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?