Title: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes : and Other Lessons from the Crematory
Author: Caitlin Doughty
Publisher: W.W. Norton and Company
Release Date: September 28, 2015
Book Source: Library Copy
Her eye-opening, candid, and often hilarious story is like going on a journey with your bravest friend to the cemetery at midnight. She demystifies death, leading us behind the black curtain of her unique profession. And she answers questions you didn’t know you had: 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?
Honest and heartfelt, self-deprecating and ironic, Caitlin’s engaging style makes this otherwise taboo topic both approachable and engrossing. Now a licensed mortician with an alternative funeral practice, 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).
I think this is a book that everyone should read, especially if you’re in your 20’s or 30’s, to help you deal with the deaths of relatives. And for people who are older, you should also read it, to not only help with your fear of death, but so you know how important it is to let your loved ones know what you want done after you die.
Whether you do end up reading this book though, you should still talk to whomever will be taking care of funeral preparations, so they know what to do.
There will be very graphic details of what happens to a body after death, so you are forewarned. Although there are some gory details, I think Doughty wrote about them in a way that makes it interesting, and not just as something to gross people out. She also puts humor into her writing to help lighten up some of the details that people might find disturbing.
Doughty also does an excellent job incorporating history into her book. I actually learned a lot in regards to various funeral rites. The part where she discusses Saints and the Church is still boggling my mind. She also has a YouTube channel and Blog where she answers questions and discusses various topics.
I highly recommend this book, and hope you recommend it to all your loved ones.