23+ quotes from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Quotes from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

Caitlin Doughty ·  272 pages

Rating: (27.3K votes)


“Sifting through an urn of cremated remains you cannot tell if a person had successes, failures, grandchildren, felonies. “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“Death might appear to destroy the meaning in our lives, but in fact it is the very source of our creativity. As Kafka said, “The meaning of life is that it ends.” Death is the engine that keeps us running, giving us the motivation to achieve, learn, love, and create.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“Exposing a young child to the realities of love and death is far less dangerous than exposing them to the lie of the happy ending.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“In many ways, women are death's natural companions. Every time a woman gives birth, she is creating not only a life, but a death. Samuel Beckett wrote that women "give birth astride of a grave." Mother Nature is indeed a real mother, creating and destroying in a constant loop.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture—that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves,”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“No matter how many heavy-metal album covers you’ve seen, how many Hieronymus Bosch prints of the tortures of Hell, or even the scene in Indiana Jones where the Nazi’s face melts off, you cannot be prepared to view a body being cremated. Seeing a flaming human skull is intense beyond your wildest flights of imagination.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“The silence of death, of the cemetery, was no punishment, but a reward for a life well lived.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“It is no surprise that the people trying so frantically to extend our lifespans are almost entirely rich, white men. Men who have lived lives of systematic privilege, and believe that privilege should extend indefinitely.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“A corpse doesn't need you to remember it. In fact, it doesn't need anything anymore-it's more than happy to lie there and rot away. It is you who needs the corpse. Looking at the body you understand the person is gone, no longer an active player in the game of life. Looking at the body you see yourself, and you know that you, too, will die. The visual is a call to self-awareness. It is the beginning of wisdom.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“There are many words a woman in love longs to hear. “I’ll love you forever, darling,” and “Will it be a diamond this year?” are two fine examples. But young lovers take note: above all else, the phrase every girl truly wants to hear is “Hi, this is Amy from Science Support; I’m dropping off some heads.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“As Kafka said, “The meaning of life is that it ends.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“In many ways, women are death's natural companions. Every time a woman gives birth, she is creating not only a life, but also a death. Samuel Beckett wrote that women "give birth astride of a grave." Mother Nature is indeed a real mother, creating and destroying in a constant loop.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“Looking mortality straight in the eyeis n easy feat. To avoid the exercise, we choose to stay blindfolded, in the dark as to the realities of death and dying. But ignorance is not bliss, only a deeper kind of terror.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“Mythologist Joseph Campbell wisely tells us to scorn the happy ending, “for the world as we know it, as we have seen it, yields but one ending: death, disintegration, dismemberment, and the crucifixion of our heart with the passing of the forms that we have loved.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“Buddhist say that thoughts are like drops of water on the brain; when you reinforce the same thought, it will etch a new stream into your consciousness, like water eroding the side of a mountain. Scientist confirm this bit of folk wisdom: our neurons break connections and form new pathways all the time. Even if you've been programmed to fear death, that particular pathway isn't set in stone. Each of us is responsible for seeking out new knowledge and creating mental circuits.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“French existentialist Albert Camus said it best: “Ah, mon cher, for anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of days is dreadful.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“Death is the engine that keeps us running, giving us the motivation to achieve, learn, love, and create. Philosophers have proclaimed this for thousands of years just as vehemently as we insist upon ignoring it generation after generation.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“Mother Nature, as Tennyson said, is “red in tooth and claw,” demolishing every beautiful thing she has ever created.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“There is not much to enjoy in a layer of inorganic human bone dusted behind one’s ear or gathered underneath a fingernail,”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“It was the beginning of a Jane Austen novel, if Mr. Darcy was a grieving son/HBO enthusiast from Perth and Elizabeth an entry-level cremationist.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“When the feelings would come, the emotions, the grief, I would push them down deeper, furious at myself for allowing them to peek through. My inner dialogue could be ruthless: You're fine. You're not starving, no one beats you. Your parents are still alive. There is real sadness in the world and yours is pathetic, you whiny, insignificant cow.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“I wanted to quiet my brain, to stop its incessant ruminations on the whys and hows of mortality.”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


“Rather than let author and environmentalist Edward Abbey be buried in a traditional cemetery, his friends stole his body, wrapped it in a sleeping bag, and hauled it in the back of his pickup truck to the Cabeza Prieta Desert in Arizona. They drove down a long dirt road and dug a hole when they reached the end of it, marking Abbey’s name on a nearby stone and pouring whiskey onto the grave. Fitting tribute for Abbey, who spent his career warning humanity of the harm in separating ourselves from nature. “If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture—that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves,” he once said. Left”
― Caitlin Doughty, quote from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory


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About the author

Caitlin Doughty
Born place: O’ahu, Hawai’i, The United States
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