The Sanitizing of Death

I recently finished reading Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, which is an excellent read for those of you who are interested in a glimpse into the modern funeral industry, and into alternative approaches to death and dying. It’s not a polemic, nor is it a pat panacea, but rather an acknowledgement of the fact that death and […]

Honesty in eulogy

In death, it seems that people become saintly, with reputations for perfection that quickly calcify around them. In the hours and days following their last breaths, they’re turned into airbrushed, hyperreal yet also fictional versions of themselves in the workrooms of funeral homes, but also in the imagination. Instead of acknowledging people as they are, […]

Eulogising, Without the Saccharine

Stella J. Young passed away last year, at 32. She was a remarkable woman: Fierce, amazing, sharp, hilariously funny, sometimes morbid, caustic, and brilliant. The news fluttered about her for a few days, and then subsided. Most of the eulogies and commentaries about her focused specifically on her impairment, osteogenesis imperfecta (‘really dodgy bones,’ in […]