From Here to Eternity

From Here to Eternity – Caitlin Doughty

In her book FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, Caitlin travels all over the world to explore several cultures and their relationships with death.

Caitlin’s journey takes her through open-air crematoriums in Colorado, spelunking through caves in Indonesia, the day of the dead ceremonies in Mexico, and the Japanese tradition of “kotsuage” – the act of using chopsticks to pluck the bones of loved ones from their ashes following cremation.

Having read her other two books (one as an e-book and the other as a hardcover), I thought I would give this one the audiobook treatment. I’m glad I did. She was a great companion on many long walks as I learned about the process of human composting and the act of sky-burial (allowing vultures to eat your corpse), a practice popular in India.

Of her three books, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY is probably my favorite; I just found the subject matter endlessly interesting. I have to admit that I was sad when it came to an end as I could have easily listened for many more hours.

Caitlin’s conversations with representatives from other cultures and how they approach, understand and deal with death made me open my eyes to how bureaucratically it is managed here. Because so much of the process is shrouded in secrecy, it makes sense that we have such a fearful and unhealthy relationship with it. Work like Caitlin’s could be a good catalyst for change in the future.

I can only hope because I desperately want my body to be composted when I go.

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