Journal 12-Mapping Ideas- Jessica Mitford

Mitford presents the process of embalming and funerals to her readers.  She questions the morals and legality involved in the process, and makes many claims throughout this writing.

  1. “…there really is a fantastic amount of service accorded the dead body and its survivors.” pg 43

I agree that there are drastic amounts of work done for the funeral itself.  However I feel like funerals are to comfort the living, the survivors.  This service helps to give closure.

2.  “The purpose of embalming is to make the corpse presentable for viewing in a suitably costly container….without first consulting the family, prepares the body for public display.” pg 43

This concept is also interesting since the family is not consulted in this process.  Yet Mitford acts as though it’s easy for the family to have a say in it.  They’re emotionally grieving, and probably not in a great place to make decisions.  It would be painful for them to actively participate in the process, most likely.

3.   “Embalming is indeed most extraordinary procedure…. blissfully ignorant… how it is done.” pg 44

Sometimes, people don’t care what is done to their loved one after death.  They would rather look at the embalmed body than the decaying one.  There are some things in life you don’t necessarily need to know what goes on to have it done.  Sometimes, the end result is enough to justify not knowing if that knowing would increase the pain one is already feeling.

4.  “The object of all the attention is to the corpse…healthy repose.” pg 47

My grandmother passed away due to cancer.  At the end of her life, seeing her that ill was much more painful than seeing her at her funeral.  Sometimes, when one who was ill looks healthier after this process, helps give loved ones a sense of relief.  This person is no longer suffering,  They are not longer struggling.  That thought helped me cope with my loss, and I’m sure many others who’ve lost someone feel the same.



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