Death in the modern industrial society, especially the United States, has become sterilized–people die in hospital beds or nursing homes, loved ones perched beside them, surrounded by cold white walls.

          But what is death like all over the world in different cultures? How do people from different cultures view death? What do they do in death practices like funerals? And how do they take care of their dying loved ones?

          All will be brought to you by Premortem, the podcast where we get intimate with death before it arrives.

          To learn more about this topic, you can read our follow-ups below:

Episode script

Research References 

2018. “End-of-Life Care Fact Sheet.” American Psychological Association. Retrieved December

7, 2018.

2018. “The Final Year: Visualizing End Of Life.” Arcadia. Retrieved December 14, 2018 (

Doughty, Caitlin. 2017. From Here To Eternity. 1st ed. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson.

Doughty, Caitlin. 2014. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: and Other Lessons from the Crematory. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Hetzler, Peter T. and Lydia S. Dugdale. 2018. “How Do Medicalization and Rescue Fantasy

Prevent Healthy Dying?” AMA Journal of Ethics 20(8)E766-773. Doi:10.1001/amajethics. 2018.766.

Keven Hernandez. 2018. In person interview with Zhentao Chen, Grinnell College, Nov 27.

MacPherson, Andrew, and Ravi B. Parikh. 2017. Washington Post. Retrieved December 14, 2018 (

Phillip Le. 2018. In person interview with Cat Ton, Grinnell College, Nov 28.

Yuki. 2018. In person interview with Cat Ton, Grinnell College, Nov 26.

Zhentao Chen. 2018. In person interview with Emma Carr, Grinnell College, Nov 29.

Music References

Introduction “Flowing Air” 2017 Mattia Vlad Morleo, Jamendo Music.


Aakash Gandhi. “Kiss the Sky.” Youtube Free Music Audio Library. 

“Fire Crackle and Flames.” Freesound. October 19, 2016.

Ren, Tongxiang. “Birds Saluting the Phoenix” (A song widely used in Chinese funerals. It sounds merry, but it actually tells a story of the death of a phoenix. The music imitates the birds gathering around the phoenix so that it sounds merry.) 2002. NetEase Music

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