Monday, September 9, 2013
The Ultimate End-of-Life Plan

 "When I first started out washing and coffining corpses early in 1965, the majority of cases were home deaths," wrote the Japanese Buddhist mortician Shinmon Aoki. "[The bodies] looked like dried-up shells, the chrysalis from which the cicada had fled.  

Along with the economic advances in our country, though, we no longer see these corpses that look like dead trees," he wrote in his memoir, "Coffinman." "The corpses that leave the hospital are all plumped up, both arms blackened painfully by needle marks made at transfusion, some with catheters and tubes still dangling. There's nothing natural about the way they died, as the image of dried leaves falling in autumn would impart. This tells us that our medical facilities leave us no room to think of death."


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