“Not being forced to see corpses is a privilege of the developed world.” – Caitlin Doughty, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
While most people want to avoid thinking about death, Caitlin Doughty, author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory made it her life’s work. In this behind the scenes look at the funeral industry, Caitlin reveals the strange history and practices of the funeral industry, marveling at the bizarre and wonderful practices from different cultures. Caitlin argues that our fear of dying warps our culture and society, and she calls for better ways of dealing with death (and our dead). A licensed mortician, she has an alternative funeral practice where she helps families to take care of their loved ones’s corpses themselves.
Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. She answers questions you didn’t know you had, such as: Can you catch a disease from a corpse? How many dead bodies can you fit in a Dodge van? What exactly does a flaming skull look like? In this episode, Jeffrey Masters sits down and talks with Caitlin Doughty about her new book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory.
Bio: Caitlin Doughty is a licensed mortician and the creator/host of the “Ask a Mortician” web series. She founded the death acceptance collective The Order of the Good Death and co-founded Death Salon. She lives in Los Angeles.