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Caitlin Doughty with Sonya Vatomsky: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

  • The Summit on Pike 420 East Pike Street Seattle, WA, 98122 United States (map)

“The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living,” Marcus Tullius Cicero once wrote. Caitlin Doughty has spent her life around the dead. A mortician by trade, Doughty, in From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death travels the world to discover how other cultures care for their dead. She goes to Bolivia to see cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls; to Japan to watch relatives of the deceased use chopsticks to pluck their loved ones’ bones from cremation ashes; to Indonesia to watch a man dress his grandfather’s mummified body. Caitlin is joined in conversation with Sonya Vatomsky—Seattle-based author, journalist, and poet who writes about art and death. Together, and with a keen sense of wonder, Doughty and Vatomsky dig deep into death-care innovators who are practicing green burials and composting bodies. The life of the dead is alive, indeed.