Chronicle Of A Death We Can't Accept

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For the first time in history, the actual presence of the dead at their own funerals has become optional, even undesirable, lest the body break the illusion of a cloudless celebration, spoil the meditative mood and reveal the truths about grief, life and death that our thinned-out ceremonies cannot bear.

A corpse is a stark reminder that human beings are inescapably embodied creatures, and that a life is the sum of what has been performed and spoken by the body -- a mixture of promises made and broken, deeds done and undone, joys evoked and pain inflicted.

Read the whole story at nytimes.com

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