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Ask a Mortician Anything

Illustration for article titled Ask a Mortician Anything

Death becomes us all, yet most of us have little idea what happens to our bodies before and after a funeral. It doesn't have to be that way. You have questions about death, and mortician Caitlin Doughty is here with answers.


In her memoir Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Doughty chronicles the unlikely journey that takes her from studying medieval history to a post-college crematory job in Oakland to mortuary school in L.A. Her stories are equal parts dark, funny, and sad. She's wired jaws shut (gaping mouths are a common problem in dead bodies), cleaned up liquified human fat, and cremated too many unnamed babies to count.


If you read our sister site Jezebel, you may have already encountered Doughty's "Ask a Mortician" video series. She's also the founder of the Order of the Good Death, and now she's working to open her own funeral home in L.A.

Doughty will be hanging out in Kinja starting at 2pm ET on Thursday, and you can start asking your questions now. Want to know what really happens to a body during embalming? Care to learn more about cutting edge body disposal technology like liquid cremation or mushroom body suits? Now's your chance to satisfy your curiosity, morbid or not.

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I read the article on Giz about how the funeral business is the shadiest of all and really tries to rip you off. Whats your take on that?

There's a crematorium near my house, about a block away. When they are cremating I really like the smell. Is that really the bodies or do they add something to the mix to make it smell good, or am I just weird?