A Lively Tour of the New American Way of DeathBook - 2006
Cullen has created a humorous and poignant chronicle of her travels around the country to discover how Americans -- baby boomers, in particular -- are reinventing the rites of dying. What she discovered is that the people who reinvented youth, redefined careers, and reconceived middle age have created a new attitude toward the afterlife. They no longer want to take death lying down; instead, they're taking their demise into their own hands and planning the after-party.
Cullen begins her journey at a national undertakers' convention in Nashville, where she checks out the latest in death merchandise. Traveling with her newborn infant on her back, she hears stories of modern-day funerals: lobster-shaped caskets and other unconventional containers for corpses; the booming cremation industry that has spawned a slew of "end-trepreneurs," including a company that turns cremated remains into diamonds; and even mishaps like dove releases gone horribly wrong.
Cullen tours the country's first "green" cemetery in South Carolina, meets a mummification advocate at his pyramid in Utah, and visits the Frozen Dead Guy Days festival in Colorado. She crashes a Hmong funeral in Minneapolis and a tango funeral in Washington, D.C.
Eye-opening, funny, and unforgettable, Remember Me gives an account of the ways in which Americans are designing new occasions to mark death -- by celebrating life.