Take a Free Class in Death at Yale

To balance the “badness of death,” Kagan also provides several lectures on the “value of life.”

The Art of Dying, or Ars Moriendi

By the time of the Civil War, the theme of the Good Death inspired songs, stories and poetry for and about the Civil War.

Debate Continues over Shanidar Cave Burial Flowers

Perhaps by adding the Shanidar plants listed above to your next funeral arrangement, you can alter history – or, at least encourage debate among future scholars.

Historical Burial Traditions: Bahamian Burials III

In the first blog entry about Bahamian burials, you may have learned that there was a distinction among social classes and between races in life as well as in death in the Bahamas. In the second article, you may have witnessed how both Europeans and Africans influenced each other in the types of memorials reserved for the dead and the designation of a burial as permanent or transient. This article, the last in the series, shows how class defined the Bahamian burial; however, cultural influences also shaped the Bahamian burial scene.

Historic Funeral Traditions: Bahamian Burials II

Bahamian vault graves on San Salvador Island

Are you appalled by the idea that a family or community might re-use grave sites as mentioned in the previous Bahamian burial article? Or, perhaps the condition of the Bahamian cemeteries and grave sites might disturb you. If so, pick up the book, In Small Things Forgotten, by James Deetz to learn more about earlier American burials.

Notes on the Old-Fashioned Home Funeral

…She began to tell me about how my great grandmother’s casket was draped with roses, and about the black lace dress that she wore to her grave.

DeathCare Workers Talk about What Happens After Death

Have you ever wondered what happens to your body after death, especially if you have not planned your funeral? The Guardian ran an article in the U.K. in 2008 entitled, “What Really Happens When You Die,” and this article provides death care workers’ perspectives on their jobs and what those jobs entail.

Historic Funeral Traditions: American Germans

Did you know that Americans of German descent outnumber those Americans of Irish and English descent? The first Germans to arrive in the New World were those who settled in Jamestown, Virginia in 1608. However, the most significant influx of Germans to American occurred during the nineteenth century, with settlements in New York and Pennsylvania.

Funeral Home Options

Have you thought about how your body might be handled after you die? If so, you may have considered creating options for your burial now, even when young. But, the thought of walking into a funeral home to discuss those options might keep you from making those decisions.

What is a Eulogy?

Did you know that eulogies often were written in high praise or commendation of a person? Today, eulogies most often are associated with funerals, but the word derives from the Greek eu, meaning a combination of “good” or “well” and “true” or “genuine” and logy, or a termination of nouns referring to writing. The eulogia in the Greek Orthodx Church was a blessing. Today, the eulogy is known as a speech or writing in honor of a deceased person.