Death is the common denominator of all mankind. It is a destiny no one can escape. It is also the most avoided subject in any conversation. So it is a bit surprising that Studs Terkel would choose to write a book about a state of being which is a taboo topic.
Not to be able to talk about one's coming demise to family or friends is extremely frustrating to the dying person. We are allowed to vent other emotions, but no one wants us to release pent-up feelings about death.
Any logical person wants to plan for death as he or she does for life. But those nearest and dearest to the dying one will oppose any mention of living wills, organ donations or burial services.
The opposers will say it's foolish to prepare for death — all of one's energy should be spent in planning to live. If one has a burial fund, someone is sure to advocate that it be spent on better living.