What happens when we die?

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What happens when we die?


The day is overcast and a gloomy drizzle falls. A somber crowd gathers on a verdant lawn. Everything else is grey. The mourners are quiet aside from a few muffled tears as pallbearers pass with a heavy casket of glossy wood and polished brass. The casket is lowered into the ground while an officiant drones on about ashes and dust.

A familiar scene: friends, family, and others gather for the burial of a loved one. But how much appeal does this type of ceremony hold for Oregonians? Have they shared their wishes with others? Do they feel comfortable thinking or talking about their own death? In the Halloween spirit—and in the spirit of recognizing death as a foundational part of our lives—we asked Oregon’s residents all about death.

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