Mourning Jewelry Customs

Have you been to a funeral lately where the loved ones of the deceased handed out party favors? Probably not – but this custom was in force from the fifteenth century throughout most of the 1700s and beyond, but with much less fervor since the Civil War.* Popular gifts at the time were rings, brooches, […]

Historic Funeral Traditions: Mormons

Mormons, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Mormons see themselves as a new branch of Christianity; therefore, they often use Christian funeral practices, but they have developed a culture and customs that include how they see death and bury their dead.

Want to Last Forever? Become a Diamond.

Did you neglect to provide your wife with an engagement or wedding ring? If you set aside a bit of cash now, she can have that diamond she deserves – once you die. In fact, you’ll need to die before this particular diamond can be created, as it’s made from your cremated remains – or at least from a lock of your hair.

Learn More About Roadside Memorials

If you’ve ever taken a trip down an Interstate highway, no doubt you’ve noticed a few roadside memorials. These memorials recognize a site where a person died, most likely in a traffic accident. Unlike a grave site marker that indicates where a body lays at rest, the roadside memorial marks the last place where a person is noted as alive, even if the person dies later in hospital.

What are Coroners and What do They Do?

Have you wondered what a coroner does and how that job might differ from a medical examiner? The office of the coroner, or “crowner,” dates back to medieval times when the crowner was responsible for making sure that death duties were paid to the King.

Why a Glass Coffin?

My daughter and I roamed around three floors of an antique mall in Louisville, Kentucky, one day. This mall was incredible, as it contained many antiques that a viewer might find in a museum – and many items that you may never see in a museum, but that you may find in a funeral home. One of these items was a coffin that contained a glass window at the head of the coffin. While my daughter doubled over in nervous laughter when she saw that coffin, I was curious as to why the glass existed.

What are Mound Builders?

If you ever traveled to Natchez, Missippi or East St. Louis, Illinois or even to Ashland, Kentucky, you may know about the mysterious mounds that once belonged to Native Americans called mound builders. “Mound Builder” is a general term that refers to American Indians who constructed earthen mounds for burial, residential and ceremonial purposes. Mound builders included Archaic, Woodland period and Mississippian period Pre-Columbian cultures that dated roughly from 3000 BCE to the sixteenth century CE.

Historic Funeral Traditions: Native North American

Much is known today about various Native American burial customs, but the main fact that stands out is that each tribe’s customs remain different. These traditions, based upon beliefs and custom and affected by location, demands only a brief overview.

Living Wills Could Save Money Nationwide

On April 19 this year, the nation celebrated its first National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). The National Healthcare decisions Day was designed to help Americans understand that making future healthcare decisions includes much more than deciding what care they would or would not want regarding their health. This initiative also advocates “expressing preferences, clarifying values, identifying care preferences and selecting an agent to express healthcare decisions if patients are unable to speak for themselves.”

What is an American Gold Star Mother?

After many years working in newspaper archives in search of clues to migration patterns for a specific group, I came across an article that contained the name of a woman who was included in my research. This woman’s name was included in a list of Gold Star Mothers, or women who were entitled to make a pilgrimage to their loved ones’ graves overseas at the expense of the U.S. government. More than 17,000 mothers and widows were eligible for this program, which began in 1929. When the project ended in 1933, nearly 7,000 women had taken advantage of the offer to visit the graves in Europe.

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