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Monday, August 5, 2013

Cadavers and Stiffs

When I was in nursing school, our anatomy class included dissecting cadavers at the University. I hated the smell of formaldehyde and that lingering smell of death. Getting through some of the tasks required pushing thoughts about this being a person out of my head and replacing them with ideas this was now an inanimate object.

I didn't mind having to analyze just a portion of the human body, such as the leg or the heart, but interacting with a whole cold human body, well, that required shutting off feelings and finding finding a place where there were no emotions.

So when I read the teaser about the book "Stiff" stating how this book was "an oddly compelling, hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem" I was intrigued. I hoped I could now discover a new point of view that I had missed; the frivolity of death and decay. However, the book, for me, was not hilarious or fun, but it was informative. I found the information helped open up some long lost memories and replace them with just hard, cold, data. For that alone, it was worth reading. It was like doing some housekeeping and sweeping out some dusty old cobwebs that were no longer needed.