bookczuk's Reviews > Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death

Remember Me by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
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Dec 08, 08

bookshelves: bookcrossing, read-for-review, early-review-librarything
Read in January, 2006

As kids, we used to sign autograph books with the rhyme "Remember Grant. Remember Lee. But best of all, remember me." Lisa Takeuchi Cullen takes the reader on a wonderful tour of how America prepares for that final send-off. Not so much about the spiritual traditions that abound in our nation (though there is a little) but more about how we dress up for our final party. I had heard of a fair number of the new alternatives to six feet under, particularly with "cremains". (When my priest friend first used that term, for remains after cremation, I thought he was kidding): everything from becoming a permanent part of a living reef, ashes scattered by airplane, or even turning them into diamonds. My favorite, though, even more than the Frozen Dead Guy Festival, is the Green burial-- a decided attempt to help nurture and renourish the earth, and follow the simple thought of ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Funny as Frozen Dead Guy or Lobster shaped coffins may seem, this trend at ecologically sound burials is something we've been talking about in this household of aging baby boomers and one fiesty 85 year old. And it's centered here in South Carolina (typo alert-- on page38. Westminster is in South Carolina, not North Carolina. I know this for a fact as I drove through there three days ago and got stopped for speeding.)

Anyhow, this was an interesting, informative and well-paced book. Those of us who can actually call ourselves Boomers, have watched as we've moved from babies, to hippies, to yuppies...now we're heading for our final frontier, and Lisa Takeuchi Cullen has documented some of our pathways.

The only down thing was that occasionally I felt the author intrude with her own personal objectives and need to interject her beliefs, but hey! It's her book! Oddly enough, my least favorite chapter was the one on her Grandfather's death. Had she not already been involved in the project of writing this book, I would have thought that loss of a family member was her whole reason for writing the book. But, it just appears to be an unfortunate coincidence.
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