No doubt many people have a difficult relationship with death and dying. Although we might all be intimidated by a thought of dying, some of us are fascinated by death and the relationship of our culture with death. People used to criticize and judge me for my interest in art and its dialogue with death, but also with a lack of avoidance when it came to looking up pictures and videos of people dying (a lot of them very gory). I also wanted to become a funeral director (I feel like this is such a cliche now). As a result, although some of my interest in death portrayed in the arts remained, I completely abandoned exploring real life relationship with death and what dying meant to me. I can fully admit now, it was because I was ashamed and bothered by comments that made me feel very solitary and misunderstood. I should maybe clarify that when I speak of shame, I mean that feeling that makes you hide your interests from other people and sometimes yourself, too.
Recently, however, I discovered a youtube channel called “Ask a Mortician” and it was like rediscovering my old self. Although I do not want to become a funeral director anymore, I absolutely fell in love with Caitlin Doughty’s videos and her honest interest in death.
Furthermore, she managed to verbalize my own reasons for being interested in the topic, and her videos helped me overcome the shame that I felt later in life because I was simply interested in something that scares or disgusts more people.
Caitlin also gave a Ted talk about our society’s relationship to death and her career as a mortician. Additionally, she wrote a book about her experience while working in funeral homes and death industry.
Her book is en enjoyable reading that does not take much time out of your day, and it is not too gruesome! Caitlin’s goal is not to disgust and shock you. Quite to the contrary, she believes (and so do I) that by working on your relationship with death and dying, your relationship with life (and life itself ) will become elevated and more positive.
“Ask a Mortician” has featured a few guests on her channel, who also create “morbid” content. One of these is “Under The knife”, a youtube channel that creates videos on various medical history topics. I wish there were more videos on this channel, but for now I will take what I can get. ;]
If you like real crime stories, I believe you will enjoy Cayleigh Elise’s Dark Curiosity channel. The majority of her stories fall under the unsolved/disappeared/missing categories. I can guarantee that you have not heard of the majority of cases she talks about, and the amount of research and preparation she puts into making of these videos is phenomenal and quite rare for channels without a huge production team behind them.
I think I will stop here, and share more favourite youtube channels next time!