Charles Cowling
It was a deepseated thing, this duty we felt we owed our dead. A sacred duty – literally. It goes back to the beginning of time. Throughout human history the dead body has always been treated in accordance with sacred diktat, its valedictory hullabaloos performed by shaman or sorcerer, soothsayer
Charles Cowling
Handprints at the entrance Lohapol, or Iron Gate. They are from the hands of the wives of Maharaja Man Singh, made before they committed ritual suicide on his funeral pyre in 1843. Source
Charles Cowling
This put a spring in my step. It is extracted from a letter to the Irish Times: I never cease to be amazed at how we Irish continue to celebrate and embrace death so excellently. The morgue is now giving way to families’ increasing desire to bring the body home
Charles Cowling
Here’s how they do it in Swaziland: EZULWINI – The funeral of Ziggy Carvalho was turned into a ‘mini rally’ as mourners watched his friends showing off with their cars. This happened at KaBhelina yesterday morning during a short prayer held at his home. This was before his body was
Charles Cowling
The words that follow are by Thomas Lynch, a hero to so many of us in the UK. (In the US there are those who reckon him paternalistic, but we don’t need to go into that. It’s complicated.) Funerals are about the living and the dead — the talk and
Charles Cowling
According to Hindu custom it has always been the duty of the eldest son or senior male relative to light a funeral pyre. Here in Britain, it is very rare indeed for a female to be one of the small group to witness a dead person being loaded into the
Charles Cowling
Stand up for vertical burial: the lowering device From Australia’s Herald Sun: A CANCER victim yesterday became the first person to be buried upright at Australia’s only vertical cemetery. Allan Heywood lost his battle with cancer last Tuesday and was buried in the unusual, space-saving grave in the new vertical
Charles Cowling
Gail Rubin is a writer and blogger in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’ve just looked up Albuquerque on google maps. It’s a long way from a decent beach. Gail has written a book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, which will be published at the
Charles Cowling
There’s interesting work going on over in Boston, Massachusetts. Two women, Ruth Faas and Sue Cross, offer a range of services to the bereaved. They have a reading room where people can sit in comfort and find out about death and dying. They offer advice and contacts to those wanting
Charles Cowling
When Eulogy magazine came out in June there was excitement and chatter and speculation. Would it catch on? How long would it last? The lowest estimate I was aware of was a curmudgeonly six issues, volunteered by a funeral director in the west country. In the event, it seems to