Originally posted on TED Blog:

During Kelli Swazey's TED Talk, she shows a slide of a Torajan family with their deceased relative.

During Kelli Swazey’s talk at TEDMED, she showed a slide of a Torajan family posing with their deceased relative.

The funerals I’ve attended have all been very much the same. Relatives and friends arrive in all black and take seats in the church or synagogue pews for a somber ceremony where prayers are said, memories are shared and tears are shed. The attendees walk slowly out to their cars and form a single file line a behind the hearse, arriving at the graveyard where they place roses on the casket just before it’s lowered into the ground. Then, they proceed to the immediate family’s home, where the doorbell rings with a steady stream of loved ones — casserole dishes in hand — since, in the days ahead, people often forget to eat.

[ted_talkteaser id=1832]In today’s talk, cultural anthropologist Kelli Swazey shares with us a different approach to memorializing the…

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