Caitlin Doughty says we need more honest discussion about death and funerals

As it does every year, Sydney Writers Festival (SWF) dishes up some great speakers that inspire us to think more deeply about various issues. 2015 is no different. Our pick of the crop is Caitlin Doughty. Featured on ABC TV Q & A on Monday 18th May, Caitlin captured the attention of the audience with her witty responses to questions about what it was like to be fascinated with death from age 8 and her chosen profession of mortician at a Los Angeles crematorium. She has authored a book that we will review in a future post. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematorium is but one string to her bow. She founded a “death acceptance collective” called Order of the Good Death (see links) and hosts a web series, Ask the Mortician.

“She is refreshingly honest about what happens to a dead body and questions the financial and emotional costs of embalming,” writes Margaret Rice (Final acts on the way to a good death, Spectrum, SMH May 16-17, 2015).

She’s now on a mission to change attitudes about death and dead bodies by encouraging people to take a more active role in the funerals of their relatives. This link to the ABC provides further links to an audio on The World Today and a You Tube post on Radio National

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