Review: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

Title: From Here To Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

Author: Caitlin Doughty

Narrator: Caitlin Doughty

Genre: Nonfiction

Length: 5hrs 37min

5 stars - I loved it!
5 stars – I loved it!

Filled with humor and highly detailed accounts of her travels, this book takes us around the world to look at different cultures’ death practices and how they cope with death. She relates these practices back to the United States practices and uses them as teaching tools to show how disconnected our culture is about death and the dead. 

“Death avoidance is not an individual failing; it’s a cultural one. Facing death is not for the faint-hearted. It is far too challenging to expect that each citizen will do so on his or her own. Death acceptance is the responsibility of all death professionals—funeral directors, cemetery managers, hospital workers. It is the responsibility of those who have been tasked with creating physical and emotional environments where safe, open interaction with death and dead bodies is possible.”

This is a very educational and informative book that makes you rethink your views on death, burial, and grief. As always, I love Doughty’s writing and approach to discussing death. It’s informative and slightly humorous, but also gentle considering the topic. She has a great way of making the difficult topic of death fun and removing the uncertainty and fear it can cause. 

“All that surrounds us comes from death, every part of every city, and every part of every person.”

I really enjoyed this book because it took us all around the world to learn about different death practices. It was fascinating seeing how other cultures deal with their dead, especially when it came to the sky burials and the Bolivian natitas.  

“Why do we refuse to have these conversations, asking our family and friends what they want done with their body when they die? Our avoidance is self-defeating. By dodging the talk about our inevitable end, we put both our pocketbooks and our ability to mourn at risk.”

This is technically the second time I have read this book and it was just as fascinating and enjoyable as it was the first time. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in death practices around the world. Also the audiobook was fantastic since it was narrated by the author and made it seem like a long episode of Ask a Mortician, just without the video. 

Trigger Warnings: 

  • Miscarriage, child deaths, and grief
  • Animal deaths 

Goodreads / Amazon


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2 thoughts on “Review: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

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