It Tolls For Thee

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When journalist Tom Morton suffered a heart attack in 2015, his close encounter with death led him on an extraordinary journey into the world of the dead. He decided to train to become the only independent funeral celebrant on the remote Shetland islands. Armed with a new black suit and a second-hand undertaker's coat, Tom quickly learned that death requires you to think on your feet, and often to take a magpie approach to faith and philosophy. From Humanism to hymns, Theravada Buddhism to Star Wars theology, militant Marxism and prayers of all kind, he discovered the importance of ritual, humour, and the empowering act of trying to find words for something beyond language itself. This is his manifesto: a practical guide on how to prepare and plan funerals for yourself and your loved ones, all wrapped up in an intriguing narrative that reveals the world of the unspoken - from eccentric undertakers and death cafes, to pilgrimages and taboos, Tom explores our responsibility to the Earth after life, shares lessons on how to talk about the dead and dying, and how to think about our own eventual demise.

This is an accessible and thought-provoking guide to taking the control of funerals away from the professionals and making them personal to the life of the one who has passed. Tom Morton shares how to celebrate mortality, and ultimately shows how beneficial a healthy attitude towards death can be for the living.

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