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Making An Exit

Author: Sarah Murray
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1429989297
Size: 40.55 MB
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Thoughtful, amusing, and provocative, Making an Exit will transform the way you look at life's last passage. Because, as Murray discovers, death is, for many, not an ending but the start of something new. Author and journalist Sarah Murray never gave much thought to what might ultimately happen to her remains—that was, until her father died. While he'd always insisted that the "organic matter" left after a person takes their last breath had no significance, he surprised his family by setting down elaborate arrangements for the scattering of his own ashes. This unexpected last request prompted Murray to embark on a series of voyages to discover how our end is commemorated around the globe—and how we approach our own mortality. Spanning continents and centuries, Making an Exit is Murray's exploration of the extraordinary creativity unleashed when we seek to dignify the dead. Along the way, she encounters a cremation in Bali in which two royal personages are placed in giant decorative bulls and consigned to the afterlife in a burst of flames; a chandelier in the Czech Republic made entirely from human bones; a weeping ceremony in Iran; and a Philippine village where the casketed dead are left hanging in caves. She even goes to Ghana to commission her own fantasy coffin. The accounts of these journeys are fascinating, poignant, and funny. But this is also a very personal quest: on her travels, Murray is seeking inspiration for her own eventual send-off.

Awaiting The Heavenly Country

Author: Mark S. Schantz
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801458019
Size: 26.32 MB
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"Americans came to fight the Civil War in the midst of a wider cultural world that sent them messages about death that made it easier to kill and to be killed. They understood that death awaited all who were born and prized the ability to face death with a spirit of calm resignation. They believed that a heavenly eternity of transcendent beauty awaited them beyond the grave. They knew that their heroic achievements would be cherished forever by posterity. They grasped that death itself might be seen as artistically fascinating and even beautiful."-from Awaiting the Heavenly Country How much loss can a nation bear? An America in which 620,000 men die at each other's hands in a war at home is almost inconceivable to us now, yet in 1861 American mothers proudly watched their sons, husbands, and fathers go off to war, knowing they would likely be killed. Today, the death of a soldier in Iraq can become headline news; during the Civil War, sometimes families did not learn of their loved ones' deaths until long after the fact. Did antebellum Americans hold their lives so lightly, or was death so familiar to them that it did not bear avoiding? In Awaiting the Heavenly Country, Mark S. Schantz argues that American attitudes and ideas about death helped facilitate the war's tremendous carnage. Asserting that nineteenth-century attitudes toward death were firmly in place before the war began rather than arising from a sense of resignation after the losses became apparent, Schantz has written a fascinating and chilling narrative of how a society understood death and reckoned the magnitude of destruction it was willing to tolerate. Schantz addresses topics such as the pervasiveness of death in the culture of antebellum America; theological discourse and debate on the nature of heaven and the afterlife; the rural cemetery movement and the inheritance of the Greek revival; death as a major topic in American poetry; African American notions of death, slavery, and citizenship; and a treatment of the art of death-including memorial lithographs, postmortem photography and Rembrandt Peale's major exhibition painting The Court of Death. Awaiting the Heavenly Country is essential reading for anyone wanting a deeper understanding of the Civil War and the ways in which antebellum Americans comprehended death and the unimaginable bloodshed on the horizon.

The Best Horror Of The Year

Author: Ellen Datlow
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1597804169
Size: 20.17 MB
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The first three volumes of The Best Horror of the Year have been widely praised for their quality, variety, and comprehensiveness. With tales from Laird Barron, Stephen King, John Langan, Peter Straub, and many others, and featuring Datlow's comprehensive overview of the year in horror, now, more than ever, The Best Horror of the Year provides the petrifying horror fiction readers have come to expect—and enjoy.

From Here To Eternity Traveling The World To Find The Good Death

Author: Caitlin Doughty
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393249905
Size: 25.51 MB
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The best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with “dignity.” Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for the dead. From Here to Eternity is an immersive global journey that introduces compelling, powerful rituals almost entirely unknown in America. In rural Indonesia, she watches a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body, which has resided in the family home for two years. In La Paz, she meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and in Tokyo she encounters the Japanese kotsuage ceremony, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones’ bones from cremation ashes. With boundless curiosity and gallows humor, Doughty vividly describes decomposed bodies and investigates the world’s funerary history. She introduces deathcare innovators researching body composting and green burial, and examines how varied traditions, from Mexico’s Días de los Muertos to Zoroastrian sky burial help us see our own death customs in a new light. Doughty contends that the American funeral industry sells a particular—and, upon close inspection, peculiar—set of “respectful” rites: bodies are whisked to a mortuary, pumped full of chemicals, and entombed in concrete. She argues that our expensive, impersonal system fosters a corrosive fear of death that hinders our ability to cope and mourn. By comparing customs, she demonstrates that mourners everywhere respond best when they help care for the deceased, and have space to participate in the process. Exquisitely illustrated by artist Landis Blair, From Here to Eternity is an adventure into the morbid unknown, a story about the many fascinating ways people everywhere have confronted the very human challenge of mortality.

Do Funerals Matter

Author: William G. Hoy
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135100810
Size: 27.31 MB
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Do Funerals Matter? is a creative interweaving of historical, sociocultural, and research-based perspectives on death rituals, drawing from myriad sources to create a picture of what death rituals have been; and where, especially in the Western world, they are going. Death educators, researchers, counselors, clergy, funeral-service professionals, and others will appreciate the book’s theory- and research-based approach to the ways in which different cultural groups memorialize their dead. They will also find clear clinical and practical applications in the author’s exploration of the five ritual anchors of death-related ceremonial practice and help for professionals counseling the bereaved surrounding funerals. Based on nearly three decades of research and teaching on funeral rites, this volume promises to fill an important gap in the cross-cultural literature on bereavement, while answering an important question for our generation: Do funerals matter?

Slamming Open The Door

Author: Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno
Publisher: Alice James Books
ISBN: 1938584635
Size: 32.40 MB
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Of all the losses we may be asked to bear, the murder of one’s child must be the most terrible. These poems evoke that keenly, seeking justice but transcending judgment as they grieve loss, celebrate love, and find healing.

Do They Take Credit Cards In Heaven

Author: Milica Bookman
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
ISBN: 9781475155709
Size: 74.40 MB
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Economists claim that economics is everywhere. It's in work, marriage, sports, and crime. If economics permeates all aspects of our lives, does it also show up in the afterlife? To answer this question, Bookman explores views of life after death, across cultures and throughout history. She boldly identifies economic concepts and principles in mythology, art, literature, religion and popular culture that help answer questions such as: Do the dead have jobs? What's the price of admission to the hereafter? Is there an energy crisis in hell? Can the dead outsource their sins? Eighty percent of Americans believe in some form of afterlife and an even larger number say the economy is their largest concern. Do They Take Credit Cards in Heaven? is a free-spirited investigation of the hereafter that bridges these two issues. At times humorous, occasionally controversial, and consistently thought-provoking, this clever and informative book adds a new dimension to our understanding of both economics and the afterlife.

Why We Love Serial Killers

Author: Scott Bonn
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 1632201895
Size: 53.87 MB
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For decades now, serial killers have taken center stage in the news and entertainment media. The coverage of real-life murderers such as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer has transformed them into ghoulish celebrities. Similarly, the popularity of fictional characters such as Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter or Dexter demonstrates just how eager the public is to be frightened by these human predators. But why is this so? Could it be that some of us have a gruesome fascination with serial killers for the same reasons we might morbidly stare at a catastrophic automobile accident? Or it is something more? In Why We Love Serial Killers, criminology professor Dr. Scott Bonn explores our powerful appetite for the macabre, while also providing new and unique insights into the world of the serial killer, including those he has gained from his correspondence with two of the world’s most notorious examples, David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”) and Dennis Rader (“Bind, Torture, Kill”). In addition, Bonn examines the criminal profiling techniques used by law enforcement professionals to identify and apprehend serial predators, he discusses the various behaviors—such as the charisma of the sociopath— that manifest themselves in serial killers, and he explains how and why these killers often become popular cultural figures. Groundbreaking in its approach, Why We Love Serial Killers is a compelling look at how the media, law enforcement agencies, and public perception itself shapes and feeds the “monsters” in our midst.