In the Midst of Life: Australian Response to Death
2 Rev ed
1 Jan 1993
Melbourne University Press
Graeme M. Griffin
This is a thoroughly useful, authoritative and compassionate book about the last taboo subject-death. In exploring our responses to death, it reveals a great deal about Australian society. There is grim humour in the practical details of burial in the days of pick and shovel-and a priest if you were lucky. Stories of elaborate Victorian mourning etiquette, of poignant personal histories recorded on gravestones, of vehement debates about cremation, and much more, make good reading. The authors-a theologian and a funeral director-use this frank social history to look at questions we often avoid. What is grief? How can we help ourselves and others through it? What choices do we have for farewelling our loved ones? Are the rituals of churches, funeral parlours and cemeteries flexible enough to meet our endlessly varied needs? Both professional and general readers will find many answers and yet more questions in this informative and reassuring book.