Archive of ‘death and dying’ category

Links Of The Dead {August 2018}

Herbarium II By Igor Baranov

Herbarium II By Igor Baranov

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.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {August 2017} | {August 2016}

💀 Science Friday: Tech Changes The Face Of Death
💀 Death in the Afternoon – A podcast about all things mortal
💀 How This Doctor Is Bringing Human Connection Back to End-of-Life Care
💀 Germany returns skulls of Namibian genocide victims
💀 Emmett Till Was Killed 63 Years Ago. These Black Boys Feel His Legacy Every Day
💀 Writing Your Own Eulogy: The grandest form of working backward
💀 Nothingness, Acceptance, Resurrection: Creating a Second Life
💀 Why Do We Give Our Pets Death With Dignity but Not Ourselves?
💀 How To Care For Your Grieving Friend
💀 Scented Prayers: Copal & the Day of the Dead
💀 7 Human Body Parts That Were Once Used as Medicine
💀 Mourning And Instagramming The Death Of A Pet
💀 This month The Grave Girl talks buying funeral antiques and visiting Seneca Cemetery
💀 Aretha’s last ride: The vintage hearse that carried Rosa Parks will now bear the Queen of Soul

Links Of The Dead {July 2018}

Skull Collection I by Dimitri Tsykalov

Skull Collection I by Dimitri Tsykalov

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.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {July 2017} | {July 2016}

💀 Megan Devine Shares Thoughftful Insights On How To Help A Grieving Friend

💀 Funeral ads banned by Transport For London over ‘widespread offence’

💀 191 Years After His Death, the Poet William Blake Is Getting a New Tombstone

💀 The crime scene investigator’s ‘murder bag’ was created because of this horrific murder

💀 Dead gorgeous: ancient sarcophagus held mirror, cosmetics

💀 The Mystery of End-of-Life Rallies

💀 Putting death on the school timetable

💀 A Dreamer’s impossible dilemma: where to die?

💀 The Horse Skulls Hidden in the Dance Floors of Ireland

💀 The Tragic, Forgotten History of Zombies

💀 Flowers for the Early Medieval Dead

💀 What the Provincetown AIDS Memorial Leaves Out

💀 Natural Burials Are Rising And That’s Good For The Planet

Links of the Dead {June 2018}

Gianluca Corona - Vanitas with Peonia

Gianluca Corona – Vanitas with Peonia

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.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {June 2017} | {June 2016}

💀 Why is America Obsessed with Dead Girls? via electric literature

💀 ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Mummy Buried with Riches and Snacks for the Afterlife via live science

💀 When our baby died, we wanted to take his body and bury him ourselves. No one at the hospital knew what to do. via slate

💀 This Guy Served His Friends Tacos Made from His Own Amputated Leg via vice

💀 Where a Taboo Is Leading to the Deaths of Young Girls via the new york times

💀 The mourning after: dolphins grieve for their dead via the amateur’s guide to death and dying

💀 The Fight for the Right to Be Cremated by Water via the new republic

💀 Why A Pro-Life World Has A Lot of Dead Women In It via harper’s bizaare

💀 This Party’s Dead via death and the maiden

💀 Graveyard Field Trips: A Memoir via loren rhoads

Links Of The Dead {May 2018}

Hidden Velvet

Featured artwork: Hidden Velvet

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.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {May 2017} | {May 2016}

💀 What is death? Defining it is more complicated than you think, via mental floss
💀 Being A Marine Taught Me How To Kill But Not How To Handle Death, via lithub
💀 In Japan, a Buddhist Funeral Service for Robot Dogs, via national geographic
💀 Why Beans Were An Ancient Emblem Of Death, via atlas obscura
💀 Playing with death – how the ‘Goodbye-box’ helps children grieve, via death and the maiden
💀 Plan Your Dream Funeral, Ladies! via gemma correll
💀 I’m Getting Married And I Can’t Stop Thinking About Death, via luna luna magazine
💀 Netflix’s ‘End Game’ faces death head-on—and it’s not an easy watch, via the daily dot
💀 Courtney Lane Of Never Forgotten on harnessing the sentiment of hair, via haute macabre
💀 Rebecca Reeves’ Garden Of Grief, via the creeping museum

Links Of The Dead {April 2018}

Poster art for McQueen documentary

Poster art for McQueen documentary

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.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {April 2017} | {April 2016} | {April 2014}

💀 A Good Death
💀 Eulogy For A Creepy Uncle
💀 It’s Going to Be Okay, and It’s Not Going to Be Okay
💀 Erosion on Hart Island Exposes Human Remains
💀 Grief, Joy and Spilled Rum at the World’s Death Festivals
💀 The internet loses its mind after mother posts photos of her stillborn online
💀 Grave gardening: Tending more than just flowers
💀 The Year of Action Resource Guide From The Order Of The Good Death
💀 Remembering When Americans Picnicked in Cemeteries
💀 Marina Abramović reveals plans for her funeral, ‘the artist’s last piece’
💀 MIT severs ties to company promoting fatal brain uploading

Links Of The Dead {March 2018}

Rebecca Reeves, Gone

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.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {March 2017} | {March 2016} | {March 2014}

💀 The London Necropolis Railway
💀 The Grave Girl on the legacy of traumatic experiences
💀 Thinking About Having a ‘Green’ Funeral? Here’s What to Know
💀 Wearing My Dying Mother’s Clothes
💀 Stuffed in a Bell Jar: A Taxidermy Piece
💀 How the Oscar-winning ‘Coco’ and its fantastical afterlife forced us to talk about death.
💀 Collector, Protector & Keeper: The Art Of Rebecca Reeves
💀 Grieving family reclaims old ways, brings son’s body home to say good-bye
💀 Sex and death in the classical world
💀 The Mysterious Seashell Graves of Comfort Cemetery
💀 My first date was at a wake, on an island off the west coast
💀 Man Says He’s Not Dead. Court Doesn’t Buy It
💀 From Yoga to Movie Nights: How Cemeteries Are Trying to Attract the Living
💀 These Women Make A Living By Singing at People’s Funerals
💀 Saving Face: Death, Necropolitics and the Hiroshima Maidens
💀 Bodies ‘Eat Themselves’ While Researchers Watch and Learn
💀 Claudia Crobatia on morbid fascinations and becoming comfortable with death through engaging with different aspects of it

{Guest Post} Stuffed in a Bell Jar: A Taxidermy Piece

Abe

“Liz T is a seaside kitchen witch who lives with her husband and his weird dog in New Jersey. A paradox of a woman, she reads the classics and poetry while guiltlessly enjoying reality TV garbage. Find her on instagram as @divebardame.

It was one of those things that you couldn’t help but keep staring at. Curiosity driven by fascination and a bit of fear.

It was the bear skin rug that sat on top of the refrigerator in my Nan and Pop’s basement in North Philadelphia. A black bear Pop had killed on a hunting trip, folded so only the head was visible, peering over whomever was grabbing a Coors Light from the fridge. The bear’s mouth drawn wide open, showing all of his teeth. A pink rubber tongue forever shaped into a soft wave. Glass eyes staring out. The eyes were probably the most unrealistic thing about the bear. If there’s one thing I have learned while dabbling in taxidermy, it is that the eyes are the key to imitating life.

I used to pet the black bear, pat him on the head. And sometimes, pinch his teeth. After Pop had passed and the neighborhood turned, we had to move Nan out of her home and into a smaller apartment in Northeast Philly. The bear lived with us for a while, folded on top of our refrigerator in our garage. I’m not sure why this bear always ended up on top of a fridge, but who were we to question tradition? He now resides with my Uncle who has the bear and other bucks mounts on his wall. Nan and Pop are gone, but that bear is still around.

Another distance family member, my aunt-by-marriage’s-brother’s -wife, (if you’re Italian, you know this just means ‘aunt’) had a massive collection of insects. Vibrant butterflies, glossy green beetles, jet black scorpions- all framed and labeled around their home. Again, this experience occurred as a child, so in reality she may have had about a dozen frames of bugs. But I still like to believe my child’s memory of there being hundreds. I loved staring at them, but even more so, I wanted to touch them. I had never seen butterflies so big and blue growing up in Pennsylvania. And even if I did, I would never be able to catch those agile things. But now here they were, right in front of me. So close and delicate, with only a pane of glass between us.

On a trip to Chicago, my partner and I visited a friend who took us to the Field Museum. Not only does the museum have Sue the T. Rex, the largest and most complete dinosaur ever discovered (kudos to Sue for living large and staying organized) but they also have hall after hall of preserved animal specimens, some over 100 years old. Some are beautifully displayed in glass cases. Others are shown in a scene reflecting their environment in the wild, like the notorious man-eating lions or a grizzly bear standing upon rocky terrain. If you have ever wanted to feel like a tiny, feeble speck, go stand by that grizzly. You could easily spend an entire weekend looking at every specimen just once- that’s how big this place is.

A derpy breed of antelope at the Chicago Field Museum. Photo by my friend, Jon.

A derpy breed of antelope at the Chicago Field Museum. Photo by my friend, Jon.

So after all of this time and admiration, I finally started a collection of my own. We have a pheasant hanging in our garage which was left by the sellers- so thanks! I also have a gorgeous black tarantula gifted to me by my very best friend. We named him Abe as she purchased him in Lincoln, Nebraska. His abdomen broke off and got kinda stuck between the sealed glass by his head, but I guess that’s part of his charm. The real Abe didn’t make it out completely unscathed either.

The next piece I want to add to my collection are these gorgeously obscure little mice dioramas made by Brooklyn Taxidermy. I first came across these little delights at a punk rock flea market in Asbury Park, NJ a few years back. The company is run by Amber Maykut, a skillfully talented taxidermist and entomologist who has worked for several museums around the country, restoring and creating gorgeous pieces. The ethically sourced mouse/mice pieces are too precious. They’re exactly the storybook imagery we grew up with- little mice in their own community, maybe living inside an old grandfather clock or a hollowed out stump in the woods. Some mice are displayed enjoying a thimble sized cup of coffee, others are calling on the cards, ready to read your fortune.

If you’re reading this and are thinking “hmm, I wouldn’t mind trying to make one of these babies myself,” you’re in luck! Brooklyn Taxidermy offers classes. Whether you’re looking for classic taxidermy pieces, quirky mice, or the more creative, crypto-zoology inspired pieces such as the jackalope, Brooklyn Taxidermy is definitely worth a gander.

Taxidermy Jackalope courtesy of Brooklyn Taxidermy Etsy

Taxidermy Jackalope courtesy of Brooklyn Taxidermy Etsy

So is taxidermy odd and strange, even slightly depressing? I suppose so. It is, at its root, dead things. This once stunning, grandiose creature is now dead, gone. And that’s how we get to ENJOY the thing? Once it has passed and everything that makes a butterfly a butterfly, a bear a bear, a fox a fox- is now gone? I understand all of this- yes. But taxidermy extends beyond that. It creates eternal life only in death, through death. It offers accessibility: taking something so beautiful and striking, something that you could never get to see up close in person, and placing it right in front of you, larger than life. Even if it is only the shell. Which is also the part that is so quickly whisked away once death takes it. The shell is what is burned or boxed up and buried because it is “tainted” with death. Taxidermy says, “No, no. Not just yet.” and makes it possible for that magnificent something to stick around for a little while longer.

Instead of that old bear inciting an interest in hunting, I’ve grown to have an interest in collecting dead things. Not through channels of killing, for, as I’ve mentioned, the whole hunting thing has never sat well with me. And I absolutely do not support big game hunting. I believe any taxidermy that is acquired in present times should be obtained through ethical channels, once it has died on it’s own accord. That’s what I find most fascinating about taxidermy. It keeps around for us the semblance and structure of what something was, long after the spirit of what it was has dissipated.

If nothing else, it will make a great conversation starter for your next cocktail party.

Thank you, Liz! Do you have a weird or strange interest or passion or obsession that you would like to share with the readers of Unquiet Things? Are you interested in writing up a guest post about it? Please let me know! I will pay you with a knitted good for your time!

Previous Guest Posts:

Planners: Rituals Of Comfort, Agents Of Change
Ten Gems Of Decadent Cinema

Links Of The Dead {February 2018}

Clare Toms Chasing Light, Seeking Light

Clare Toms “Chasing Light, Seeking Light”.
This print is part of an 8 print set sold at Static Medium to benefit those
who lost their homes in the September 2107 earthquake that ravaged Mexico.

 

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.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {February 2017} | {February 2016}

💀 China cracks down on funeral strippers hired to entertain mourners, attract larger crowds
💀 How death became an industry – dominated by men
💀 15 Death Positive Artists You Should Know
💀 Exploring Death Through Occultism And Art
💀 ‘Death: A Graveside Companion’ offers an outlet for your morbid curiosity
💀 When Women Channeled The Dead To Be Heard
💀 How to Preserve Your Family Memories, Letters and Trinkets
💀 Talk to Your Doctor About Your Bucket List
💀 Learning About Indonesian Ghost Culture After My Aunt’s Death

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