The Naked Dead: How we engage with the dead through their nakedness

    I have written a short essay on how we engage and entangle with the world around us.  Specifically I look at nakedness and the dead body.  Through this I explore the idea that we connect with the dead body before us and bring it into our being.  We feel its nakedness and exposure, so we cover it up.

    This is the first 'formal' essay I have written on the funeral industry and for this blog.  It was rather interesting and fun to write, so I hope it's fun to read.  The essay itself is not too long but I have provided a short summary anyway.  

    You can read the full essay by clicking here.  If you have trouble clicking there then I've provided the url at the end of the post.

    It might be a bit much for some, so instead you can just read the abstract below :)  My abstract is not very good though.  This is the third abstract I've ever written and while I know the theory my execution is not too sharp.  So while the abstract does give the gist it isn't as good as the whole essay.  If the abstract or the idea catches your attention then read the essay.  I had fun writing it so I hope you have fun reading it!  


There is a strong desire to cover the dead, to not let them be naked or exposed.  This stems from the idea of clothing as a way to not only protect us from the environment but as a way of protecting our dignity.  To be naked is to be exposed and shameful, particularly with our gentials.  The genitals are a site of vulnerability and contention as they are an orifice, which lets things in and out of our body, and they are taboo.  We are hesitant to talk about or look at them, even in medical exams.  Thus there is a strong desire to cover the genitals of the dead body, to stop them from being naked.  Yet how can the dead body feel the sense of nakedness or shame?  The dead body feels nothing.  Instead we feel the nakedness of the dead before us.  This is because when we look at a dead body we do not simply ‘look at it’ but ‘gaze into it’.  We engage and entangle with the dead body before us so it becomes part of us.  The thing before us becomes part of us, even with a dead body.

    The full essay is only 3, 500 words (including references and citations) so it is not actually that long.  But it is too long to post here as blogger messes up formatting and makes long text harder to read.

    Link to whole essay:



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