Losing loved ones and saying farewell to them are fundamental parts of the human experience. Yet the ways in which we part with the dead vary considerably. Germany’s formerly rigid funerary culture is currently evolving to allow more individualized practices. Sarah Benz illustrates these changes using examples from her everyday work and excerpts from her series of short films, Sarggeschichten (Coffin Stories).
Sarah Benz is a grief counselor, emergency pastor, funeral director, and lecturer. She was confronted with death at an early age and experienced first-hand how helpful it can be to design one’s own farewell process. She created the short film series Sarggeschichten in 2015 and has advocated for more individual autonomy in mourning culture.