the announcement on her Facebook page. “I’ve traveled all over the world to research this book, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of it. I hope you learn so much about death around the world, other cultures, and how we can improve funerals in the West.”
Here’s the description:
Fascinated by our pervasive terror of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for their dead. In rural Indonesia, she observes a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body. Grandpa’s mummy has lived in the family home for two years, where the family has maintained a warm and respectful relationship. She meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette- smoking, wish- granting human skulls), and introduces us to a Japanese kotsuage, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved- ones’ bones from cremation ashes. With curiosity and morbid humor, Doughty encounters vividly decomposed bodies and participates in compelling, powerful death practices almost entirely unknown in America. Featuring Gorey-esque illustrations by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity introduces death-care innovators researching green burial and body composting, explores new spaces for mourning? including a glowing- Buddha columbarium in Japan and America’s only open-air pyre? and reveals unexpected new possibilities for our own death rituals.