6. Death: The Trip of a Lifetime
It might seem odd that I'd recommend this book for when you're down, but it's perfect for that. Oh, wait, maybe that's just me again.
From the author's introduction:
Although some strange rituals are described, this is not Indigenous Peoples Do the Darndest Things! Although religious persons state their beliefs about the life everlasting, this is not A Day in the Life of Heaven and Hell. Although some of the methods human beings use to prepare for death are discussed, this is not So! You're Going to Die! Although much factual information slips in here and there, this is not A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Contemporary Death Attitudes, Belief Systems, Funeral Rituals, and Totemic Manifestation in Pre- and Postindustrial, Urban, and Agrarian Societies. And finally, although this book is certainly associated with the PBS series of the same name, this is not A Companion to the TV Shows, With the Same Stuff Just All Written Out.
All that is what this book is not. It's kind of like atheism—so much easier to say what you don't believe in than what you do believe in. But I'm copping out here. Rather than trying to characterize it further, I'll give a glimpse of some chapter titles: Death Fests of the Mysterious East; Down Under, Down Under; Putting it Off; and Not Dead, Only Sleeping.
|Hey, it could be sleeping.|
I am particularly amused by that last one. It's what I used to tell the kids when they spotted roadkill. I'd say, "Oh, no, he's not dead, he's only sleeping!" They'd stare at the flattened, furry, sometime bleeding body in the road and I could see doubt in their eyes....