The newspaper in little town where we’re moving publishes a frequently updated blog. On average, there are four or five entries each day. The entries might be about the new fast food place that’s opening up or news of an arrest, or community event. They also publish obituaries, which is what this post is about.
One average, four people in this small community, die each week. At first I was astonished by this. I started reading this site before I moved here. It’s taken me months to come to terms with just how many people die, week in and week out.
The obituaries are well done; respectful and detailed. They give you a sense – this is a human being who has passed – with connections to others and to the community. It’s old-timey.
I have an innate interest this (see Funeral Customs Throughout History). So I’ve taken my time to mull it. Matter of fact, I’ve mentioned this to my husband a half-dozen times.
“I can’t believe how many people die in this little town…”
He said that this many people die in every little town, we just hide our dead at this time in history. We sweep real life death under the rug.
I don’t know what you think about this, but when I die, I want someone to announce it. I don’t think anyone should pass without their death being acknowledged. But I have a packed 8th house and feel death to be of great importance.
You might also want to read this – Scorpio Going To Funerals.
And then consider weighing in on this topic – thanks.
All I have in my eighth house is Chiron and Scorpio is just my IC. But I have been obsessed with mortality since I was a child, maybe because I was brought up Southern Baptist and was bombarded with fire and brimstone sermons each Sunday. My childhood in rural Texas was quite revival tent flavored. I had frequent nightmares about the Rapture. Yes death should be acknowledged with respect and love. I have told everyone I know for years that I wish to be cremated and scattered into the Pacific. And I want to be remembered with a party. Good food and music and maybe helium balloons released to the sky.
I have Jupiter conjunction Pluto in the 8th at the top of a kite. I think death is just a change into something else. I’ve died in a car accident and woke up in a morgue so I know it’s a pleasant sensation. And yet I really value life and today. I worry much more about life and it’s pains or how mean people can be to each other. I’d like people to come to my funeral. And I go out of respect. Not extended, but if I genuinely value (8th?) an aspect of you, or I’m going to miss you. I think- I will never be in the same room with ‘that’ person again, and about all the things I liked about them, or good times we shared. It’s not a heavy or a debt. Just a pleasantry.
I believe I have been shielded from death, and I am not sure why.
All the people I have ever known who have passed, were close to me at one point in time, but prior to their passing, our relationship just ‘dissolved’ or evaporated in one way or another. I ended up sometimes coming around to be there for the final stages, but generally speaking the Universe made sure I was as disconnected as I could be before they passed.
I personally have a fear of death. It seems contradictory because I am an 8th house Sun, with Scorpio on the Ascendant. But when my first daughter was born, I suddenly became fiercely afraid of death. At this time Saturn had just passed through my 8th. Maybe because it was one of those turn-on-a-dime dramatic births, but who knows? I wish I could get over it, because it scares me…to death (ha ha?)
Went to a wake last night and funeral today. I went to show my love and respect for the person and to support the family. I was the lady’s caregiver for 2 years. I think it’s a beautiful way to celebrate the person’s life. I think of their spirit being there with everyone gathered in their honor.
It is pretty crazy how you can be on this planet one day and gone the next… Like they say, it’s the only guarantee in life. I do hope all my loved ones gather in my honor when I die.
I do agree with your husband that we hide the dead. Its something no one wants to talk about, yet Its an inevitability for all of us. I think society’s attitude is, it is what it is. Most people won’t go any further than that.
I hope the people I loved remember me. Thats all that’s important to me. I don’t care about a traditional funeral, but understand that its more for the people you left behind, so a party for them is my plan. No creepy wake. I hate that.
I have nothing in the 8th house, but have Moon, Saturn, Mercury and Venus in Scorpio in the 2nd house. I’ve always had a great interest in death and the afterlife. Its the ultimate mystery isn’t it?
“I don’t think anyone should pass without their death being acknowledged” Elsa this is music to my ears. I get so pissed off at work every time someone dies because we have this policy where we go around and clear the halls and shut everyone’s door so the funeral director can remove the body without any one seeing it. The company makes the funeral director use the back door where deliveries are made and use the service elevator to remove the body. I think it’s a disgrace. I say cover them up with a nice blanket and take them out the front door with some dignity, and not in a body bag like yesterdays trash!!! I have a hard time asking a family to leave so we can wrap them up. There are people who want to ride with their loved one to the funeral home and we don’t let that happen. What ever happen to the Jewish tradition of Taharah?
Thanks for weighing on this, daisy. That’s exactly what I’m talking about.
Wow, Daisy, that is so hush hush. Back in old times the dead would be laid out in the house, simply because there weren’t these types of institutions around to handle it. So there you are at home with your relative in the room where people could visit, pay respect, spend time.
i scrolled through some of your old links about death and funerals. Do you still not go to them? At that time, it seemed as if you felt you didn’t want to be judged for not going. Is it age that has altered your perspective?
I didn’t read what you read, but I recall writing about people judging others for the way they mourn the dead. My feelings on this have not changed. I would not assume that a person who does not attend a funeral is not grieving, or is being disrespectful. Some people are just plain overcome; distraught with grief, disabled by it. The last thing they need it people talking about them!
It’s also not personal to me, meaning, I’ve not had this experience. But I have certainly heard people berate others for not being at a funeral. And in some cases, I known first hand, the person was incapacitated.
For example, I know a brother who missed his sister’s funeral…he was on the floor. He was on the literal floor…no one was closer to his sister but him. He was destroyed by her death…and then talked about, viciously. He wound up leaving town over this. He just couldn’t take the loss, followed by the attack.
My brother-in-law did not attend my father-in-law’s funeral for the same reason. He was overcome. Thankfully the siblings and my mother-in-law simply understood him and he was never thought of in bad terms. He mourns in his own way and that is ok.
Yeah, that’s what I mean. People like the Scorpio I referenced in the post, make up for this in a way.
Last night, I heard a story of a woman – she’s not be able to go to church since her husband died. She’s just distraught.
The last thing to do in a case like this, is judge the person. People who do that are most likely, projecting their own guilt.
When my mother entered hospice care, I wrote my mother’s obit for the local papers. My siblings proofed and edited it. I was glad it was finished prior to death, that and the funeral pre-planning.
My mother was the last of her generation at age 92. I tried to identify her as the younger generations may have remembered her, while giving older history, too. The grocery store my parents owned and operated is only a memory. The building is gone. Oddly, it appears it’s a local custom to read the obit at the funeral, too. Maybe I should say it’s respectful.
I have Venus conjunct Mars in the eighth house. I have Neptune in Scorpio conjunct the ascendant. I am of the belief that death is important, I am not afraid to die myself.I like to think I am moving on when I go. I really do not care if it is announced giving credit or credence in any way. I do not care to be spending any time in a funeral home at all. I want to go out quietly without the normal accoutrements.I would like cremation. Too much money is wasted on death. I do not like the idea of being publicised in my death. It is probably my Cancer Sun ,Scorpio Neptune that makes me feel this way. I guess it would be viewed as very strange but to me , it just seems apropriate.
My 8H is Aries, Mars in my first. I want a party and a movie about my life and I want to be there for it all! LOL
Hi Elsa, I love your blog and I particularly pay close attention to and interest in your posts about death. I have a 8th house sun and mercury (pluto due to conjunct mercury next March) and I believe that death is underrated, underappreciated and deserves much more from us -respect, prayers, tears. I feel this, like you, very strongly. I go to Mass everyday, during every mass we pray for our own dead, the parish’s dead and all who have died. The prayers in Mass are also for those who are dying. (I’m not from this town or even this country that I’m in but I am living here and love and respect the dead I am surrounded by.)Death is being sidelined and I am so grateful that in this small town the dead are not forgotten and that we as members of this community have the opportunity to remember those who came before us and gave so much. May we never forget any of them. Thanks Elsa for keeping this topic ‘alive’ with seriousness and respect.
Sorry for sounding pompous above – I would just like to add – I go to Mass not because I’m ‘good’ (rather I’m not)- but because I need to pray to the dead, I feel too much about them and I’m grateful I can go there, to Mass, to project the pain, love, all the unmanageable feelings. Church is one way, all ways are good as long as we remember them.
You didn’t sound pompous. You sound invested!!
I wrote this because I’m amazed at how differently death is treated in this area. I am used to death only being reported if it’s to be sensationalized. Here, the obits sound like this.
Betty Ann ____ passed from like on this day, at this location. She was born here, worked here, volunteered here and used to love this.
She was preceded in death by these people…she is survived by these people…
Her funeral is being handled by ——–, detail will follow…or please contact ….”
That’s the type of obit I’ve read and written. Obits here tell about the person, identify the person, tell their accomplishments, etc.
Thank you, Daisy. I appreciate what you said.
I, too, remember people laid out in their homes. The story goes, people were laid out in the parlors of their homes. After so many people died of Spanish flu, almost a hundred years ago, the parlor become the living room. People wanted to erase the pain of death in the parlor by renaming it the living room.
Interesting the change in the naming of ‘parlor’ to ‘living’ room. I have known the room by both names:)!
We live in a small town, and a local forum posts the “departures” of people who have died. The pieces are very personal, and I’ve noticed, more frequent. There is a large percentage of older folks on this end of the island, and my husband and I are part of them. You start to see how death is very much part of the everyday.
I have an 8th house that aspects most of the planets of my natal chart. Death is an obsession, and a changing reality for me: I fear it while I know the dead (my ancestors) are present all the time.
My Saturn-Mars-Pluto conjunct in the 8th/7th makes for a stalled in action approach to living, and I wrestle with(Saturn-Mars) understanding how to live-while-dying(Pluto). That might not make much sense!? My cultural roots and the practices of that ancient way of being struggles in contemporary society … so I dig into the depths to give life to my discoveries, giving them/and me fresh air. Praying to my ancestors is a practice of everyday, listening/hearing their guidance that takes practice too. Finding a place, and a way to share these practices as a means of fulfillment? That’s the journey.
What you(Elsa) wrote to Jimmer. “You’re invested!” That’s what I’m talking about.
I find this creepy since, I was just writing to my local small town editor about correcting the place names in the obituaries section. And another odd thing, we recently lost a school teacher and his obituary never showed up in the obituaries. Everyone has wondered why but I don’t think anyone asked. I assumed that the family didn’t want it published. But most folks around here do make the obituary section and yes, quite a few people die each week. My friend is a funeral director and has been very busy these past months.
I have never believed in coincidence, and I thought it was spooky that I found your article right after sending off a letter about obituaries.
Another thing, I have made up my mind that I want no funeral or grave. I want to be cremated and scattered in nature. I have stopped going to funerals. I don’t decorate graves either. The person is not there and I see no reason to do so.
I have death radar and have all my life, I get warnings before people I know pass away. Sometimes I get them for people I don’t know, too. Lately, I have been bombarded with things like birds flying in the home, frantic knockings with no one around, strange lights, etc. I am expecting to hear of a relative’s death even now. I have strong Scorpio placements and Pluto conjunct my Sun. My Rising Sign is Aquarius and Uranus is in my 8th house conjuncting my Sun on the other side. I keep journals of all the warnings I have gotten and the deaths that have happened.
I’ve had this happen this week…I had a bird come tapping at my window, strange electrical things happening. Dreams with my relatives that I loved who are passed. I feel like it’s coming but I don’t know what who or what.
I know that feeling. This has been going on for months with me. I have even seen my husband’s deceased grandmother and mother. The grandmother was his dad’s mom and I had never met her. I have been really antsy lately just waiting for some sort of bad news.
Saturn transiting 8th–death everywhere at work. I thought it was maybe more hype about this transit than how it would turn out, but no, 8th house is a doozie !!!
I’ve never noticed people judging others for how they grieve. I’ve never had anyone extremely close to me die. I.e., my parents, child… In the case they died, I don’t know if I’d go to the funeral, because even though I know others would have good intentions, I’d probably feel angry at people…like, “as if they understand”…8th house emotions go deeper than the average person can truely empathise with. So I’d feel angry…probably *unless* it was a Scorpio consoling me. You can’t slap a bandaid on 8th house type grief.
When you live in a small town, death becomes a part of life. Now you see em, now you don’t. It’s just that the inhabitants know of each other, not that they are necessarily close to the deceased, but are aware of the person’s existence or know someone who is related or that hung out with the person, etc.
Some of the obits can be interesting. It’s the person’s story.
I know a natal venus in scorpio that collect obits and she mails all survivors she knows a card when their someone dies. She spent memorial day as usual touring gravesites and cleaning them up and placing new flowers. It’s just what she does.
The only time I think that inputting something about another’s grieving is when the person has been stuck in it way too long. Example: Person 1: Hi, haven’t seen you in a long time. How are you? Person 2: How am I supposed to be? My husband died. Person 1: Oh, when was it again that he died? Four years ago. Person 1: hmm. (Walks away)
Too long, in my opinion. I’m not sayin forget the person. Like that is possible. But 4 years of constant nonstop gloom? That’s alot of living people shut out and walking away.