American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning

American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning

Kate Sweeney


Someone dies. What occurs next?

One kinfolk inters their matriarch’s ashes at the flooring of the sea. one other holds a memorial weenie roast every year at a green-burial cemetery. An 1898 advert for embalming fluid offers, “You could make mummies with it!” whereas a number one modern burial vault is touted as impervious to the weather. A grieving mom, a hundred and fifty years in the past, could spend her days tending a backyard at her daughter’s grave. at the present time, she may have a tendency the roadside memorial she erected on the spot her daughter used to be killed. One mom wears a locket containing her daughter’s hair; the opposite, a necklace containing her ashes.

What occurs after a person dies depends upon our own tales and on the place these tales fall in a bigger tale―that of demise in the USA. It’s a robust story that we frequently continue hidden from our daily lives till we need to face it.

American Afterlife through Kate Sweeney unearths this international via a collective portrait of usa citizens earlier and current who locate themselves in my view concerned with demise: a klatch of obit writers within the wasteland, a funeral voyage at the Atlantic, a fourth-generation funeral director―even a midwestern museum that takes us again in time to fulfill our death-obsessed Victorian progenitors. every one tale illuminates information in one other until eventually anything higher is published: a panorama that feels immediately unusual and customary, one that’s through turns peculiar, tragic, poignant, and infrequently even funny.

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