Thoughts on a not very cheery subject...death

What is this renaissance of fascination with how upon death, one's body is buried and interred? Reference the deaths and burials of President Ford and the plans for Billy Graham. So much fuss over the remains of what once was a human being; too bad our society pays so little attention to people while they are still alive.

I believe that burial or cremation is a solemn and important ceremony for the benefit of the people who remain behind; I'm not trying to belittle it's importance to the survivors, but I honestly don't understand how it has become so significant nowadays. Is it a Christian thing? I've come to appreciate the Jewish tradition of burying a body as soon as possible, without transporting it around the country for days, without embalming, without a fancy coffin or crypt, just a wooden coffin, a goodbye and that's it.


"Isn't this a little medieval, folks? Aren't we past this, as a species? Saving up all the dead people in one part of town?"- George Carlin

In library school we had to make an online readers guide. I kept mine about Funeral Customs of the World and it still sees about 50 hits a month. It took me a day or two to make so why waste the effort (although it has not been updated in two or three years).

Irish Catholic funerals while they seem unstructured are very choreographed affairs, at least those of my relatives are. From the picking of the funeral home, to the wake, the going to the bar, to the after funeral breakfast everyone somehow knows his or her part. Then again Irish Catholic funerals are not primarily sad affairs because as Catholics we wish for a happy death.

My sister in law's family recently held a traditional Jewish funeral which we could not get to quick enough, but we were able to visit the house afterward while they were sitting shiva (as far as I know the mirror was covered and everybody was very somber)we brought something to eat and only stayed 15 or 20 minutes.

Each faith has its own customs, but none of my relatives have the custom of shuttling the body around the country like some sort of museum exhibit.

Oh and my mother has already picked out her coffin (although she'll outlive all of us like every other Irish woman in my family tree).

it ain't like they're building a giant pyramid...

I'm gonna be cryonically frozen, just like Uncle Walt and Ted Williams. See ya in the future, one 'Mudgecicle comin right up!

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