THE BIG READ | How my mother and I decided to embrace death by making our own coffins

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Laura Dodsworth and her mother, Catherine, in their coffins. (PHOTO: Laura Dodsworth/The Sunday Times Magazine/News Licensing)
Laura Dodsworth and her mother, Catherine, in their coffins. (PHOTO: Laura Dodsworth/The Sunday Times Magazine/News Licensing)

Knowing that death comes to us all, British journalist Laura Dodsworth and her mother, Catherine, decided to embrace it by making each other’s funeral caskets – and instead of being depressing and macabre, the project turned out to be unexpectedly life-affirming.

I am lying awake in bed, thinking about what it will be like to lie in my coffin. I am curious, excited and strangely peaceful at the prospect. I feel the echoes of willow scraping across my palms and fingers.

My mind replays the day’s hard-learnt cleaving and weaving techniques. I’m experiencing an unexpected version of mal de débarquement, that sensation when your body ebbs and flows at night with the memory of a lengthy sea voyage, long after disembarkation.

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