I’m about one-third through, savoring every train of thought and feeling that Jenkinson explores, often with surprising twists and turns, and a deep, deep penetration into the psychology, sociology, economics, philosophy, and culture of our individual and collective avoidance of death and the deathing process. Here’s one pregnant, trenchant paragraph. There are thousands of others:
We aren’t taught dying in school. If you think that sex education in schools was an uphill battle, try getting death education into the curriculum. I have, and it should be in the dictionary entry defining “futile.” Kids are taught the life cycle, but it’s usually the life cycle of frogs. They aren’t often taught that it includes death, and they’re rarely taught that it includes them. We have no mentors for dying, no National Living Treasures skilled in the traditional arts of dying well. Instead, we have legions of accomplices in the project of not dying, and others in the project of hiding it away. We have just about no tradition of dying well. If you are not born with the instinct for dying well, you have to learn it. I wish you every success in finding someone who is good at it and is willing to teach you. You have to learn how to die, or you probably will not die wisely or well.