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Parting Ways – New Rituals and Celebrations of Life's Passing - California Scholarship Online
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Parting Ways: New Rituals and Celebrations of Life's Passing

Denise Carson


This book explores the emergence of new end-of-life rituals in America that celebrate the dying and reinvent the roles of family and community at the deathbed. The author of this book contrasts her father's passing in the 1980s, governed by the structures of institutionalized death, with her mother's death some two decades later. The book's moving account of her mother's dying at home vividly portrays a ceremonial farewell known as a living wake, showing how it closed the gap between social and biological death while opening the door for family and friends to reminisce with her mother. The boo ... More

Keywords: end-of-life rituals, roles of family, deathbed, institutionalized death, living wake, living funerals, oral ethical wills, home funerals, America

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780520251083
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520251083.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Denise Carson, author