D is for Death

I sort of fell into death as a theme for my next book because it’s a topic that really makes me uncomfortable.  I’d rather avoid it altogether, and yet, it’s, to use the cliché, inevitable that I’m going to run into it.  My first experience with it was a great aunt who died.  They had an open casket, which disturbing and unsettling.  She was dead, and yet, for some reason, we had to gawk at her body.  Though I visited her before she died, the last image I will always have of her is in death.

So it was with great trepidation when I confronted death head on as part of my research by going to Ford’s Theatre where Lincoln had been assassinated.  Even though it was off season, the place was packed with tourists! Plus we have other sites associated with death that are huge draws: Holocaust Museum, Manassas Battlefield, and Arlington National Cemetery.  These are all very popular tourist attractions.

QUESTION FOR YOU:  What do you think is the reason people are drawn to sites where death has happened?  What does it say about us as people?

4 thoughts on “D is for Death

  1. Going to these sites associated with death may be a show of respect. We realize that the event is a significant part of history, and by viewing it, we can touch history. Visiting these places is humbling, and we realize that man’s inhumanity to man is senseless. Then we realize that our place in things is insignificant…and what can we do about it all? Yet we know that individual actions compiled cause change.


  2. Michael Abayomi

    Death is a theme central to my work-in-progress, a story triggered by an actual death in my family. I started writing Guardians and the Lost Paradise a few days after my dad died. It’s been almost 6 years now, and I am only just getting to the end of the first draft.

    To answer your question, I think people are drawn to these places because we have an inherent need to sympathize. Also, such places, and the events that brought about their fame/infamy, make us see more value in our lives.

    I found your blog through the A-Z Challenge; I am a fellow participant.



Comments are closed.