On a gorgeous summer day last week I decided to venture out to a tiny village on the outskirts of Amsterdam: Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. Of course I was on a death-related mission. This picturesque town happens to be home to the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Netherlands, Beth Haim. I had seen a few images of the place online and was instantly triggered by the intricate tombstone carvings I spotted. Little did I know that this place is the ultimate heaven on earth for a graveyard-girl like myself. Warning 1: this post is very photo heavy. And – warning 2 – it may provoke the sudden urge to visit Ouderkerk aan de Amstel as soon as possible.
Browsing tag: funerary evolution
Earlier this month I visited Oberhausen for Acherontic Arts festival with my friend and partner-in-crime photographer Nona Limmen. We had one day left in Germany after the festival and decided to visit the nearby city of Duisburg. Now to be honest, Duisburg itself wasn’t very impressive, but it did turn out to have an epic cemetery!
During the past year that I’ve been working on this blog, a lot of people have asked me – aside from the general inquisitions about my seemingly morbid interest in anything dead and dying: “Claudia, what is this death awareness thing exactly? What does it mean?!” As the concept of death awareness is popping up out of obscurity a lot recently, let me explain it to you.
Caitlin Doughty is an LA-based mortician, author, and founder of The Order of The Good Death, a group of professionals in the funeral industry who are committed to making a difference in our death phobic culture. She also has one of the most addictive YouTube channels in which she discusses delightfully morbid topics, from the secrets of embalming to the miracle of coffin birth. I got a chance to ask Caitlin about her current projects, her experience with OCD and what she envisions for her own funeral.
Does being buried in a quiet peaceful cemetery sound old-fashioned to you? Does the thought of your remains being scattered in a beautiful forest or your favorite ocean just seem too boring and plain? Worry not! For the adventurous souls among us, one of the most exciting modern burial options goes way beyond these common funeral rituals.
Laura Bochove is a 27 year old mortician from Haarlem, the Netherlands. She’s a mother of two and wrote a book inspired by her fascination with death and her personal experiences in life. I sat down with her and talked about her views on the death industry, the pros and cons of being a mortician and how she arranged a funeral for her own dog.