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Episode 4: Caitlin Doughty and the Death Positive Movement

Episode 4: Caitlin Doughty and the Death Positive Movement

by Tanya D. Marsh | Death, et seq.

I am so happy to have Caitlin Doughty as my guest on Episode 4.  Caitlin is a licensed funeral director and the owner of Undertaking LA, a funeral home in Los Angeles.  She is the co-founder of Death Salon and the founder of The Order of the Good Death.  She is the host of Ask a Mortician, which is a highly entertaining series of videos on YouTube (my favorite is the one on Viking burials).

Caitlin is also the author of TWO best-selling books – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, in which she discusses her experience working in a crematory, and From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, which was published last year.

In this episode of Death, et seq., Caitlin discusses what the death positive movement IS.  In this blog post, she explains what the death positive movement IS NOT.

 

Discussion topics:

⇒   Defining “death positivism”

⇒   What kind of pushback Caitlin receives, and what parts of her message resonate broadly

⇒   How social justice is an integral part of the death positive movement

⇒   Caitlin’s relationship with the funeral industry

⇒   What each of us can do to be more death positive on a daily basis

 

Selected quotations from Caitlin Doughty:

⇒   “I always knew I wanted to start a movement … because I thought it was required [for] … my quest to get people to re-evaluate the funeral industry and people’s relationships with death.”

⇒   “We can’t just say that the good death is for privileged white people who have access to a mandolin playing at their bedside as they die in a magical home funeral with the best death doula in town.  We can’t just say these are the only people who get a good death.”

⇒   “Let’s make sure a good death, as a community defines it, is potentially available to more people.”

⇒   “I don’t think that the funeral industry really has a solid way to refute the things that I’m saying.”

⇒   “There have been people in the funeral industry who have been very kind and excited about what I’m doing, and then there are people who are not excited, especially online … and not excited about me as a human being.”

 

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