Is there a way to prepare for a good death?

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The Ma’Nene ritual is the festival of ancestor worship. When a person dies, the body is mummified with natural ingredients and buried in rock tombs. The Torajan people of Tana Toraja, Indonesia proudly display their dead relatives after digging them up and dressing them in new clothes in an ancient ritual that is meant to show respect for their loved ones. Photo by Paul Koudounaris, with permission.

The pandemic has placed death and the acknowledgement of our mortality front and center in our consciousness and yet when it comes to dying, we understand little and do even less to prepare for it. Is there a good way to die? How do the funeral rights and bereavement rituals in other cultures provide solace and comfort?



Andrea Brody