By Kate Sweeney
Someone dies. What occurs next?
One relations 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 supplies, “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, could spend her days tending a backyard at her daughter’s grave. at the present time, she may possibly 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 somebody dies depends upon our own tales and on the place these tales fall in a bigger tale—that of demise in the US. It’s a strong story that we frequently maintain hidden from our daily lives until eventually we need to face it.
American Afterlife by means of Kate Sweeney unearths this international via a collective portrait of american citizens previous and current who locate themselves in my view concerned with dying: a klatch of obit writers within the desolate tract, a funeral voyage at the Atlantic, a fourth-generation funeral director—even a midwestern museum that takes us again in time to fulfill our deathobsessed Victorian progenitors. every one tale illuminates info in one other until eventually whatever higher is printed: a panorama that feels without delay unusual and well-known, one that’s by way of turns bizarre, tragic, poignant, and occasionally even funny.
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American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney