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Showing posts from September 13, 2009

Book Review: Going Out Green: One Man's Adventure Planning His Own Burial, by Bob Butz

Ever since I was six I knew I hated open-casket funerals. My friend, Chrissy, died of leukemia that year, and though I was not really disturbed by the idea of her death (I knew she'd been terribly sick and she wouldn't be anymore; besides, she was going to live with Heavenly Father and be happy forever--why was everyone crying?), I was pretty creeped out by the sight of her waxy-faced body. I didn't think it looked like a person in there, let alone the living, breathing girl who'd come to my last birthday party.

The viewing didn't bring me any sense of closure; it just brought a sense of mild horror. It felt like voyeurism. Except that I was six, and didn't know what voyeurism meant.

The same sense of vague creepiness always comes back whenever I see another embalmed version of the shell of someone I once knew, pumped all full of formaldehyde and smeared with a ridiculous amount of make-up, especially when I think about the outragous cost of creeping people o…