Archive of ‘death and dying’ category

Elsewhere: Keening and the Death Wail

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I recently interviewed musician Gemma Fleet of The Wharves on her project “Lost Voices” Volume 1. “Keening and the Death Wail”. Gemma provides us with a fascinating look at a dramatic mourning tradition as it relates to the Irish funeral and other cultures worldwide, as well as tackling it from a feminist perspective, and how it ties into the grieving process.

Keening & the Death Wail | Death & the Maiden

Links of the Dead {4.22.16}

Art by Noah Scalin

Art by Noah Scalin

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  related to matters of death & dying & mortality.

Previous installments:
Links of the Dead for March 2016
Links of the dead for February 2016
Links of the dead for January 2016
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

Dearly beloved, with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of Prince…

💀 No Doves Cry Here: Prince Retrospetive

💀 A Look Back At Prince’s Unfiltered And Unapologetic Style

💀 His Music Does The Talking’: Manager Owen Husney On Prince’s Legacy

…and elsewhere

💀 Graveyard Botany: Patricia Lundy writes on haunting flora which festoon final resting places.
💀 Speaking with the Dead: Life and Learning in a Cadaver Lab by Madeleine LeDespencer
💀 A list of valuable Grief Reads, via Modern Loss
💀 Literal Heartbreak: A Spouse’s death can make your heart skip a beat
💀 Six Feet Over helps people who’ve lost loved ones to suicide through funerals & more
💀 The Complicated Wallpapers of Grief: A review of the film Midnight Swim
💀 Pain Is Not Redeemed by Art: Grief, Loss and Creative Practice
💀 Beverly Hills of the Dead: Luxury Tombs complete with Kitchens & Air Conditioning
💀 Most Distinctive Obituary Euphemism for ‘Died’ in Each State
💀 5 things you can do to join the Death Positivity movement and value life more

Links of the Dead {3.22.16}

Elegy. Sandra Yagi

Elegy. Sandra Yagi

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 February 2016
Links of the dead for January 2016
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

 

Macabre To The Bone: The Art of Lozzy Bones

7 Things No One Tells You About Losing A Parent As A Child

Artist Uses 3D Printer to Turn Human Ashes into Objects

Attention Whore Becky Has Open Casket Funeral

Companies offering pet bereavement days for employees after death of pets

Grieving in Community: A look at the way different communities treat grief vs the Western culture

Barney The Cemetery Cat, Who Comforted Mourners For 20 Years, Has Died

Corpses Attempt Hilarity: If you’re a Cards Against Humanity fan—then you need the first deathcare version!

Companies Want to Replicate Your Dead Loved Ones With Robot Clones

Shrouds or Lingerie? Traditional Female Burial Garments

Death Memoirs: Why The Grave Subject Sells So Well

Order of the Good Death members Bess Lovejoy and Megan Rosenbloom have put together a list of deathy books for all manner of death interests.

How We Mourn the Famous and What It Says About Collective Grief

this, that, & the other thing {xxii}


Kulning: The haunting, beautiful Swedish herding call that’s also a song

 

800px-Old_Winnetka_Log_CabinTypes of American Folk Magic From New Orleans to the Ozarks

 

here-is-the-scariest-urban-legend-from-every-state_1The Scariest Urban Legend From Every State

 

whatisawitch_456x608-456x600 (1)“What Is A Witch” an illuminated manifesto on witchcraft by Pam Grossman & Tin Can Forest

 

gothic-to-goth-4“Gothic to Goth: Romantic Era Fashion & Its Legacy”

 

Medusa-Delville-LThe Flowers of Evil: Satanic Feminists of Bohemian Paris

 

Poison-catsNoxious Dollops and Opium Tonics: Poisonous Victorian Home Remedies

 

MourningPortrait1 (1)Michael Berkowitz Mourning Portraits

 

girl-who-stood-on-grave-e1458051452386The Monster in the Mirror: On Horror, Disability, and Loving Both at Once

 

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Great Moments In Historical Sluttery: Aphra Behn, The Mysterious Exploits of Agent 160

Links of the dead {February 2016}

Life preserving coffin in doubtful cases of actual dead

Life preserving Eisenbrandt coffin in doubtful cases of actual death

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 January 2016
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

Oh For Goodness Sake – Stand At My Grave and Weep Already!

Coffins, Crape, and Other Victorian Omens of Death

The Wills Party

4 Ways To Think Outside The Box When Honoring A Loved One

A touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.

How to Transform Our Discomfort Around Death and Loss

Necrophiliacs Are People, Too: New Book Humanizes This Misunderstood Taboo

The living paths of the dead

The ‘Funeral Clothes Project’

5 books explore the ways that we are shaped by the knowledge of our mortality

Mysteries of Vernacular: Hearse

The Rebozo: Fashion, Feminism and Death

Our Strange, Unsettled History of Mourning

The Role of Death in Finding Meaning in Life

aromatherapy for grief & loss

Facing Mortality Through A Lens

The Science of Life and Death in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Currently {1.20.16}

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Doing: attending birthday parties in public places –the idea of which which will never fail to freak me out because: people & conversation. However, I always forget that in this particular group there are also people like me who are similarly freaked out, which is great because misery (and anxious weirdos) love company. We always seem to find each other, and a corner to cozy into, cringing away from the crowd.  Look at this guy! It’s a Mexican Salamander, or Axolotyl. He is a cold-blooded, live-in friend of my corner-companion and her husband. These are the kinds of things we talk about.

 

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Reading: Beautiful Darkness, a thoroughly charmingly illustrated graphic novel that is savage and unsettling and not at all what I expected.  Although I kind of figured out what I was in for by the second or third page.  Beauty, also illustrated by Kerascoet and is supposedly an “immersive”, “dark, feminist parable”; I’ll know more tonight, after I’ve settled in with it!  And lastly (well, not really lastly, I’ve got stacks and stacks of unread books) is Wylding Hall, by Elisabeth Hand.  Here’s the synopsis–doesn’t it sound dreamy?

“After the tragic and mysterious death of one of their founding members, the young musicians in a British acid-folk band hole up at Wylding Hall, an ancient country house with its own dark secrets. There they record the classic album that will make their reputation but at a terrifying cost, when Julian Blake, their lead singer, disappears within the mansion and is never seen again. Now, years later, each of the surviving musicians, their friends and lovers (including a psychic, a photographer, and the band s manager) meets with a young documentary filmmaker to tell his or her own version of what happened during that summer but whose story is the true one?”

 

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Knitting: Terpsichore Street, by Romi Hill.  This pattern gave me extreme agita around this time last year, and I eventually called it quits and felt like a failure and moped about it for the next year. Well, this year I am attempting it again, and I am seeing that a great many of my issues are directly related to misreading the pattern, misinterpreting the instructions, and making assumptions that aren’t accurate.  So far progress is slow–we’re talking a glacial pace– but I am reading and re-reading and correcting myself every time I go astray. Except for a potentially huge mistake that I made at the beginning…but I think that’s only going to affect the size of the finished shawl, and I’m over that.  I’ll just give it to one of my tinier friends.  Problem solved!

Oh, and what’s that, you ask? Another book?  Yes, you caught me.  This one is Death’s Summer Coat by Brandy Schillace and touches on a subject close to my heart: death awareness and death acceptance.

“Death is something we all confront―it touches our families, our homes, our hearts. And yet we have grown used to denying its existence, treating it as an enemy to be beaten back with medical advances.

We are living at a unique point in human history. People are living longer than ever, yet the longer we live, the more taboo and alien our mortality becomes. Yet we, and our loved ones, still remain mortal. People today still struggle with this fact, as we have done throughout our entire history. What led us to this point? What drove us to sanitize death and make it foreign and unfamiliar?

Schillace shows how talking about death, and the rituals associated with it, can help provide answers. It also brings us closer together―conversation and community are just as important for living as for dying. Some of the stories are strikingly unfamiliar; others are far more familiar than you might suppose. But all reveal much about the present―and about ourselves.”

 

Listening: Daughter, Not To Disappear. I am happy to report that Daughter’s second album sounds very much like the first, which is to say: lush, beautiful sadness. Hushed, desolate dream-pop. Heartbreak and doom and gentle glooms.  Perfection.

 

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Wearing: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Mother Ghost, from their Crimson Peak line {a cold, sheer white musk gleaming with black orchid, benzoin, labdanum, and blackened amber, and embraced by white rose, tea leaf, and vanilla flower.} This is a pearly, translucent delicate scent that reminds me very much of my lost (discontinued) love, the delicate, gauzy, Antique Lace.

 

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Anticipating: The release of our Occult Activity Book! Co-conspirator Becky Munich and I have been working with several splendid several artists and writers to conjure forth this wicked little book …and for true believers we have concocted a Deluxe pack which includes the 24-page Occult Activity book, two 5×7 color prints and a sticker by contributing artist Casket Glass Studio .

We should have them available for purchase sometime in the beginning of February, but be forewarned! Only 250 of these marvels will be printed, so you’ll want to nab them while they are available on this plane of existence!

seance

Bonus! Another one from the cutting room floor, from How To Wear A Séance over at Dirge. That dress is utterly killing me.

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

 

 

15+ impossible wardrobes dreamed in 2015

I have a weird habit wherein every time I write something, I feel compelled to design an outfit around it. Obviously in the virtual sense – my wallet could not possibly withstand this peculiar compulsion!

Below are 15 (okay, it’s actually probably more like 20-30) ensembles created in 2015, including links back to the articles, essays, or ramblings that inspired their creation. As always, click through the image to find details on the items included.

15 things I did in 2015

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15 things I wrote in 2015

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15 things I liked in 2015

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Merry Hexmas to you!

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The New Faces of Death

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Kintsugi

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Alchemical Catharsis

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Queen of Hearts

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Travel Journals: Portland

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Feral Mysticism

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Terrible, tragic beauty

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but I brought you flowers!

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les neiges d’antan

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Darkly Dreaming

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Krampusnacht 2015

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Perfume of the Dead

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Hag Couture

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Summer scents for those who shun the sun

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wind & stone, fire & bone

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The Scent of Evil

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Vögguvísa, or: There is much that darkness knows

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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

 

 

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