Most people don’t reckon to look their best when they’re dead, but this was not how the status conscious citizens of Palermo in Italy saw it. Starting in 1599 the Capuchin friars were mummified or embalmed, then displayed, standing, in the catacombs beneath their friary. The idea appealed to the
“America,” said Oscar Wilde, “has been discovered before, but it has always been hushed up.” I don’t want to give offence to any of my many US readers. But for people in the UK who sometimes get frustrated with the way we do funerals over here, it’s worth reflecting that
Here’s an interesting practice. In South Korea, where rapid industrialisation has generated societal angst and personal dysfunction—things capitalism taught us here in the UK ages ago—a Mr Ko Min-su has devised a training course in which participants rehearse their own death. The purpose is to teach them to re-evaluate their
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