Burn, Mummify, Compost—Different Ways to Treat the Dead

A mortician travels the world in search of a 'good death.'

Everyone has to die. Death is one of the few, truly universal experiences shared by people of all races, cultures, and creeds. And the way in which different cultures tend to their dead is as varied, and as colorful, as humanity itself. Yet in the United States, real death—not the kind we see daily on our televisions—has been almost entirely hidden from sight. [Meet the people who live with the corpses of their dead family members.]

Speaking from her home in Los Angeles, Doughty explains why it is often funeral homes, not laws, which govern the rites surrounding death in America; why she is such a fan of Japan’s “corpse hotels”; and why, when she dies, she would like

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