While visiting Westerveld cemetery in Driehuis, the Netherlands, I stumbled upon a peculiar gravestone. A Dutch poem was engraved on it that made me smile, but then I noticed another intriguing fact. The gravestone had a birthdate, but no death date. This person was still alive!
As Freud called it “the royal road to the unconscious,” dreams about death and dying can suggest a phase of transition or transformation. But when death actually takes place in our reality, we tend to dream about this specific death a lot. Let me share my death dreams with you, and explore how the process of grief continues on while we are sound asleep.
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.
Dutch artist Janno Hahn is a “typo-graphic-designer” who combines his own distinct style of typography with graphic design in his numerous projects, varying from printed typefaces to tombstones.
Back in August I took a summer school thanatology course at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. As part of the program we went on an excursion to a nearby crematorium to learn how the process of cremation actually works.
Our fear of death is ultimately at the core of all our other fears. But what death exactly is or looks like, we do not know. To put a face and voice to this counterforce of life, we have created numerous images to give death an identity throughout history. Here are a few of the most impressive embodiments of the Big Unknown.
Way back in Ireland, around 1600 BC, when someone of importance passed away, they did not just hold a simple funeral ceremony. Instead, a huge party was thrown in their honor, one that might have even sparked the beginning of the Olympics.
Ever wondered what a 250 pound tumor or a full face transplant looks liked? Annie, a 38 year old mortician living in Washington State, will help you visualize these extraordinary physical manifestations.
We don’t like to think the seemingly unthinkable. Some of us are even convinced that mere thoughts of death will trigger the actual event. But what happens when we do face our biggest fear? Here are some steps to help you figure out the answers for yourself.
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.
“We close our eyes in this world and open them in the next.” – So goes the saying from Game of Thrones in relation to their funeral rituals and beliefs on death. But what are the roots of their funeral customs? I dug deep into the dusty past and figured it out for you.
Returning to the earth when we die. It sounds like the most logical thing to happen to our bodies after death. For those of us who wish to literally become one with the earth, there are many eco-friendly options. Here is a quick guide on how to gracefully transform into a tree.
Does being buried in a quiet peaceful cemetery sound old-fashioned to you? Worry not! For the adventurous souls among us, one of the most exciting modern burial options goes way beyond these common funeral rituals.
“Death has always fascinated me. By the age of 11 I knew I wanted to become a mortician. People generally thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care. I thought death was something endlessly intriguing and beautiful.”