Archive of ‘ars moriendi’ category

Links of the Dead {January 2016}

British singer David Bowie performs on stage in Brussels, on May 20, 1983. (AFP/Getty Images)

David Bowie performs on stage in Brussels, on May 20, 1983. (AFP/Getty Images)

 

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in or related to the Death Industry recently.

Previous installments:
Links of the dead for December 2015
Links of the dead for November 2015
Links of the dead for September 2015
Links of the dead for August 2015

9 Reasons It Is Not Crazy To Grieve A Celebrity Death

In His Final Performance, David Bowie Embraced Death

A Paean to the Goblin King; wise words from Angeliska on stepping into the shadow of David Bowie’s death and using the righteous lessons he taught us. Do the hard work! Live with aplomb! Let your every wild facet shine.

A Young Neurosurgeon Examines the Meaning of Life as He Faces His Death

“But Harold, we begin to die as soon as we are born. What is so strange about death?”

Death and the birth of feminism

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Talks About The Beauty Of Life And Death

11 Signs You May Be Dying In A Victorian Novel

“Just Buried”–Funeral Home Weddings

Funerary Darlings: The Tradition of Child Pallbearers
The Day I’ll Finally Stop Grieving

The year my partner drowned, I bought a lobster — and set it free.

How Uganda Came To Earn High Marks For Quality Of Death

Love champagne? Thank a French widow

 

 

Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke

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My mother, my sister and I; I am feeding my sister her foot. Fuck her if she can’t take a joke.

“Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke”.

My mother would often declare this with regard to just about everything – I still don’t even precisely know when this is an appropriate tack to take, but it remains one of my favorite inner-monologue responses to this day.  It so perfectly encapsulates her attitude about life and everything attached to it.

I recall telephoning her one afternoon after a particularly rotten day at work, early on in my job, when I hadn’t quite toughened up and gotten on board with how my particular employer operated. I had been called into the office and essentially advised that I needed to make some changes or I was done there.  In a teary phone call I relayed all of this to her, and, though I didn’t ask her, the question hung in the air, over the miles between us.  What should I do?

“Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. Just quit. You’ll find something else.”

I laughed and calmed down and the next day I went to work and did not quit. That was terrible advice.  My mother quit a lot of jobs and burned a lot of bridges and I did not want to be my mother in that respect.

Today marks two years since my mother passed and this phrase has worked its way insidiously into mine and all of my sister’s vernacular.  I suspect none of us really know what it means, but it somehow now always feels fitting.

Two years ago last night my mother called to tell me her doctor notified her that she was doing much better, the chemo was doing its job, and she was on her way to some kind of recovery. She informed me that she wanted prime rib for Christmas dinner. I was irritated because I figured she wasn’t going to show up anyway  – she often promised an appearance at family dinners and then backed out at the last minute – and then I would have made a pain-in-the-ass prime rib for nothing. I told her I would make it happen, but that she had better show up for dinner if she knew what was good for her.

This was the last conversation I was to ever have with my mother; the next day she was dead.

Fuck me if I can’t take a joke -right mom?

 

Links of the Dead {December 2015}

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Black Moon, 2015. Kristin Forbes -Mullane

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in or related to the Death Industry recently.

Why A Double Funeral On Your Birthday Is The Best Party You’ll Ever Have
The Best Show for Your Grieving Child (and You)
Five surprising findings about death and dying
7 Wickedly Beautiful Coffee Table Books About Death
Facebook expands suicide prevention tools and will intervene something’s wrong
Why Dead Pets Matter
LA’s Unclaimed Dead Receive Prayers, And A Final Resting Place
Everything Dies -A Death Positive Coloring Book!
Tea and Cake and Death at Death Cafe Orlando
Giving Birth at the Age Mom Died
High school holds funeral for resident lab skeleton after discovering his bones were real
A moment that changed me – the death of my sister and the grief that followed
Post-Mortem Staging: Morbid Trend in Puerto Rico
Why Greeks are exhuming their parents
The Rise of the Artisanal Funeral
6 Modern Momento Mori for a Beautiful Mourning
‘The leftover scraps of ordinary life’ –  photographer documents late husband’s belongings
12 Loving Ways to Have a Fantastic Death
Meet the New Faces of Death over at Dirge Magazine: Sarah Troop | Bess Lovejoy | Amber Carvaly | Megan Rosenbloom | Carla Valentine

 

Previous installments:
Links of the dead for November 2015
Links of the dead for September 2015
Links of the dead for August 2015

 

 

Links of the Dead {November 2015}

Natalia Czajkiewicz

Natalia Czajkiewicz

 

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in or related to the Death Industry recently.

Self-Care for Future Corpses
Welcome to Boon Hill; A graveyard simulator
Deathly Maidens: Film maker Wesley Chambers top 5 “Death and the Maiden” films
This Rare Illness Makes People Think They’re Dead
Jon Underwood to open permanent Death Cafe in London
Where in the world is it illegal to die?
Airbnb winner spends Halloween night in the catacombs
Dia de Muertos: A Primer
What to say to someone who’s grieving vs. what they hear
Why I still want to look beautiful even though I am dying
Sarah Sudhoff’s At the hour of our death
Creative Slang Terms For Death from the past 600 years
Meet the new faces of Death at Dirge Magazine: Sarah Troop & Bess Lovejoy

Previous installments:
Links of the dead for September 2015
Links of the dead for August 2015

Ghosts of Halloween playlists past

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Things have been a bit frantic around here over the past month and I regret to inform you that I have not made a Halloween playlist for 2015. However, I think you will find plenty of sounds for haunting and the haunted in the ghost of playlists from previous years, which I have conveniently collected for you below.

Happy Halloween, weirdos!

 

2014: all of them witches from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

House Of The 7 Witches, Mater Suspiria Vision | Season Of The Witch, Karen Elson (Feat. Donovan) | Witch’s Hammer, King Dude | Burn The Witch (Featuring Clare Manchon), Uncovered Qotsa Olivier Libaux | Ghuleh / Zombie Queen, Ghost | BLIND ONE, Black Mare | Death’s Kiss, Purson | The Witching Hour, Bloody Hammers | WITCH MOUNTAIN, Witch Mountain | Sleeping Witch, Royal Thunder | Night Witches, True Widow | Witchwood, Blood Ceremony | The White Witch Of Rose Hall, Coven | Boneflower, Avatarium | Spectral Queen, Ides Of Gemini | Full Moon, Mount Salem | Hex Mark, Demon Lung | Night Child, The Oath | Wicked Ones, Ruby The Hatchet | Digital Witchcraft, thisquietarmy

2013: Was it ever, will it ever be, enough? from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

Murder Of Crows, Lindi Ortega | Revolver, Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan | Fields Of June, Emily Barker And Red Clay Halo featuring Frank Turner | Skeleton Crew, Michelle Vidal & The Fur Traders | Burgandy, The Hollows | Willow Tree (American), Rasputina | The First Mrs. Jones, Mark Erelli & Jeffrey Foucault | Black River Killer, Blitzen Trapper | Arkansas Murder Ballad, Angela Easterling | Old Sledge, Pretty Polly | Two Sisters, Tom Waits | Black Swells, Ora Coogan | Bury Me Tomorrow, The Dirt | Cheyenne, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club | A Beautiful Murder, Gorgeous Machines | Omie Wise, Okkervil River | Shankill Butchers, Sarah Jarosz | The Chieftains Ft Bon Iver, Down In The Willow Garden | Goose Walking Over My Grave, Jay Munly | Matty Groves, Alela Diane & Alina Hardin | Madeline, 1796, Bob Frank And John Murry | Long Black Veil, Joan Baez | Bobby, Baby, Lera Lynn | Bury Them Deep ( The Backwater Gospel ), Ghoultown | Down By The River, Deerwood | Caleb Meyer, Gillian Welch | Blood Under The Redwoods, Kat Jones | Poor Ellen Smith, Neko Case | Love Henry, Jolie Holland | Oh Death, Pine Valley Cosmonauts

 

2012: Final lessons in despair from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

Dies Irae ( The Shining Theme )| Kristallnacht Shtetl (Ghetto Life), John Zorn | Uaxuctum , Part One Scelsi | Threnody To The Victims Of Hiroshima, Krzysztof Penderecki | Lucie’s wounds, Seppuku Paradigm (Martyrs OST)| Lux Aeterna, György Ligeti | Rectum, Thomas Bangalter (Irréversible OST) |Lascia Ch’io Pianga, Tuva Semmingsen & Barokksolistene (Antichrist OST)

2011: The horror of life and the ecstasy of life from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

Tick Tock,  Jamin Winans (Ink OST) | This Is Going To Hurt, Hans Zimmer (The Ring/The Ring 2 OST) | Hellraiser Theme (Unreleased), Coil | The Funeral, Danny Elfman, (The Wolfman OST) | Promise(Reprise), Konami Kukeiha Club (Silent Hill OST) | Bloody Tears,rey187 (Castlevania) | Music Box, Philip Glass (The Candyman OST) | Suspiria, Goblin (Suspiria OST) | The Others (Instrumental), Claudio Ianni  (The Others OST) | Into The Woods / The Witch, Danny Elfman (Sleepy Hollow OST) | The Brides, Wojciech Kilar (Bram Stoker’s Dracula OST) | A Nightmare on Elm Street – Prologue / Main Title, Vitamin String Quartet | In the house In a Heartbeat, John Murphy (28 Days Later OST) | Alien (1979) – Main Title, Jerry Goldsmith (Alien OST) | Plasma Pool, Howard Shore (The Fly) | Friend?,Carter Burwell (Gods and Monsters OST)

2011: The silence after the screams from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

Trio in E Flat, Franz Schubert (The Hunger) | Main Title, John Carpenter (The Fog) | Haunted, King Black Acid (The Mothman Prophecies) | Main Title, Goblin (Dawn of the Dead) | Ave Satani, Jerry Goldsmith (The Omen) | Eli’s Theme, Johan Söderqvist (Let The Right One In) | Mae’s Theme, Tangerine Dream (Near Dark) | Redemption, Panu Aaltio (Sauna/The Filth) | Main Title, Don David (House On Haunted Hill) | Le locataire, Philippe Sarde (The Tenant} | Main Title, Krzysztof Komeda (Rosemary’s Baby) | End Credits, Fernando Velazquez (El Orfanato)

2011: Until we ourselves are ghosts from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

The Stendhal Syndrome Theme, Ennio Morricone (The Stendhal Syndrome OST) | Emily Rose, Christopher Young (The Exorcism of Emily Rose OST) | Theme A La Flute De Pan, Philip D’Aram (The Films of Jean Rollin) | Grey Wolf, Joe Loduca (Brotherhood of the Wolf OST) | The Double, Clint Mansell (Black Swan OST) | A Proposal, Conrad Pope (The Presence OST)| Dr. Van Helsing and Dracula, Philip Glass and Kronos Quartet | The Tram (Main Title) Angelo Badalamenti (Dark Water OST)| Nosferatu (Cue 6), Hans Posegga | Voci Dal Nulla, Fabio Frizzi (The Beyond OST) | In the Evening Mist, Asei Kobayashi & Mickey Yoshino (Hausu OST) | A Place Where the Sun Cannot Burn, Fernando Velázquez (Shiver OST)

2011: Echoes from beyond from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

Musica Ricercata, II, Dominic Harlan Dominic Harlan (Eyes Wide Shut OST) | Revelation, Seppuku Paradigram (Martyrs OST) | Transylvanian Lullaby, John Morris (Young Frankenstein) | Symphony fantastique, Op. 14: V. Songe d’une nuit de sabbat, San Francisco Symphony | Pan’s Labyrinth Lullaby, Javier Navarrete Javier Navarrete (Pan’s Labyrinth OST) | Jacob’s Ladder, Maurice Jarre (Jacob’s Ladder, OST) | L’anniversaire D’irvin, Angelo Badalamenti (City of Lost Children, OST) | Prologue-Menuetto and Storm, Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra & Alwyn (Bride of Frankenstein OST) | Artic Love, François-Eudes Chanfraul (A L’Interieur OST) | III. Marche funebre. Lento from Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Cyprien Katsaris | Dies irae, Zbigniew Preisner

2011: “Denn die Todten reiten Schnell.” from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

1 Orville Stoeber/Walter Sear (Let’s Scare Jessica to Death) | Introducing Vanessa Buren, James Bernard (From “The Legend Of The 7 Golden/The Hammer Vampire Collection) | Jack Tells a Story (Part I,) Elmer Bernstein (An American Werewolf in London) | Jack Tells a Story (Part II), Elmer Bernstein (An American Werewolf in London) | Gramophone Lullaby, Marco Beltrami (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark) |  Candles for Christine, Pino Donaggio (Don’t Look Now) | Audrey Rose, Michael Small (Audrey Rose) | The Book of Evil, Joseph Lo Duca (Evil Dead 2) | You’re Just What I’ve Been Looking For (Angela’s Theme), Frankie Vinci (Sleepaway Camp) | “Ménage a Trois,” Daktari Lorenz (Nekromantik) | The Ossuary, Manuel De Sica (Cemetery Man) | The End, John Murphy (The Last House On The Left)

2010: Summoning the Gloom from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

(No tracklist for this one)

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Links of the dead

Portraits of Death by Iris Compriet

Portraits of Death by Iris Compriet

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in the Death Industry recently.

Stouffer’s Debuts  Frozen Meals To Bring Neighbors After Death In Family (via The Onion)
When Your Loved One’s Last Wish Was ‘No Funeral’ via Modern Loss
I Got Drunk With The Funeral Industry To Find Out What Happens When We Die via Buzzfeed
6 Reasons Why We Don’t Talk About Death via legacy.com
(What to wear) Upon Greeting Death via me
Dead beautiful: Cult cosmetics to glam up the afterlife via The Daily Mail
Portraits of Death:  a unique glimpse in the life of Death via Iris Compriet
If These Bones Could Talk: The Stories Human Skeletons Can Tell via NPR
Inside Out Offers Important Lessons for Grieving Children and Adults via What’s Your Grief
Why dying at home is not all it’s cracked up to be via The Caregiver Space
Six Final Resting Places for Your Loved Ones’ Ashes via Dirge Mag

(What to wear) Upon greeting Death

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Greet death
with your hands in your pockets,
slouched back, cool,
collected, and confident.
Wear a hint of a grin
and a dash of cologne.
Say What took you so long?
Say You’re behind the times, man.
Say Dead is the new black.
Coffin is the new condo.
Pallor is the new tan.
La vida muerta.

-“How To Greet Death“, Gabriel Gadfly (excerpt)

In Gabriel Gadfly’s How To Greet Death (one of my very favorite poems), it is suggested that in the event that you should meet your maker, wear a hint of a grin and a dash of cologne; another stanza adds in a pair of your father’s cufflinks and your mother’s wedding band.

Not bad, but I think we can do better.

Getting outfitted for the last moments of one’s life is an intensely personal business, but I think that to begin and end with every mother’s insistence of a clean pair of underwear is doing yourself a great disservice and perhaps selling yourself a bit short. If you’re indeed rendezvousing with the Grim Reaper, leave a lasting last impression as make your exodus!  Of course, do include the clean underwear, as well.

See below for a handful of ensembles to leave Death gasping and goggle-eyed as you shuffle (or skip, or meander, or leap, or whatever your manner of leave-taking may be) off this mortal coil. As always, click through the image for a complete listing of the items in each set.

 

 

 

 

 

Links Of The Dead

Image: a bit of deathly grammar humor from artist Siobhan Gallagher.

In gearing up to host Orlando’s third Death Cafe (sometime this November, but I like to get a head start with my dread and anxiety about things), I thought I’d post a gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in the Death Industry recently.

Meet the Living People Who Collect Dead Human Remains
23 Unusual Ways To Die In The US In One Handy Map
Preserving tattoos after death
West Palm company wants your hologram to speak at your funeral
More people are getting married at funeral homes.
An Ice Cream Truck at the Funeral
How to Write a Condolence Note
64 Myths About Grief That Just Need To STOP
Confronting Mortality In An Unsettling, Inspiring ‘Tour Of Bones’
‘World’s first’ crypt hotel room opens in Maine
The Ascent of Female Funeral Celebrants
The Pulp Guide to Necrophilia
6 Ways to Commemorate Your Pet
Can I Travel With Cremated Remains and Other Questions About Scattering Ashes Abroad

Mother issues, volume 1: The smelly edition

Sometimes, when my sisters and I get together and have had a few glasses of wine, one of us will say something like “Hey, do you remember Furry Lewis? And the weird black spots on his nose? We sure had a lot of cats when we were growing up, didn’t we?  Let’s see if we can remember all of their names!” At this point we are not counting or keeping track very well, and it usually goes nowhere and we have forgotten about it five minutes later.

If pressed to do that right now, I could name: Fritz, Leonard, Tibbytabby, Rosemary Kelly Denise, Bub, Chico, Chloe, Larry, Gypsy, Leroy Parnell, Simon Bisely, Dr. Bob, Furry Lewis, Tia Marie, Desdemona, Freddy Mercury, Clyde, Random, Mandy, Omar, Annie, Paddy, Georgie, Oliver, Bill, Ebby, feral garage kitty who later became Jenny Calendar, Ginger, Carrotcake, Abby who later became Hermione (actually I lied, I had to call my sister and ask who she could recall as well)

From the time I was 8 until right up until my mother passed away, she had no less than 5 or 6 cats in her house and for a good many years it was upwards on 20+. As a matter of fact, I believe the cat population was at it’s largest during my high school years.  If I had any friends to speak of, I probably would have been embarrassed and ashamed to bring them into our smoky, cat infested, litter-box odor infused home, but as it stood, my humiliation stemmed more from the fact that when I left the house, I brought all of these horrid smells with me.

I was picked on mercilessly on the school bus for my cat-hair covered clothes and my own hair, which seemed to smell like cigarette smoke and the faint fragrance of feline no matter how often I washed it.  Actually, the entire school bus experience was wretched for me anyhow, but that is a story for a different time, and not even really one I am comfortable telling because, well, racial stuff (I was the only white girl on a non-white bus). Most of these stories make my sister cry, so we’ll just forget about that.

As I grew older, I realized two things: I was never, ever going to start smoking – obviously because it’s bad for you, but mostly because I did not want a closet of clothes or an entire house or even/especially my person to smell like smoke.  And two: AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, I WAS NEVER GOING TO SMELL BAD AGAIN.

You may have noticed by now that I seem to have a fascination bordering on obsession with perfumes and fragrances.  You would not be wrong.  Now you know why. True, I may have inherited a bit of a hoarding gene from my mother – though I prefer to think of myself as a collector – but mostly I cannot stand the thought that there are anything other than pleasant smells coming from my corner.

My mother also loved perfumes. When I was much younger, my mother’s mirrored vanity tray held a great deal of fascination for me, with its jumble of shimmering glass bottles filled with fragrant fluids. It was a constant and forbidden temptation -as I had been told, more than once, to leave it be. And more than once, caught in a paroxysm of longing and naughtiness from which there was no return, I would spray one scent, then the next, and then perhaps high from the vaporous cloud of aromatics floating round my head, would proceed to spritz myself with the remainder of those illicit essences. When later interrogated, I would have the audacity to assert that I had been playing quietly in some other part of the house the entire time.

And yet, when I survey my  tiny scented kingdom I cannot locate one perfume that I think she would have loved (which were mostly funereal roses and heavy-handed chypres).  It somewhat saddens me to say it, but those she wore the most have always been the scents I like the least.

There you have it.  800+ words on why I blame my problems on my mother*, but it’s al really just a thinly veiled excuse to share and show off photos of my current perfume collection.
Don’t thank me.  Thank my mother.

And getting back to the names of all of those cats…well, I probably wouldn’t be able to name all of my perfumes if you ask me about them, either.

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*When I think about it, the entire reason I created this little spot here at Unquiet Things is because of my mother.  I originally meant for this to be an offshoot of Death Cafe Orlando, wherein I could post topical tidbits, updates on future events, write-ups of past events, etc. Unfortunately, I came to learn that the folks over at Death Cafe aren’t thrilled with people blogging using their name (which I really do understand, it just honestly hadn’t entered into my perhaps overenthusiastic thought processes at the time.) So, I turned it into a personal blog. I’ve been journaling online in some form or another for the past 15 years, ever since the days of Livejournal, so why not? But the overwhelming reason I think I decided to start hosting Death Cafe in the first place is because of my mother’s death back in 2013.  So I suppose it just makes sense to air all of my grievances here, along with all of my other nonsense and ramblings.

this, that and the other thing (x)

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Stunning Transylvanian landscapes by photographer Alex Robciuk (h/t Yvan)

 

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A gorgeous SXSW poster for Ted Geoghegan’s We Are Still Here, designed by Erik Buckham and Jesse Vital.  Take a peek at the teaser trailer over at Broke Horror Fan.

 

From Morbid Anatomy Presents: The Phantasmagoria shows of the early 1800s were our ancestor’s equivalent of the modern horror film or spook show. Magic Lantern historian Mervyn Heard takes us through brief history of the Phantasmagories and our cultural need to be terrified through ghosts, demons, skeletons and more… (h/t Ben)

 

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Paintings of Witches Sabbats That Resemble Parties I Have Attended (h/t Carisa)

 

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Frizzled hair, tiny ruffles, drooping roses, yes! Alexander McQueen Fall 2015 Runway is an all around win for me.

 

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Seven Stories with Nona Limmen over at CVLT Nation; a really lovely peek into the head of one of my favorite photographers

 

Spooky new sounds from Mater Suspiria Vision

For people “who think entirely too deeply about the absurd things they watch”:Splatstick and the Specters of the Past – insight from the inimitable Tenebrous Kate on Tommy Wirkola’s Nazi Zombies and Killer Witches.

The Last Supper: Artist Paints The Final Meals Of Death Row Inmates Onto Porcelain Plates

Can the world’s weirdest library survive? (h/t Dustin)

Werner Twertzog on twitter

Edison’s ‘Lost’ Idea: A Device to Hear to the Dead (h/t Drax)

The 20 Greatest Original Horror Scores (h/t Drax)

Death Cafe Orlando made it into the news!

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