Uses This

1278 interviews since 2009

A picture of Caitlin Doughty

Caitlin Doughty

Mortician (Undertaking LA)

in mac, mortician, writer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a mortician and death acceptance advocate living in Los Angeles.

I just opened an alternative funeral home called Undertaking LA, specializing in family involvement in caring for the dead body. I also run a group called The Order of the Good Death, write books like Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, and host a webseries called Ask a Mortician.

What hardware do you use?

This is going to shock some people (no one, it will shock no one) but I use a MacBook Pro. Everything is done on that computer and if it dies my life would be over... which doesn't bode well for my acceptance of death.

All of my scheduling and note-taking is done analog in Moleskine notebooks.

For shooting my videos I use a Canon Rebel T3i with a Rode Mic attached, but honestly my videos don't look much better than when I used to shoot on my laptop camera. Probably because I'm not using anything properly.

At my funeral home we use PowerPak II retorts for cremation and all-natural willow and seagrass caskets for burial. Those count as hardware, right?

And what software?

I just designed my funeral home website on Squarespace. Not that Squarespace counts as designing, I get that. I think it went well, but the bar for aesthetics on funeral home websites is SO low, you have no idea.

I edit in iMovie which is ridiculous. I should have switched to Final Cut ages ago, but I'm a simple type of gal.

For writing I used to use Microsoft Word, but for the book I'm working on now I've been writing in Google Drive, because I'm terrified of using a program that doesn't have autosave.

What would be your dream setup?

Dream setup is a cabin outside of LA that serves as a death think tank, library, video studio, writer's retreat, etc. "If I only had the perfect space, all procrastination would be over" I tell myself, falsely.