The world needs more death educators like Caitlin Doughty.
She’s the Millennial “Ask a Mortician” author of three New York Times bestselling books: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death; and her latest, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death.
Caitlin has a wicked sense of humor. As I’ve often said, humor is a great way to break down resistance to discussing death, well before the Grim Reaper darkens your door. In fact, we can only laugh about death when it still seems like a distant possibility.
Pioneering radio and TV host Art Linkletter created the program, “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” Kids also ask the best questions about death. The book’s title, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, is the first question answered.
Doughty leverages each question about death to weave in information about science, history, art, culture, and literature. You can see how she does this in my video with some highlights from the book in this Mortality Minute book review on YouTube.
Questions from the Book
- What would happen to an astronaut body in space?
- Can I keep my parents’ skulls after they die?
- We buried my dog in the backyard, what would happen if we dug him up now?
- Why do we turn colors when we die?
- How does a whole adult fit in a tiny box after cremation?
- Will I poop when I die?
- If I died making a stupid face, would it be stuck like that forever?
- Can we give Grandma a Viking funeral?
- If someone is trying to sell a house, do they have to tell the buyer someone died there?
- We eat dead chickens, why not dead people?
- Can you describe the smell of a dead body?
- Can I be buried in the same grave as my hamster?
And that’s just a sampling of the great questions Caitlin answers! There are a total of 34 questions she answers in this treasury of death education that’s a must for your library, especially if you have children that would ask these kinds of questions.
The book is laugh-out-loud funny. Just ask my husband, who was disturbed by my laughter as I read Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? in bed. We have two black cats, one of which likes to get on the headboard and play with my hair in the middle of the night. I’m glad to know she won’t be chomping on my flesh should I die in my sleep — at least, not right away.
Want to see a review of other death related books? Let me know in the comments section!