By Kate Sweeney
Someone dies. What occurs next?
One kin inters their matriarch’s ashes at the ground of the sea. one other holds a memorial weenie roast every year at a greenburial cemetery. An 1898 advert for embalming fluid grants, “You could make mummies with it!” whereas a number one modern burial vault is touted as impervious to the weather. A grieving mom, one hundred fifty years in the past, may well spend her days tending a backyard at her daughter’s grave. this day, she could have a tendency the roadside memorial she erected on the spot her daughter was once killed. One mom wears a locket containing her daughter’s hair; the opposite, a necklace containing her ashes.
What occurs after anyone dies depends upon our own tales and on the place these tales fall in a bigger tale—that of demise in the USA. It’s a robust story that we frequently preserve hidden from our daily lives until eventually we need to face it.
American Afterlife by way of Kate Sweeney unearths this international via a collective portrait of american citizens earlier and current who locate themselves individually concerned with demise: a klatch of obit writers within the barren region, a funeral voyage at the Atlantic, a fourth-generation funeral director—even a midwestern museum that takes us again in time to satisfy our deathobsessed Victorian progenitors. every one tale illuminates info in one other until eventually anything higher is published: a panorama that feels instantly unusual and usual, one that’s via turns unusual, tragic, poignant, and occasionally even funny.
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Extra info for American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning
American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney