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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Death and cremation

The Australian Writer's Festival is on and I went to an author talk today. Caitlin Doughty spoke about her career as a Mortician.

She's an entertaining speaker and I learned much about cremation, how the body is burned and that the family can attend the burning if they wish but no one ever tells them this. Wow!



I didn't know that the hardest part to burn is the chest area which needs to be face up. The the body is turned to burn more evenly. Old people burn quickly say from 45 minutes to an hour and overweight people can take up to two hours.

Also, the bones don't all burn and they are put into a grinding machine to ground to a powder that the family will receive in a box.

One question I didn't get to ask is what happens to the box. The funeral industry pushes the family to buy the most expensive box. Does it get recycled back to the funeral company when it is actually owned by the family that paid for it?

Caitlin is opening her own funeral home in July. I wish her all the best as she's come across as a caring person and I can't think of anyone who would look after your dearly departed better.

Her book, a New York Times bestseller, is about her career and her experiences in the industry of death.
I purchased 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & other lessons from the Crematory' and hope to read it shortly. I can't wait after hearing snippets of her experiences.

http://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Gets-Your-Eyes-Crematory/dp/0393240231

I have to say that I'm a little uncomfortable with looking at a dead body but at least now I can shake of that conditioning of speaking about death.