With my current transits, I continue to be interested in Funeral Customs Throughout History. A few people have told me I am morbid, but hey! I’ve heard that before!
I heard it from my parents, when I wanted to look in the sick call Crucifix when I was a kid. This was forbidden.
I heard it when I was 15 years old, lying in the dark, listening to Leonard Cohen’s early work.
“Why do you want to listen to that depressing son-of-a-bitch, Elsa? You’re as morbid as he is!”
I just stared at these people because frankly, I didn’t know what they were talking about. I have a packed 8th house. I am supposed to be interested in this stuff, fool!
Last night, my husband and I watched a movie, set in the 1800′s. A woman died on her front porch. She was brought inside. Her body was laid on the kitchen table to be cleaned and cared for by the women in the family.
Her body was washed. Pennies were placed on her eyes to pay, Charon the ferryman. The women put flowers and ceder chips around the body to help with the smell. Meanwhile, the men built a coffin.
Death was part of life at that time. Today we’re quite removed from it.
Our loved ones often die alone, in institutions, cared for by professionals who are strangers to them. Death is now extremely sanitized.
You may (or may not) feel this is an improvement. Either way, most would agree that these changes have caused death (and life) to be viewed in a different way.
My husband would prefer to die at home. He’s very clear on this and if I have anything to say about it, he’ll be allowed to do that, though the situation is less and less common. I would prefer this as well.
How does your family deal with death? How would you like to be cared for at the end of your life?