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In Islam, the head is pointed ... (Army bugle call at the end of the day), ... or ghost-like, beyond this world, or after physical death. The major views in this area ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Transcript and Presenter's Notes


One important and obvious realization when
thinking about death is that death is inevitable.
The time death will come is uncertain, but that
it will arrive is irrefutable.
Human bodies cannot withstand all the ravages of
accidents, disease, and/or old age.
Bodies wear out people die.
Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but
death and taxes.

Bereavement refers to the state of loss. Grief is
a multi-faceted response to loss. Although
conventionally focused on the emotional response
to loss, it also has physical, cognitive,
behavioral, social and philosophical dimensions.
Human beings express a wide variety of grief
responses. These are influenced by personality,
family, culture, spiritual, and religious beliefs
and practices. This lesson focuses on the
beliefs, customs, and practices related to death
primarily in mainstream America.
Mourning is synonymous with grief over the death
of someone. It describes a cultural complex of
behaviors in which the bereaved participate or
are expected to participate. While customs vary
between different cultures and evolve over time,
many core behaviors remain constant.
Using euphemisms, metaphors, and slang terms
instead of death and dying terms is sometimes
desirable in helping with the healing process.
This alternative language can sometimes be
amusing and/or distancing, and is considered
black humor.
Pushing up daisies, the big sleep, off to the
happy hunting grounds, dead as a mackerel, dead
as a doornail, going home, shuffling off to
Buffalo, bought the farm, cashed in, checked out,
croaked, curtains, crossed over, drop dead,
departed, dust to dust, eternal rest, expired,
give up the ghost, kick the bucket, last breath,
meet ones end, on ice, the hour has come, the
race is run, the days are numbered, on the
heavenly shores, passed away, passed on,
perished, resting in peace, rubbed out,
succumbed, six feet under, terminated, thats all
she wrote, give up the ghost, done in, withered
away, etc.
It is very difficult for parents to talk to
children about death and dying, because it is the
ultimate loss of control.
Some parents prepare children for death using
nature as the tool. Dying leaves in the fall or
the death of a pet might introduce the child to
death. Parents that allow the child time to
experience the loss of a pet, without softening
the blow by immediately buying another animal,
may be preparing their child for future losses.
Be honest. Its scary to know the truth, but its
scarier if you dont know. Parents cant fix
everything. People cant always be happy.
Who Killed Cock Robin is a nursery rhyme
beginning Who killed Cock Robin? I, said the
Sparrow, with my bow and arrow, I killed Cock
Technology has brought real and fictional death
and dying to all of our homes, as kids are
watching TV shows and movies where people are
killed, are talking about death, and are
experiencing the loss of a loved one. They also
see people killed, that show back up in another
episode a day later, creating confusion or an
Probably the most well-known theory on the stages
of grief might be from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross'
1969 book, "On Death and Dying." In it, she
identified five stages that a dying patient
experiences when informed of their terminal
prognosis... Denial, anger, bargaining,
depression, and acceptance.
Since the time of that publication, todays
psychologists generally agree that those
reactions are experienced in response to any
loss, including the loss of life of a loved
one. The 5 stages of grief have been revised to
include at least 7 responses
- Shock (or Disbelief)- Denial- Anger-
Bargaining- Guilt- Depression- Acceptance
STAGE 1 SHOCK -serves to prevent feelings of
being overwhelmed, allow time for integration and
processing of event at first
Individual stages are not necessarily experienced
in order, or at all.
  • no, it cant be this cant happen, I dont
    believe it
  • -against those who caused the death
  • -against the government who didn't do more to
    protect citizens -against God for allowing it
    to happen-against the dead for not doing more to
    save themselves (though it seems
    irrational)-against self (feelings of guilt)

STAGE 4 BARGAINING -I promise Ill do better
if only Take me instead
STAGE 5 GUILT -feelings of survivor guilt
"Why should I still be alive and they not?
or If only I had been more or done more
STAGE 6 DEPRESSION -inability to cope
- feeling that the future looks bleak
"what's the point of anything?" or "what will
happen next?
-physical reactions such as nausea, head or
stomach aches, nausea, loss of appetite, etc.
-experienced as intense
feelings of loss and sadness that may last
weeks, months, or years. STAGE 7 ACCEPTANCE
-Finding inner strength through listening to each
other, support groups, family-Moving toward
integration of the experience into one's memory

  • With 17 people dying every day in the United
    States for lack of an organ transplant, more and
    more people are considering the possibility of
    donating organs - or even their entire bodies -
    after death.
  • With advances in medical science, its now
    possible to donate
  • Organs (before and after death)
  • Tissue (including skin, bone, corneas, heart
    valves, blood vessels and tendons)
  • Bone marrow (before and after death)
  • Your entire body, for medical research

Under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act of 1984,
its illegal to sell or buy- human organs or
bodies. Anyone violating this law can be fined
and/or sent to jail. Available transplant organs
are gifted according to many factors, including
Location of the donor and recipient Severity
of illness Physical characteristics like blood
type, size, and genetic makeup Factors like
wealth or celebrity status are not considered
 The whole body donation program for the state of
Nebraska is handled by the Nebraska Anatomical
Board.Enrollment in the program is required on
record before death. Donors may designate the
recipient of their choice University of
Nebraska, Creighton University, or Nebraska
Anatomical Board-unspecified
Many bodies are rejected, including those of
minors under 18 years old unless a deed form is
co-signed by parents or legal guardian bodies
that have undergone extensive autopsies, trauma,
highly contagious disease, excessive obesity, or
emaciation and bodies of persons whose families
object. After cadavers are used for at least 2
years, the cremains (cremated remains) can be
returned to the family for final disposition, if
You can register to be an organ donor with your
local Department of Motor Vehicles, and have it
noted on your drivers license.
An autopsy, also known as a post-mortem
examination, is a medical procedure that
consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to
determine the cause and manner of death and to
evaluate any disease or injury that may be
present. It is usually performed by a specialized
medical doctor called a pathologist.
The principal aim of an autopsy is to discover
the cause of death, to determine the state of
health of the person before he or she died, and
whether any medical diagnosis and treatment
before death was appropriate.
Forensic Autopsy Done for legal purposes tends
to be complete and comprehensive, taking several
days to weeks to complete no family permission
is required used to determine the cause of
death Natural Accident Homicide Suicide Unde
Y-incision for abdominal cavity
Clinical Autopsy Usually performed in hospitals
to determine a cause of death for research and
study purposes. Permission from the deceased's
legal next of kin is required. Coroner's
Autopsy The county medical examiner or coroner
may require an autopsy for any purpose, including
practice, in the states interest. No permission
of the family is required.
Incision from ear to ear on back of scalp scalp
peeled forward over face and skull opened to
inspect brain
A death certificate is a document issued by a
government official such as a registrar of vital
statistics, and declares the date, location and
cause of a person's death.
Before issuing a death certificate, the
authorities usually require a certificate from a
physician or coroner to validate the cause of
death and the identity of the deceased. In the
United States death certificates are considered
public domain documents and can therefore be
obtained for any individual regardless of the
requester's relationship to the deceased. Due to
some confidentiality laws (such as HIV status)
cause of death my not be specifically listed on
all copies.
Purposes of the certificate 1. review the cause
of death to determine if foul-play occurred
2. it may also be required in order
to arrange a burial or cremation 3.
to prove a person's will

4. to file a claim on a person's life
Embalming is the art and science of temporarily
preserving human remains to delay decomposition
and make it suitable for display at a funeral if
desired (ceremony in remembrance of the
deceased). The three goals of embalming are
preservation, sanitization, and presentation (or
restoration) of a dead body. Most states require
embalming, refrigeration, or burial within 24
hours after death (except for religious
After death has been determined by the physician
or coroner, it is verified by 1. rigor mortis
a change in the muscles after death that
causes a stiffness in the limbs

lividity a settling of the blood in the lower
portion of the body, causing a purplish red
discoloration of the skin
The mortician (funeral director) or embalmer,
following the familys direction, transports the
deceased to the mortuary (funeral home). The
identity of the deceased is verified, and the
corpse is washed and disinfected with germicidal
solutions. The embalmer bends , flexes, and
massages the arms and legs to relieve rigor
The human body begins to dehydrate after a person
dies. Because the skin is so dry, it "pulls away
from nails and hair." This makes it appear as
though the nails and hair are growing, but in
fact, it's really the opposite. The body is
shrinking. Moisturizer can be applied to help
with a more natural appearance to the skin.
The process of closing the mouth, eyes, shaving,
etc is collectively known as setting the
features. The eyes are closed and kept closed
with an eye cap under the lid that keeps them
shut and in the proper expression, or with
adhesive. The mouth may be closed via suturing,
using an adhesive, wire, or other specialized
device. Care is taken to make the expression look
as relaxed and natural as possible. Ideally, a
recent photograph of the deceased while still
living is used as a guide.
Checking the appearance of nails or facial hair
can be an indicator of dehydration in all persons
who are losing liquids through excessive
sweating, vomiting or diarrhea.
The actual embalming process usually involves
four parts 1. Arterial embalming - draining
blood and displacing it with chemicals (using
the gravity of a slanted table and a pump as
shown here) 2. Cavity embalming suctioning
internal fluids from a small abdominal
incision, puncturing hollow organs, and filling
the cavities with chemicals 3. Hypodermic
embalming injecting embalming chemicals under
the skin 4. Surface embalming supplements
other methods and includes the restoration of
injured body parts with modeling wax
Embalming chemicals are a variety of
preservatives, sanitizing, and disinfectant
agents and additives used to temporarily prevent
decomposition and restore a natural appearance
for viewing a body after death. Typical embalming
fluid contains a mixture of formaldehyde,
methanol, ethanol, and other solvents. The fluids
are or can be colored to restore a more life-like
An embalmer has passed a National Board
Examination and Licensing procedure, and has
completed a study in anatomy, chemistry, and
mortuary science. Immediate family members only
have rights to view or assist with body
While embalmers hope to create a somewhat
life-like appearance of the corpse, the goal is
not to truly make the person appear alive. This
would prolong denial. Family and friends may
view the body and remark he doesnt look
natural. No, the corpse does not look natural.
The person is no longer alive.
After embalming, the body may once again washed
and dried. Moisturizing creams may be applied, as
well as lightly-fragranced powders. The body is
dressed. Wax may be used to repair damaged areas
of the body.
The family usually selects the clothes for the
deceased, and those may range from the
traditional suit jacket and tie for men and
dresses for women to wedding attire, T-shirts and
blue jeans, or uniforms. Undergarments and
jewelry are also worn. Shoes are optional, but
may be excluded due to space restrictions in the
The embalmer may fix the hair and add makeup, or
trained cosmetologists may be hired for this
purpose. Once again, a recent photo of the
deceased may be helpful. Using the exact makeup,
nail polish, and hair style of the deceased prior
to death might be possible.
Makeup is used on both men and women, designed to
add depth and dimension to a person's features
that the lack of blood circulation has removed.
Cremation is the practice of disposing of a human
corpse by burning. A body to be cremated is first
placed in a container for cremation, which can be
a regular casket or coffin, a simple corrugated
cardboard box, a plain wooden box, or a special
liner from a rented casket.
The place where the cremation takes place is a
crematorium or crematory. The chamber where the
body is placed is called the retort .The box
containing the body is placed in the retort and
incinerated at a temperature of 1400 2100 F.
During the cremation process, a large part of the
body including the organs and other soft tissue
are vaporized and oxidized due to the heat, and
the gases are discharged through the exhaust
system. The entire process usually takes about
two hours.
All that remains after cremation are dry bone
fragments (mostly calcium phosphates and minor
minerals), representing about 3.5 of the body's
original mass.
Larger pieces are put into a machine, grinding
them into finer fragments resembling wood-ash in
Cremated remains are returned to the funeral home
and next of kin in a plastic container in a
cardboard box or velvet sack, along with an
official cremation certificate. Cremated remains
can be kept in an urn at home, sprinkled on a
special field, mountain, in the sea, or buried in
the ground. In addition, there are several
services which will scatter the cremated remains
in a variety of ways and locations. Some examples
are via a helium balloon, through fireworks, shot
from shotgun shells or scattered from a plane.
One service will send the remains into space and
another will have them turned into a diamond in
an artificial diamond manufacturing machine, as
the ashes are mainly carbon based. They can also
be incorporated, with urn and cement, into part
of an artificial reef. Cremated remains can be
scattered in national parks in the US, with a
special permit. They can also be scattered on
private property, with the owner's permission. A
portion of the cremated remains may be retained
in a specially designed locket known as a
keepsake pendant. The final disposition depends
on the personal wishes of the deceased as well as
their religious beliefs. Some religions, such as
Roman Catholicism, insist on either burying or
entombing the remains.
A columbarium is a special wall or entombment
facility with small niches for cremains. Some
people prefer cremation to slow decomposition of
the body. Some prefer it because of cost,
simplicity, and environmental concerns.
A funeral director may or may not be a qualified
embalmer. The funeral director, or mortician,
runs the mortuary business. They manage and
maintain the funeral home (mortuary). They
counsel and work together directly with the
families or next of kin in regard to the conduct
of the funeral service and disposition of the
In the 1800s the local funeral director, once
known as an undertaker, typically operated a
furniture store and built caskets too. Today, the
industry is a separate entity involving the
manufacture and sale of coffins, caskets, and
COFFIN 8 sides
CASKETS 6 sides
Full couch lid is one piece
Receptacles for burial can be purchased or rented
(used for viewing only or a funeral service prior
to cremation or body donation). The cost of the
receptacle is usually the most expensive portion
of the total funeral cost.
Considerations in Purchasing a Casket Lumber or
metal costs Bronze, copper, stainless steel (in
various gauges or thicknesses, and wood
(mahogany, walnut, cherry, maple, oak, ash,
poplar, pine, and wood veneers). Thickness and
type of metal or wood Exterior shell design
Corner design Finish brushed, glossy, satin
finishes Interiors velvets, crepes, satins
Hardware such as bed frame, raising, lowering,
and tilting mechanisms, locks Gasket seals Jewish
Orthodox requirements (must be fully
biodegradeable and have holes drilled in the
bottom to hasten decomposition)
The National Funeral Directors Association
estimates the average cost of a funeral in the
United States as of July 2004, is 6,500. This
is for the outer burial, not including the
cemetery cost. In Nebraska, that average in 2001
was 6,168.00. Social Security allows a benefit
of 250.  
The cost of the funeral is dependent upon the
services used and the merchandise selected. There
are three places where expenses are incurred
1. Professional Services (embalming,
printing obituaries, the hearse) 2. Merchandise
selected (casket, vault, urn) 3. Cash Advance
Items. Cash advance items are items that the
funeral director pays for on a family's behalf,
that are not directly their services.  These
items include clergy honorarium, music
honorarium, grave opening, flowers, lunch, and
monument work
Pre-planned and pre-paid funerals do 3 things
1. Locks in pre-inflationary prices
2. Removes the burden of funeral
planning for relatives at a time when their
judgment may be impaired
3. The funeral preferences
of the deceased can be carried out without
Prior to many funerals, a viewing or
visitation is held. Family and friends use this
ritual with an open casket to realize the death
and deal with grief. During the viewing,
pink-colored lighting is sometimes used near the
body to lend a warmer tone to the deceased's
A closed casket may be desired (lid is closed),
especially if the body was damaged.
For Irish descendants, a wake usually lasts 3
full days. On the day after the wake the funeral
takes place. Family members and friends will
ensure that there is always someone awake with
the body, traditionally saying prayers.
Some cultures and religions consider the sending
of flowers, embalming, or viewing of the body as
During the funeral and at the burial service, the
casket may be covered with a large arrangement of
flowers, called a casket spray. If the decedent
served in a branch of the Armed forces, the
casket may be covered with a national flag
however nothing should cover the national flag.
Use of the flag for funerals is governed by Title
4, United States Code, Chapter 1, Paragraph 8i.
Funeral services may be conducted by the funeral
director or clergy. They may include prayers,
readings from the Bible or other sacred texts
hymns sung by the attendees or a hired vocalist
and words of comfort by the clergy.
A funeral may take place at either a funeral home
or church, usually 3-5 days after the death of
the deceased.
A funeral service provides a place for family and
friends to gather for support and to reminisce
an opportunity to celebrate the life and
accomplishments of a loved one a chance to say
goodbye and the focal point from which the
healing process can begin. The funeral
identifies that a person's life has been lived,
not that a death has occurred. It is also
important to notify the community that this
person has died. There are people beyond the
immediate family who have the right to grieve a
A eulogy is a speech or writing in praise of a
person or thing, and may refer to a funeral
oration given in tribute to a person or people
who have recently died. Eulogies should not be
confused with elegies, which are poems written in
tribute to the dead nor with obituaries, which
are published biographies recounting the lives of
those who have recently died nor with obsequies,
which refer generally to the rituals surrounding
In the United States, black is generally
considered the color of mourning. At a time like
this, it is considered improper by some to draw
attention to yourself by wearing bright colors.
In some Asian cultures, white is the color of
White flowers from the lily family are
traditional flowers for funerals.
Memorial gifts are sometimes given to the family.
These might include food or flowers, or money.
Money may aid the family or be designated by the
family for a special cause. Example Memorial
money given at the funeral of a person who
suffered from Alzheimers Disease prior to death
might be designated for research for a cure for
Alzheimers money given to the family of a
deceased young father might be designated for his
childrens college education.
The memorial service is a service given for the
deceased without the body present. This may take
place after a burial, donation of the body to
science, cremation (sometimes the cremains are
present), or burial at sea. Typically these
services take place at the funeral home and may
include prayers, poems, or songs to remember the
deceased. Pictures of the deceased are usually
placed at the altar where the body would normally
be to pay respects by.
A memorial service is appropriate when bodies
cannot be recovered and identified after mass
tragedies or war-time.
Funerals and memorial services are in memory of
the deadbut they are FOR the living.
Burial, also called interment, is the act of
placing a body into the ground. This is
accomplished by digging a pit or trench, placing
the person in it, and replacing the soil. After
death, a corpse will start to decay and emit
unpleasant odors due to gases released by
bacterial decomposition. Burial prevents the
living from having to see and smell the
decomposing corpse, but it is not necessarily a
public health requirement. The WHO (World Health
Organization) advises that only corpses carrying
an infectious disease strictly require burial.
Jewelry may be removed just prior to the casket
being closed for the final time. This discourages
the idea of grave robbing for artifacts.
In many religious traditions, the pall or
body-in-a-casket is carried by relatives such as
cousins, nephews or grandchildren or friends of
the decedent. These pallbearers, usually 6,
will carry the casket from the funeral service to
the hearse, and from the hearse to the site of
the burial service.
A burial service may be conducted immediately
following the funeral, beginning with a
procession. The large car transporting the pall,
the hearse, is followed by the immediate family
and then the other attendees, and travels to the
burial site.
In some military funerals, a caisson (wagon
carrying artillery ammunition) may be used to
transport the casket.
A unique funeral tradition in the United States
is the New Orleans Jazz Funeral arising from
African-American spiritual and French musical
traditions. A typical jazz funeral begins with a
march by the family, friends, and a jazz band
from the home or funeral to the cemetery.
Throughout the march, the band plays very somber
dirges. Once the final ceremony has taken place,
the march proceeds from the cemetery to a
gathering place, and the solemn music is replaced
by loud, upbeat music and dancing where onlookers
join in to celebrate the life of the deceased.
This is the origin of the New Orleans dance known
as the second line" where celebrants do a
dance-march, frequently while raising the hats
and umbrellas brought along as protection from
intense New Orleans weather and waving
handkerchiefs above the head that are no longer
being used to wipe away tears.
A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and
cremains are buried. The term cemetery, from the
Greek meaning sleeping place, implies that the
land is specifically designated as a burying
Some Christians wish to be buried in consecrated
ground," usually a cemetery in or near the
churchhence the word churchyard or graveyard.
Graves near the Gulf of Mexico are above-ground
due to the high water tables.
Body positioning Burials may be placed in a
number of different positions. Christian burials
are made extended, i.e., lying flat with arms and
legs straight, or with the arms folded upon the
chest, and with the eyes and mouth closed.
Extended burials may be supine (lying on the
back) or prone (lying on the front). Other
practices place the body on its side in a flexed
position with the legs folded up to the chest.
Warriors in some ancient societies were buried in
an upright position. In Islam, the head is
pointed toward and the face is turned toward
Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.
Orientation Historically, Christian burials were
made supine east-west, with the head at the
western end of the graveto view the coming of
Christ on Judgment Day.
A growing trend in the U.S. is a natural burial,
used in protecting and restoring the natural
environment. With a natural burial, the body is
returned to nature in a biodegradable coffin or
shroud (winding, sheet-like burial garment).
Native vegetation or memorial trees are often
planted over or near the grave in place of a
conventional cemetery monument. The resulting
green space establishes a living memorial and
forms a protected wildlife preserve.
A potters field is a county- owned piece of
land for burying the unknown and indigent.
Natural burial grounds are also known as woodland
cemeteries, eco-cemeteries, memorial nature
preserves, or green burial grounds.
Biblically, a potters field was unfit for
growing cropsbut only used to dig a potters
clay. See Matthew 277 in the Bible for this
A burial vault is a protective outer container
for a casket. One of those or a simpler concrete
container called a graveliner may be required by
some cemeteries to keep the ground from settling
and preserve the beauty and ease the maintenance
of the memorial park or cemetery.
While basic concrete offers no protection from
outside elements, the reinforced vault has a
synthetic material or metal applied to the
concrete to improve the integrity and strength.
Stainless steel, bronze, and copper are common
metals for these.
If the decedent served in a branch of the Armed
Forces, military rites are often provided at the
burial service by representatives of the Armed
Forces or Veterans organizations such as the
American Legion.
Military rites include a gun salute, the playing
of Taps (Army bugle call at the end of the day),
and the presentation of the folded casket flag to
the surviving widow or family member. The
military also provides a monument to mark the
grave if desired.
Others in uniform, such as firefighters and
police officers are honored with special funeral
At a police officer's or firefighter's funeral,
the bagpipes are often played.
A foot procession of department members in full
dress uniforms follow fire trucks bearing the
caskets of fallen firefighters. The fire trucks
pass under an arch of the raised aerial ladders
and suspended flags.
A mausoleum (plural mausolea) is a free-standing
building constructed as a monument enclosing the
interment space or burial chamber of a deceased
person or persons. A mausoleum may be considered
a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to
be within the mausoleum.
Single mausolea may be
temporarily locked or permanently sealed. A
mausoleum encloses a burial chamber either wholly
above ground or within a burial vault below the
The pyramids of ancient Egypt are also types of
mausolea or tombs, each housing one or more
mummies. A mummy is a corpse whose skin and dried
flesh have been preserved by exposure to
chemicals, extreme cold, very low humidity, or
airlessness. They are wrapped in a shroud and
buried with possessions.
Crypts are stone or brick-lined underground
spaces or 'burial' chambers for the interment of
a dead body or bodies. They often have vaulted
ceilings and stone slab entrances. They are often
privately owned and used for specific family or
other groups. They are often found beneath
public religious buildings, in cemeteries,
beneath mausolea, or in churchyards. The poet
Edgar Allen Poe wrote of crypts.
Catacombs are a network of underground burial
galleries, such as caves, grottos, or
subterranean places. The original catacombs were
near Rome, Italy.
Burial at sea means the deliberate disposal of a
corpse into the ocean, weighted to make sure it
sinks. Two reasons for burial at sea are if the
deceased died while at sea and it is impractical
to return the remains to shore, or if the
deceased died on land but a burial at sea is
requested for private or cultural reasons.
Legally, a Captain can bury remains at sea,
provided that environmental regulations and
dumping laws are satisfied. In the United States,
ashes have to be scattered at least 3 miles from
shore, and bodies can be given to the sea if the
location is at least 600 feet (200 m) deep.
Special regulations may also apply to the urns
and coffins. However, local laws may differ, and
in some places it is legal to drop ashes right
from the dock. The ceremony may include burial in
a casket, burial sewn in sailcloth, burial in an
urn, or scattering of the cremated remains by
Mass burial is the practice of burying multiple
bodies in one location. This may be the only
practical means of dealing with an overwhelming
number of human remains, such as those resulting
from a natural disaster, an act of terrorism, an
epidemic, or an accident. Health risks of leaving
many bodies unburied for long periods of time
have not been substantiated except in the case of
deaths due to infectious disease.
Some married couples, family members, or groups
of people may wish to be buried in the same plot.
Two reasons for this 1. cost-effective and 2.
saves space in cemeteries
Coffins can be buried standing on end, with
several coffins in one plot. Caskets may also be
interred one above another. The first casket is
buried deeper than the traditional 6 feet, and
the second casket is buried on top with only a
thin layer of dirt in-between.
In many traditions, a meal or other gathering
following the burial service, either at the
decedent's home, fellowship hall at their place
of worship, or other off-site location. This
provides a time to reminisce and grieve and
provide comfort.
A headstone, gravestone, tombstone, or monument
is a marker used to identify the resting place of
the deceased. They can also offer genealogical
information. Materials commonly found in
cemeteries are aluminum, bronze, granite,
marble, field stones, and zinc. Each material has
features and benefits that are unique to the
properties of the metal or stonework being
Those of Jewish faith visiting graves might
leave a small stone at the graveside. This shows
that someone has visited, and represents
permanence (in lieu of flowers that do not live
long). Another reason for leaving stones is
tending the grave. In Biblical times, graves were
marked with mounds of stones, so by placing (or
replacing) them, one perpetuated the existence of
the site.
An older custom was to erect one large headstone
over the graves of several family members, and
then use small footstones carved with just a
title or initials at the foot of each individual
Poor John Gray, here he lies,No one laughs, and
no one cries,Where he's gone, and how he
fares,No one knows, and no one cares.
An epitaph is text honoring the deceased, most
commonly inscribed on a tombstone or plaque
Quoth the Raven,"Nevermore."
The Best is yet to come.
Mine today, yours tomorrow
Stranger by the roadside, do not smileWhen you
see this grave, though it is only a dog's,My
master wept when I died, and his own handLaid me
in earth and wrote these lines on my tomb.
Here Lies Lester Moore,Four Slugs From A .44,No
Les, No More
Rest in Peace.
That's all folks!
Step softly, a dream lies buried here.
Never Born, Never DiedOnly visited this planet
Earth between December 11, 1931 and January 19,
He beat her 189 times. She only got flowers once.
I told you I was ill.
Suicide is the act of intentionally taking one's
own life.
Views on suicide have been largely shaped by
cultural views on existential themes such as
religion, honor, and the meaning of life. Most
religions consider suicide a dishonorable or
sinful act some societies consider it a crime.
In some Asian cultures it has been considered an
honorable way to atone for past mistakes or an
acceptable military strategy. Assisted suicide,
euthanasia, is a controversial ethical issue
related to people who are terminally ill, in
extreme pain, and/or have minimal quality of life
through illness. Self-sacrifice for others is
not usually considered suicide.
The predominant view in modern medicine is of
suicide as a mental health concern, a response to
psychological factors such as the difficulty of
coping with depression, inescapable pain or fear,
or other mental disorders and pressures. Suicide
is often interpreted as a "cry for help" and
attention, or to express despair rather than a
genuine intent to die. Nearly a million people
worldwide die by suicide annually. While
completed suicides are higher in men, women have
higher rates for suicide attempts . Elderly males
have the highest suicide rate, although rates for
young adults have been increasing in recent years.
Many countries have buried an unidentified
soldier (or other member of the military) in a
prominent location as a form of respect for all
unidentified war dead. In the United States, the
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at
Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.
The Tomb of the Unknowns, near the center of the
cemetery, is one of Arlington's most popular
tourist sites. The Tomb contains the remains of
unknown American soldiers from World Wars I and
II, the Korean Conflict and (until 1998) the
Vietnam War. Each was presented with the Medal
of Honor at the time of interment and the medals,
as well as the flags which covered their caskets,
are on display inside the Memorial Amphitheater,
directly to the rear of the Tomb. The Tomb is
guarded 24-hours-per-day and 365-days-per year by
specially trained members of the 3rd United
States Infantry (The Old Guard).
"Here Rests In Honored Glory An American Soldier Known But To God"
The afterlife, or life after death, is a generic
term referring to a "continuation" of existence,
typically spiritual, experiential, or ghost-like,
beyond this world, or after physical death. The
major views in this area derive from religion,
metaphysics, and science.
The soul, according to many religious and
philosophical traditions, is the true essence
unique to a particular living being. Souls are
often considered immortal, and to exist before
birth and after death. Many views exist within
various religions and philosophies. Some see the
soul as immaterial, while others consider it to
possibly have a material component, and some have
even tried to establish the mass or weight of the
Reincarnation means to be made flesh again. It
is a doctrine or belief that some essential part
of a living being survives death to be reborn in
a new body. According to such beliefs, a new
personality is developed during each life in the
physical world, but some part of the being
remains constantly present throughout these
successive lives as well. Socrates, Pythagoras,
and Plato are among the ancient Greeks that
taught about reincarnation. Reincarnation is
widely believed in Eastern religions and Native
American Indians. Some cultures believe only in
the reincarnation of human beings.
The idea that the soul (of any living being -
including animals, humans and plants)
reincarnates is intricately linked to karma. In
religions that incorporate reincarnation, karma
extends through one's present life and all past
and future lives as well. It is cumulative.
Archaeology (archeology) is the study of human
cultures through the recovery, documentation and
analysis of material remains and environmental
data, including architecture, artifacts, human
remains, and landscapes.
Archaeology is the branch of Anthropology that
studies the material remains of past cultures in
order to describe or explain human behavior.  
In Greek mythology, Hades was a god who ruled his
land of the dead located beneath the surface of
the earth.
The Styx was the best-known river in Hades. To
cross it, a soul had to be ferried by Charon, a
boatman. He demanded payment, so the Greeks
placed coins in the mouths of their dead or on
their eyes before burying them.
It became a custom in some cultures to place
coins on the eyelids of the dead to keep their
eyes closed. They closed the eyes of the dead
with silver because, if they remained open, we
would see our own death captured in their eyes.
Another word for burial or interment is
inhumation. Therefore, retrieving the body from
the grave is called exhumation or disinterration .
Digging up a body is considered sacrilege by most
cultures that bury their dead. However, there is
often a number of circumstances in which
exhumation is tolerated
  1. If an individual died under suspicious
    circumstances, a legitimate investigating agency
    may exhume the body to determine the cause of
  2. Deceased individuals who were either not
    identified or misidentified at the time of burial
    may be reburied if survivors so wish.
  3. Remains may be exhumed in order to be reinterred
    at a more appropriate location (such as moving a

4. The remains of notable historical individuals
may be exhumed in order to obtain the answers to
certain historical questions.