This is not a book I would ever normally pick up off the book shelves. But Lisa's Work in Progress blog is one of the best. I try to read it daily.
A while back I volunteered to review some books that had been sent to Lisa for review. Instead of just sending me the one I requested she sent me a whole stack which I am slowly making my way through. Also, included in the pack was an autographed copy of her very own. How could I not read that one first?
During Lisa's maternity leave she was given an assignment by her editor to explore the rites of death in America. Death is changing in America. Not death itself. Not that's pretty much set in stone. But the way we celebrate and mourn death is changing dramatically as the baby boomers age and want to do things their way.
I thought this was going to be a very depressing book. What fun is there in traveling from funeral to funeral with a newborn baby strapped to your back? You can't really crash a funeral. I mean, invitations aren't sent out like they are for a wedding. But you've got to think to yourself that you are invading a very private time and space when you don't even know the person. And then some reporter starts asking you questions. And I didn't really want to bear witness to the tragedy of death and these people's grief.
But I loved this book. It made me think long and hard about how I want the end to be for me. It made me think about how I want to be remembered and how I would like my friends and family to mark the occasion of the end of my life.
Lisa's style is honest and she writes like we were having a conversation. My favourite part of the book is about the people who have turned the remains of their young daughter who died way too early in life, into diamonds and shared the diamonds with their closest friends and family. I particularly like the fact that they gave one of the diamonds to their daughter's best friend when she got married. Obviously, the daughter couldn't be the maid of honour. But she was there as a diamond.
I highly recommend this book. It made me laugh and it made me cry. Best of all, it made me think about my death but not in a depressing way. In a loving way and in the way I hope I will be remembered.