Caitlin Doughty thinks an awful lot about death. In fact, she’s been doing it for years and that’s what lead her to become a mortician. In Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, Doughty describes how being constantly faced with death (far from making her morbid) has actually helped bring her emotions back to life. While in former centuries we were constantly faced with the dead, today the dead have been quietly removed from public view. The result is a culture of death denial that is out of touch with reality. Until you accept death, it’s hard to really appreciate just how rare and special every moment of life is. After reading Doughty’s book and hearing her talk, you might want to go work in a crematory for a little while too.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is available on Amazon. You can follow her on twitter at @TheGoodDeath.