Inviting Death Back into Polite Society

In the average North American home, what we now call the living room was once referred to as the “parlour”—a place where, before the 1930s, it was not uncommon to place the dead body of a family member for viewing and mourning.

But in the 21st century, death “is now considered impolite to talk about,” says Megan Rosenbloom, director of Death Salon, self-described “resident death expert” on Vice’s Entitlement podcast, and the associate director for Collection Resources at the Norris Medical Library at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “And people don’t know how to manage that.”

Rosenbloom has given the topic more thought than most of us do. She even talks about how she doesn’t want her own body to be buried after she dies and why.

A Good Death from ChemHeritage on Vimeo.