Caitlin Doughty - Why Are We So Afraid of Death? From Mourning to Morning Hosted by Rabbi Mel Glazer

Being afraid of death seems to be our signature response. Caitlin Doughty will teach us new ways to deal with death, ways which will personalize and take away our fears. Join us at From Mourning to Morning Thursday 3/31/16 at 5PM PST.


Phoenix, AZ -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/30/2016 -- WHY ARE WE SO AFRAID OF DEATH?

Most of us are afraid of death: we don't want to talk about it or hear about it. And especially, we do not ever want to touch a dead body and prepare it for burial. Death scares us and makes it more difficult to prepare for own death, as well as the deaths of our loved ones.

My guest this Thursday on my show "From Mourning to Morning" is Caitlin Doughty. She is blazing new trails in the area of dealing compassionately with death and burial. In the media coverage that is now embracing her, including recent interviews with the Huffington Post and the New York Times, as well as other media, it is clear that she stands proudly at the beginning of change and transformation of the funeral industry, and she and I will discuss her contributions to making death easier for us to accept. Read about her in this book review excerpt and you will be as impressed as I am.

"One can well imagine a publicity director swooning over this book concept: A young, hip (you read that right) mortician, who hosts the serious-but-entertaining web series "Ask a Mortician," is writing a memoir about her beginnings in the death industry. It opens with her first day on the job at a crematory, flashes back to some relevant origins — the early memory of another child's gruesome death — and then moves forward as the narrator learns from exposure to bodies and to the people who care for them. Everyone from Goth teenagers to funeral-planning elders will rush to read this."

But the book is more consequential than its spin potential, and though it contains frank descriptions of decay, body fluids and human ashes, it is ultimately more philosophical than lurid, more cultural critique than exposé. While the narrative is engaging and even wicked, it is also the least important element in a work that uses private experience to illustrate public insight, which in Doughty's case is this: By systematically insulating ourselves from death's physical manifestations, Americans are deprived emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and — not to be dismissed — financially, in ways our ancestors would have abhorred.

Never fear: Doughty's aim is not to put herself out of a job, but more to change its nature. Families should in effect be their own funeral "directors," caring for their deceased in personal rather than institutional spaces, with the help of professionals who follow, rather than take, the lead.

We will be talking about how she is different from most other funeral directors. We will try to answer the question "why are people so afraid to deal with death?" And finally, as we have discussed each week, how do the techniques that she uses help the grief process? How does she help grievers move "from mourning to morning?"

VoiceAmerica, America's leading internet talk network, is to be commended for inviting Caitlin to join me.

Contact me at rabbimel@griefok.com.

Contact Caitlin at orderofthgooddeath@gmail.com.

You can listen every Thursday at 5pm PST to From Mourning to Morning, and all episodes are archived.