Because I’ve been so consumed in books on topics such as death, dying, funeral industry, end of life issues, legislation, pharmacology, and all that goes in between those thoughts..I’ve decided to just post one or two quotes, theories, opinions, ideas from others in this movement. My hope is just to get you RE thinking ahead, planning ahead. Our world is always coming up with new, but I say some of these things are far from new. To take care of ourselves, each other and this earth we must wisely, purposely and consciously take steps backward in time. Many of our current ways of conducting sacred rights of passage have become forms of insulating us from really living a life complete. It is good for our souls, sustainability of this one home we have called Earth and perhaps build global community, to re evaluate how far off track we are in what it means to be HUMAN from conception to last breath.
If you have a thought come to you please share. My goal is to get you to rethink where we are as a society and to embrace the movement of so many individuals and organizations devoted to healing us as human beings.
“The funeral industry has taken to calling this final undertaking the “traditional” American funeral service, to suggest that its many ministrations on behalf of the dead are in keeping with a long and honorable history that’s worthy of continuing. In fact, today’s typical funeral is but a modern construct , and one that bears little resemblance to the way earlier generations cared for, paid tribute to, and buried their dead.
The truly traditional American way of death took a simpler and more personal approach. Expected deaths in the early years of the Republic took place not in hospitals but in homes-those who died elsewhere were returned there, sometimes borne on wooden planks-with the family attending to and “watching” its dying member to the end. After death, women of the community gathered to wash and dress the body, sometimes enshrouding it in a gown like cloth quickly sewn for the occasion, or, if poor, in a plain winding sheet. A family called the local cabinetmaker to fashion the octagonal wood coffin, usually from pine, into the twentieth century, the family might purchase a coffin ready-made at the furniture store and transport it home themselves.
The cleaned and groomed body was laid into the finished coffin and often, moved into an unheated front room or parlor, attended around the clock by at least one family member. Friends and relative dropped in to pay their respect to the dead and comfort the living. In some traditions the community gathered to wake the dead, staying with the corpse until burial, and, in the process, renewing the communal bonds shaken by the loss of one of its own.
If the funeral service weren’t held in the home, pallbearers carried the coffin to the church on their shoulders and , after a service there, to the cemetery, where they’d lower the coffin into a grave the family might have dug themselves. There was no vault or coffin hermetically sealed against the elements. No chemical embalming of remains. A g=body consigned to the earth would return to the earth and, shortly the rafter decay and become part of it.
The exact from of the funeral varied by locale and the status of the deceased. Rural burials tended to be plainer than urban, the rich might be placed into coffins fashioned from handsomer hardwoods and decorated with elaborate hardware. Still, death in early America retained for n=most of its citizens a largely spare, earthy, and family-centered focus.” Taken from Grave Matters by Mark Harris.
The question is, why have we relinquished such a sacred right to an industry and, are we aware of the serious impact this has had on our humanity because of it.
Blessings and Peace