We avoid facing death when we hide bodies away.

Amanda Smith from the ABC Radio National program The Body Sphere asks: What happens to your body when you die?  To find the answer she speaks with Caitlin Doughty a former crematorium operator, ‘who now runs an alternative funeral service called Undertaking LA. Doughty has long lost her fear of corpses. Most of us, though, aren’t going to take the same career path, and so the idea of being in the presence of a dead body is frightening.’

Caitlin Doughty ‘believes that in most cases, the body should be prepared with as little intervention from a funeral professional as possible. ‘For anybody who dies of any kind of heart disease, lung disease, cancer, stroke, the things that people typically die of, it is perfectly safe to have the family involved and wash the body and maybe dress the body, either with a funeral director or by themselves,’ she says. ‘In my opinion that’s a much better way to grieve and to interact with death than to just hand the body off to someone else to take care of.’

‘In many cultures and religious practices the body is taken care of in the home. Over the past hundred years in the Western world, however, death has been professionalised.’

The story can be found at: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bodysphere/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-die/6774044

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