Talking about death, let's face it, is not one of the most pleasant subjects. Despite being the only absolute certainty we have throughout our existence, facing the end of human life still scares and saddens most people. This occurs mainly in Western and Judeo-Christian cultures and religions.
Would it be possible to approach death and funeral rites in a light, extremely informative, delicate, interesting and even humorous way? The answer is yes, and it comes with a hit name in today's pop culture: Caitlin Doughty. It may be hard to imagine how a girl born on the paradise island of Hawaiian O'ahu started working on a crematorium at age 22.
Doughty is a mortician who has become a resounding success on Youtube. She didn't stop there and became a book author best sellers devoted entirely to the thorny affairs of the death industry and the mortuary universe through a scientific, thought-provoking, lively and optimistic approach. How did she achieve this feat?
Ask a Mortician & #8211; the series that positively addresses the taboos of death
Caitlin Doughty was a licensed mortician four years ago when she started her project & #8211; somewhat peculiar. Your Youtube Channel Ask a Mortician (Ask a Mortician) Since 2011 he has been publishing videos about the most varied questions and curiosities about death, funeral traditions around the world, mourning, funeral art, morgue routines and even the finest details such as processes. biological and natural decomposition & #8211; all to the viewer's taste.
Young, humorous visual identity and scripts that can be extremely informative, light and irreverent at the same time. So are your videos (always presented with a catchy smile) that add up to hundreds of thousands of positive views and ratings.
In one of the episodes, Caitlin invited experts to talk about the challenges of death makeup on severely damaged bodies (such as accidents and serious illnesses). The first and touching comment of this video demonstrates the importance of this work.
One woman told how these professionals were instrumental in giving her aunt a chance to hold a less traumatic wake for her son, who was shot. “His mother last saw her son in a way that recognized his face. I was extremely grateful for the skilful work of makeup artists, which allowed for a proper farewell, ”said the viewer.
Remember that all Caitlin Doughty's work is based on serious studies. She studied Medieval History at the University of Chicago and specialized in Culture of Death. He then graduated in Mortgage Sciences at Cypress College in California, USA, where he currently resides.
Gathering her experiences and knowledge, the influencer and author traveled the world to closely investigate funerary rituals from various cultures, becoming an expert like few in her field. Caitlin, with her vast knowledge and experience, is an activist for the humanization of death and the funeral industry, seeking positive cultural transformations in the funeral universe.
She founded the collective The Order of the Good Death, which works for a movement of more positive acceptance of death and its consequences. We are facing a true educator about death.
From Youtube to Literature
If in Brazil we are used to the fast funerals and the classic rites that include ornaments like the crown for wake and more reserved burials, a dip in your book For all eternity, launched here in June 2019 by DarkSide Book, will bring renewed perspectives on dealing with death and the dead in other funeral realities in countries such as Mexico, Indonesia, Bolivia, Australia, Japan, among others.
Listed among best sellers of The New York Times and illustrated by comic artist Landis Blair, the work presents us with a profound reflection on death as the ultimate expression of a culture, especially when compared to the molds of the millionaire western funeral industry.
But this is not Caitlin Doughty's first literary success. Your debut book, Crematorium Confessions (2016, DarkSide Books) tells of part of his work routine and deep learning he received at the crematorium he worked in California. The narrative is full of real facts, philosophical, historical and mythological reflections that bring a totally different view enlarged from everything common sense imagines about this kind of activity.
Talking to the kids
With such success and audience, Caitlin began to receive many doubts from its viewers and readers, especially children. That was the spark for the production of your third book. Will my cat eat my eyeballs?, released in the United States in September 2019, not yet translated into Portuguese.
This brilliant work, which was illustrated by Dianné Ruz, answers 35 surprising, innocent, even hilarious questions asked by her younger fans. Are the answers equally accurate and funny for unusual questions like "Can my grandmother have a Viking funeral"? "What if an astronaut's body was pushed out of a space shuttle?"
But mostly, this is a work that will help children learn not to fear death as we still do.