The Washington PostThe Washington Post

What people around the world mean when they say they’re happy

By Ana Swanson

03 Feb 2016 · 6 min read

Even though she is still healthy and lively, Mrs. Xie has already prepared the clothes she will be buried in.

An 86-year-old Chinese woman who lives in Dongshan, a city on China's southeastern coast, Xie has an active life, cooking for friends at the local Buddhist temple and joining in the chants there. Yet she has already bought the pants, shirt, shoes, earrings and purse she will wear after she dies, as well as an embroidered yellow pillow for her head. She had a portrait taken that will be displayed at her funeral. And she wrapped the items neatly in a cardboard box to await her death.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content
Or

LoginForm.agreeToTerms