Caitlin Doughty, 28, has found success working in the death business.A Los Angeles-based mortician, Doughty grew up in Hawaii and, she says, had “a proclivity towards the macabre.” She got her start as a crematory operator. Currently, she is working on a memoir about her years handling the dead and runs the Order of the Good Death, a group that seeks to inspire others to find the beauty in death.
What’s the difference between being a mortician and being a funeral director?
Mortician, funeral director, and undertaker are basically the same thing. Funeral director is the more fancy, sanitized, modern title. I like mortician best because I’d like to think I’m a practitioner of death, not just a director of funerals.
I get the heebie-jeebies when I think about handling a dead body.
That’s a normal reaction, because we never see them anymore. Like being a crematory operator, handling a corpse is something everyone should do. They remind us that we, too, will die, which is a thought process we’re missing.
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