What follows reflects more on history and philosophy on death, history of death in Western Society, and some sociology. It's not so much about the unattended death cleanup business, but for comments on unattended death cleanup cronyism.
Shame, guilt, and even embarrassment may follow the death of a loved one. It's a question of the circumstances. These feelings and their emerging emotions all have a place in the human condition. It would be hard to find a single individual on this planet with a conscience does not in some way experience these feelings at some time or another.
I can see from my 16 years of death cleanup experience, that I hear and see people behaving as if they have a sense of shame, guilt, and embarrassment in some way following the death of a loved one. It's because I am given access to their most private place, the dwelling place, that I have access to their closest environment, there dwelling place.
In that place I see and hear individuals talk with one another face-to-face and by telephone. They talk with me. Sometimes they do not want to talk. Sometimes they do talk. Sometimes he asked me questions. I answered questions as truthfully as I can while not disclosing information about the decomposition process.
I have stood before a group of four women when called to a suicide cleanup. The father of three young boys committed suicide. I spoke with the responsible party. The responsible party was a neighbor. At the onset of the conversation I thought the responsible party was the suicide victim's wife. I would later learn that the suicide victim's wife was that young, giggling woman who stood behind the group of four women before me.
In no way could I have expected this young, petite woman who was giggling to have been the suicide victim's wife. That she giggled was bizarre in itself considering the gravity of the situation. But I do know for fact for my academic studies that we all deal with grief situations differently. Some people laugh at horrific conditions because emotionally, there unprepared for any other response. They do not mean to poke fun at the situation. They're stressed and behave as such.
In the case above I would be paid by the Catholic Church that the family belong to. I would not meet with the wife. I cleaned the death scene and left the premises. While there I saw pictures of three young boys and their baseball helmets and football here as a family proudly displayed their activities.
Why the husband committed suicide remained a mystery. I knew that he made good money and he was fully employed at two jobs. He worked for the federal government as some sort of engineer and worked part-time as a pharmacist. He trained in both professions and earned professional degrees in both engineering and pharmacy. The point is that following the death of a loved one we behave in unsuspecting ways. These may include displays of shame, guilt, and even embarrassment. I suppose that the suicide victim's wife somehow embodied all senses of these emotions.
This old way of death in a modern, urbanized society reflected death since Rome's reign to the rise of robust consumerism.
I returned to an unattended death scene which neither blood nor other potentially infectious material remained from my cleaning efforts. The family had mistaken mold on the opposing wall to the cleaning scene as part of the death cleanup.
As I said to the family before and after returning to the scene, "I guarantee my work and in the death cleanup business there's no other way to ethically run this type of business." I had no bad feelings about returning. With this type of cleaning guarantee in my fair prices, I feel that I provide an important service for people in need at a terrible point in their lives.
They have suffered before, during, and after the death of a loved one in many cases.
We've gone from fearing death and sensing its approach to denying it.
Don Quixote said to his knees, "I feel that death is near." In this statement we learn that this pre-Renaissance character felt his impending death. We know to that he did not revert to daydreams in which to pass the remainder of his life. For some of us it is otherwise. It's easier to cope with the impending death by placing our mental state elsewhere. "Each to his own quote I say about this very important step in our lives. None of us have any idea how were going to handle it if were aware of its approaching.
The philosopher Saint-Simone said that Madame de Montespan feared death mightily. Each day of her final years she remained at home alone. Her hours were consumed by fear. When she spoke with her neighbors the subject matter always turn to her forthcoming death. Her relatives called and asked about her health condition. Eventually she turned the comment toward her death. What her family learned about this lady's mental state is that she feared not having a forewarning of her death more than the death itself.
Tammy slept with her bed curtains open while leaving the bedroom lights on as well as the hallway lights. Since she had a great deal of discretionary income matters of disdaining her upper middle-class lifestyle were not of concern. It was as if she is watching. She tried her best not to sleep because she feared dying in her sleep, of all things. We would think that most people prefer to die in their sleep without pain or anxiety. But not in the case of Tammy. She read as long as she could before falling asleep. Since she left her radio on very loud she would eventually wake to the sound of crashing advertising.
She also played games and spent many hours playing solitary. But as it turned out, on the night of May 27, 1987, she had a sense that death was near. She knew that she was going to die and made ready. Surprisingly, she went on for another three months before death struck. We know this because she left notes in her bedside notebook. She took notes during each night to keep yourself awake into track her thoughts. She would write during these nights, "I feel it is near" and continued to live for years and years. Her notebook grew very thick as her life progressed.
So from age to age the words remain the same, unchanged. It was as if she had written the proverb.
Given the opportunity, Tammy would say something like the following:
"I know not who you are. I would be your master if I did. In those days in which I saw clear and I do today, I learned what you are not. That is enough to prevent you from becoming my master."
Considering her condition before her unattended death and unattended death cleanup service, she would have imprinted the above on her memory. She would try to imagine against the agony something more pleasant. Instead, she lived a life of paranoia and at times paranoid delusions.
And she is not alone. Many baby boomers suffer the same condition. Although the means of capturing the source of their psychological discomfort was within their own power, finding the right thoughts remain to elusive to ease their suffering.
If we could rid and unattended death its grievous psychological suffering, we would we would read death of it suffering. When we finally know we're dying as in the case of Tammy, we realize our fragility. We realize the preciousness of each moment of being, simply being in the world.
A deep, clear, and strong sense of the value of life itself overcomes this for a moment. The value of life and other beings, not only human beings, but all of life comes to mind for some of us. We would find such ideas in the Tibetan book of living and dying, for example.
Like it or not, death is destiny. Even though we wish to survive it we cannot. The dread of our own end remains always beckoning to continue toward her final moments if we allow dread a place in our lives.
In a Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens relates something special about death awareness:
As death grows "closer and closer to the end, I travel in a circle near and near to the beginning."
It seems to be one-of-a-kind smoothing's and preparing's of the way. My heart is touched now by many remembrances that had long fallen, hard to see exactly what goes on in the mind of a person in those finer moments, and we have plenty of comments on the nature of death attendant and unattended. We know that to understand a person as best as we might, besides having spent our adult years with them, we need to know their autobiography.
It's so with psychiatrist as well as with psychologist and sociologists. The observer has been influenced by their own autobiography. They carry their past to interpret their loved ones future in those final moments. Our observations of an unattended death scene bring to mind our past with the departed, but we cannot actually know what was in her mind those final moments."
Tommy Kinders first experience with death came to him at the age of five. His cat named T-bar was hit by a car. As he watched the dead animal being removed from the payment, a thin ribbon of blood trickling from T-bar's mouth brought a moment of wonder to Tommy's experience.
Unable to do anything for T-bar, he felt the numbing paims he would later relate to friends and relatives. He did not remember drawing any obvious conclusions about the death of this once loving creature. The death of his cat did persist with preternatural density and clarity. By "density," I mean the death of his cat remained upon his thoughts for years.
I learned about Tommys experience with death as we share the foxhole. He would relate his experiences with human death. His first human death experience occurred in the second or third grade with the death of a classmate named Billy Keys. Although Tingle did not remember would be Kay's initial stood for, he did remember Billy Keys's face.
Billy Keys at an unusually round head with a short pudgy nose. As one of Tommys best friends at these formative years of his life, Billy Keys played a strong role in structuring Tommys thoughts about the universe, as a child might think of the universe. They played together for many hours. They had been through the early formative years through kindergarten and first grade. Billy Keys left a few radiant and silvery memories for Tommy.
Billy Keys was an albino of sorts, although he did not have red eyes, he had very white skin and white hair. The boy was frail by all accounts. His mother packed his lunch pail with sandwiches and always included pickles neatly sliced. Billy Keys would share his pickles with Tommy. Billy Keys had never failed to share his lunch with Tommy or the other kids for that matter. So upon Billy Keys's death Tommy became extremely emotional when he and so many other kids from his class in school attended Billy Keys's funeral.
While in the hospital, Billy Keys remains immobile and this upsets Tommy greatly. With the idea of his dead cat in the back of his mind, Billy Keys's impending death troubled Tommy greatly. No Tommy was not at Billy Keys's death bed at the moment of death, but he's always remained somewhat sure of what occurred. Billy Keys's mother and father were at his side those last moments. The Billy Keys did not experience an unattended death, at least not in Tommys mind.
All this followed one day when Billy Keys stopped coming to school. After a week the teacher told everyone in the class that Billy Keys was very ill in the hospital. A week later she told everybody in the class that Billy Keys had died. That was all. No further words. No mention him. Billy Keys was gone from the classroom in remained unspoken of the remainder of Tommys educational career in public schools.
Tommy Kinder remembered scenes of warships at sea during the second world war. He remembered how bodies were shrouded and dropped from the deck of ships into the dark sea. These bodies would silently vanish never to be known again. He said the scenes remain clear in his mind because he feared that as a soldier he would slip from the minds of those in his life just as Billy Keys had.
Today I imagine that Tommy runs his fingers through his ghost white hair. He thinks of Billy Keys as best he might, considering the dead boy slipped from everybody's mind over 60 years ago. I know he thinks of the war films he may see on YouTube these days. There he sees soldiers and Marines dying in combat against the Japanese and Germans. There he considers that the soldiers and Marines often die an unattended death.
It is the case, combat soldiers frequently die unattended deaths because no one has time to attend to them at their moment of death. At times medics become the unattended death person. Death even strikes when it comes to unattended death cleanup in combat. Burial details suffer death from unexploded ordinance, for example. Cadavers may remain in the field for days or weeks if not many years.
I see that Tommy, as myself, and Tammy could possibly reconstruct part of their lives, our lives. We may simply imagine how astonished we become when Mr. death arrives at an early point in our lives.
Mr. death is a term I have used for decades now. I picked it up from e.e. cummings poem about Buffalo Bill. The poem stunned me. It still remains a vivid experience. That's the nature of poetry.
Buffalo Bill ’s
E. E. Cummings, 1894 - 1962
Buffalo Bill ’s
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break one two three four five pigeons just like that
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
In the liberal arts some students study poetry. There they learn about e.e. cummings and how he, Edward Estlin Cummings, is known for his radical departure from what we call "the normal punctuation" found in form, spelling, and syntax. He abandoned traditional techniques and created a structure new as he brought new poems to life. His highly idiosyncratic approach to poetry sometimes leaves us with a powerful new sense for his theme. I think this applies to his approach toward death in Buffalo Bill.
We know the subject of this portrait of Buffalo Bill actually has little to do with the man we know of as a carnival character. Here Cummings praises the dead celebrity while disparaging him.
We do not think of Buffalo Bill, William Cody, as a "blended hero and charlatan," but rather as a circus drone. At least that is if we know anything about how this one time he ruled popular culture was presented. Our poet speaks clearly and admiringly about the showmanship of this character; yet he belittles the character. This is a self-portrait of an admiring but disdainful speaker. The speaker places the reader above the action to experience a profound irony of the character situation, then.
Yes we are led to believe that Buffalo Bill's shooting and his good looks, not unlike Richard Cory, matches that of the powerful stallion he rides in the glittering silver upon his belt, poster, and hat. A silvered haired Bill Cody becomes "defunct" instead of "dead." This implies a callous or humorous appraisal of Buffalo Bill. His death arrives as a moment of sarcasm, "how do you like your blue-eyed boy" serves as a sarcastic approach to those who would admire this circus act. In this moment too, popular culture and death become intertwined and for a moment worthy of not much. The last year the character's life becomes hollow, shallow.
We find reminders of this condition in the modern approach to death and its various rituals.
Death stops all of our biological functions. Biological aging, predators, starving, disease, suicide, homicide, dehydration, and accidents all contribute to stop biological functioning. Decomposition begins within seconds. It begins as brain cells die off and they die off quickly, and in seconds. That's why those first few minutes following the heart's failure to pump oxygen are so important to regaining the life giving systems.
Because of death of a loved one we suffer mightily. We are not alone in experiencing grieving following the death of a loved one. Anthropologist long ago established that dolphins grieve over the loss of a loved one. We would expect such feelings in a mammal with a direct link to a social bonding in the wild. Family bonds and humans as well as other mammals share this with elephants as well. We know cats and dogs bond tightly. But we do not notice the grieving of cats or dogs, at lest not like dolphins and elephants.
We do not witness the fear of death, necrophilia, as we do in humans among the other species. In humans the fear of death can be debilitating. In fact, the fear of death can be so great that the organism, the person no longer functions as a contributor to their social group. Some believe that the fear of death accounts for many of our belief systems. Totem poles for example would serve the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud for his renowned book entitled, Totem and Taboo. In that book Freud tells us that totem poles came into existence to serve as a type of symbol, a metaphor, It served groups in tribal affiliations between individuals and "the gods."
We find that anxiety, sorrow, grief, emotional pain, depression, and other emotions related to sadness consume a large part of our lives following the death of a loved one. Of course the idea of an afterlife comes to mind in this in some ways brings us relief from our anxiety. The promise of a reward has our attention and on a daily basis.
Over 150,000 people per year die of old age on our planet. In the United Kingdom about 9/10 people die from old age and in the United States this figure is about the same. Now consider the rate of death by old age found in the oceans of the earth. Their predation, big fish eating little fish, counts for a great percentage of death unlike old age. For a fish in the seat to live to hold age is quite an event. Most likely would fish on this planet do survive to an old age and die, it's because they're isolated from predators. We would look to lakes, rivers, and streams for such conditions to protect the species from death by predators.
Did you know the word death arose from old English dead? And that the old Proto-Germanic dauthuz emerge from the Proto-European stem dheu, which means "process, act, condition of time."
We know that talking about death in some social circles causes much discomfort. In fact it's not considered socially proper to talk about death in many instances. If we were to visit a morticians' convention, then death would be a major theme and would find much mention of this term in those terms related to it. For instance, many scientific, legal, and socially acceptable terms in these meetings would arise.
Among these we would find morticians using euphemisms. Euphemisms in other social circles include passed away, passed on, expired, and so on. Of course "gone" receives much usage. Many socially accepted include slain and irreverent terms used for death as well: Zapped, dusted, zoneked. It's often a matter of one social environment that gives voice to this death's usage.
Once a person is dead they become a corpse, cadaver, a body, remains, and finally, a skeleton. We use carrion for the remains of dead animals, carcasses. These nonhuman animals do not receive our emotional expression as in cases of human beings close to us. Attachment carries emotional burdens.
For example, factory farming accounts for tens of thousands of cattle deaths every day worldwide. But we do not mourn the loss of these cattle. We don't even flinch at the sound of their death. Of course the manner of their death may have an influence on our feelings, but not as a direct result of each critter's death.
As indicated above, the death of one's beloved cat will have an emotional effect on the way we feel. It's hard to overcome the loss of a pet cat. Although, the loss of a pet dog measures up quickly when it comes to paying on the emotional scale for the loss of a loved one. Why the difference between emotions over the death of a cat or a dog? It's a matter of how many hours we spent in physical contact with these critters and because of their animation, dogs seem to take the top of the emotional scale. But it's a matter of dog or cat and individual animal owners.
We know that emotions come with pain or pleasure. We know that emotions are part of our consciousness. This tells us that the other critters out there in the wild also have a sort of consciousness of their own. Because they act like they have emotions following the death of a loved one and they seem to grieve.
This is most notably as a write about other places, among elephants and dolphin. We would assume that it exists also among wells. We know that emotions have a lot to do with our moods, temperament, personality, and our motivations. We know from Donald Trump that our personality has a lot to do with our emotions.
Some people control their emotions very well we believe. If you remember Mrs. Kennedy following the assassination of Pres. Kennedy, Jacqueline Onassis behaved very calmly and seemingly without undue emotion. Of course we could tell that she was highly stressed, which is understandable. But she was not emotionally engaged in the moment as we might find in Pres. Trump. Pres. Trump becomes emotionally engaged at the slightest mention of something he cares to object to, like human caused global warming.
We often think of emotional displays in terms of people acting without thinking. That's the big difference between Jacqueline Kennedy following the assassination of her husband during the funeral and Pres. Trump during his bid for the presidency. The one, Jacqueline Kennedy, behaves emotionless while seeming very rational; meanwhile, Pres. Trump behaved very irrationally while behaving like a seven-year-old child calling other people names.
We know that being in a dangerous situation can cause us to become emotional. This is why police officers, firefighters, soldiers, and others practice at their trade to control their emotions. Even though life-threatening conditions may surround them, they try to behave professionally, meaning without a motion while using the reason.
We find this among soldiers in combat. The Marine Corps, on Okinawa and Iwo Jima for example were well trained and behaved as professional soldiers in the worst of conditions. Yes they did indeed charge those machine gun emplacements and die in the process, but they were nonemotional as they did so. They were quite rational and not acting "crazy" as they did at those final moments of their lives.
We know that paratroopers jumped from airplanes without emotion, although their heartbeats may be quite high as they step out that door. We know as they step out the door they're putting all of their practice and experience to work in in doing so overcome the motion to remain indoors. We are not born with an instinct to avoid heights; we do avoid heights whenever possible to remain alive. We do use height, for example, as a means of creating more adrenaline in our body. In such cases we become known as "adrenaline junkies". It's the same with race car drivers. Behave dangerously and receive cheap thrill. I suppose this is better than being bored, anyway.
Emotions are complex and even grieving becomes a complex process. What we call "complicated grieving" begins to emerge when the grieving process goes on over 12 or 18 months. It may begin to cause debilitating behavior. Lack of motivation, deep depression, failure to eat or eating too much, becoming suicidal, and avoiding life arise as emotional responses to the death of another.
Some people seek grief counseling to help overcome the grieving process. There are no shortcuts. Yes there are drugs; the drugs may delay the process. It is just the fact the life and part of the human condition when we lose someone that we are emotionally close to because of their death. We must grieve their loss. We know that soldiers in combat lose very close friends to deat; they put off grieving their friend for the moment because they must. But sooner or later they will return to grieve their friend in some manner, however short that period of time may be.
Grief counselors know from experience that we should expect a wide range of emotions and behaviors following the death of a loved one. Some grief counselors believe that a grieving person benefits by the support of others. They believe that it takes longer to reach a healthy resolution without support from others. It's important to have this "resolution" to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. For example, practical issues intervening in our lives, like soldiers dealing with the threat of the moment or families dealing with pain of unintended death cleanup, grief can remain unresolved for some period of time. Hence, grief counseling.
People who become disabled by the grief should have some sort of grief counseling. It need not be professional. Grief counseling should be nonjudgmental. This means that the person doing the counseling, the sounding board, needs to have a positive regard for the person grieving. The helping person needs to understand that the griever is disorganized, tired, having trouble concentrating, and most likely has sleep problems. Grieving includes problems with terrible dreams, which we call "nightmares." People have eating problems, obviously.
Because someone is there for the person suffering from grief there is a way to share what they have in their mind. Their counselor becomes a reality check. The counselor becomes a way of testing ideas. As a resource the counselor can help with anticipatory grief.
Anticipatory grief means that a person is worried about future events because of the loss of a loved one. For example, anticipation of unpaid bills arising from an unattended death cleanup may supersede other financial considerations. Mourning may go on hold as the terminal illness of another arises. Such situations may handicap a person's ability to deal with their grief. Learning how to let go of the dying person becomes a real challenge.
One writer wrote that there's a high impact on the emotional system following the death of a loved one.
Impact: shock, denial, anxiety, fear, and panic. Chaos arises as confusion and disbelief occur while actions soon grow out of control. Irrational thoughts and beliefs follow, including suicidal ideation at times. Of course those alienating feelings we call "helplessness" become part of our desperate mental searching for meaning to our own life as well as our loss of a relationship to a loved one. Of course we have problems sleeping. Obsessive focusing on our loved one's possessions become part of our grief process.
In the end, we miss our relationship following the death of a loved one.
Adapting means bringing some sort of sense back into our lives. Where before we may have had trouble washing our face, brushing our teeth, grooming, we soon begin to learn how to apply our personal hygiene. We give the small necessary things in life their due time. We now reconnect with others in our family and friends. But no longer out-of-control and we feel less helpless. Life goes on after all. Still, there's that eternal threat of annhilation.
Many of us live with a sense that deat is near. I "feel that my death is near" or feeling "death approaches" have been heard since at least the Middle Ages.
For the rationalist and positivist, as found in 19th century France, people went on for days feeling the moment of death very near. They called for a priest to come and provide last rites, and then refused those rights and asked the priest to return in a few days. Death as a proper Christian seemed to be important in those days. A proper Christian required a sense of proper timing.
Knowing the end is near helps the dying person prepare for death - - timing is everything.
The horror of decomposition was a common theme in 14th and 15th century poetry.
- I am nothing but bones, I am a skeleton,
- Flesh and us, muscle list,…
- My body is diminishing to the point where
- Everything becomes disjointed.
Decomposition is present in cadavers but also in the midst of life. It represents the operation of nature in life. The worms which devour cadavers do not come from the earth but from within. It is from the body's natural being.
People saw decomposition as a sign of human failure. It was the underlying theme, which turns failure into a new and original phenomenon. A decomposing life rotting away represented a life without meaning, without substance.
Creating lasting signs of one's life to overcome the anonymity of death became a cultural pattern.
Standing out amongst the conflicts between the economic social classes, we find the tombs as burial places for the departed. Here the last phenomena and remaining to be noted is the individualization of the sepulchers. Example, ancient Rome even slaves had a burial place.
One's station in life would help to dictate the station and death. From the lowly slaves to the ruling masters of all of Rome, the tomb became their place on the totem pole of life. The finer their place in life, the finer their tomb. Their death had finally found the way to eternal life much like the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Unattended death cleanup included a tomb, then.
The Christian Era brought more than personal salvation to the suffering slaves of Rome. As it democratized the individuals's relationship to their deity, slave like emperors had a seat at God's table, it brought individuality. Now a monument to testify to the individual's existance became important.
Tombs were numerous at the beginning of the Christian era in Rome. So it was important for Christians to preserve the identity of the tomb as well as the body. By the fifth century inscriptions were used, but soon began to disappear in certain localities.
Besides the name of the deceased, stone sarcophagi often included a portrait of the decedent. Portraits would disappear in their terms so that the set Pulitzers became completely anonymous. Judging by today's bait and switch practices in cemeteries, we might expect that in the catacomb's tombs were often raided, emptied, and then filled with new inhabitants.
The sanctity of the dead person became the domain of the church to look after until resurrection day. It remains do to this day in many Catholic churches throughout the world. The Catholic church continues to have its own cemeteries and even finance programs to ensure a plot for the deceased. By the first half of the Middle Ages and even centuries later, stone monuments became anonymous so that it became difficult to find anyone individual. Still, though, each had a place in a church cemetery with amonument.
By wear and tear and by design, individual names wore off monuments by weathering. In the 13th century we find clear inscriptions designate individual Saints. The first queen of Norman England, Queen Matilda, received a brief inscription, for example.
Portrait of decedent appeared on monuments. This would help those waiting for death to imagine their place in heaven with the person awaiting them. During the of Louis IX of France burial stones often reproduced the features of the living person. By the 14th century realism would help to produce a facial character of a death mask.
Funeral art forms continued in their development into the early 17th century. A dead person might be portrayed twice on the same tomb, both alive and dead. Today we can hardly imagine such a grotesque feature on a loved one's funeral headstone.
Monumental tomes were familiar objects to friends of the departed. The belong to the history of art and sculpture. The reality is that they do not serve as a basic part of our civilization. After all what percentage of any demographic of the proletarian class has discretionary income for a headstone let alone a death mask, and ediface?
Just the same, these features of the death culture give us some indication of the general development of themes associated with death and after-death practices.
As living horrors go, US Army and Marine soldiers sometimes suffered decomposition before death as their bodies peeled aways in the New Guina jungles; a death they decomposed rapidly.
Page Menu - Audio Part 1 - Audio Part 2 - bottom
- A Suicide Call
- Feeling Death Near an Old Idea
- Returning to An Unattended Death
- Family Death Story
- A First Death Experience
- Biological Functions Stop
- Fear of Death
- Old Age - Etimology of Death
- Death and Emotions
- Grief Counseling
- It's Near
- Christian Era
- Art Forms for Death
- Cult of the Dead
- A New Death Sentiment Arises
- Funeral Rites - Creamation
- Private Property for Death
- Sheriff-Coroner Employee Corruption
- Unattended Death Cleanup Practitioners
The middle classes of the 18 century, the artisans, were anxious to inscribe their own headstones with inscriptions. They wanted to beat anonymity and help preserve their identity after death. We must be certain to remember that wills were also a means of escaping death's anonymity. Sometimes perpetual religious services were paid for to help the decedent's salvation of their soul.
We know that between the 13th century and the 18 century heirs of the deceased were sworn to ensure donations for loved one's monuments. Donation plaques inscribed and placed in the care of the church; the least important received a "here lies." Today we recognize this practice in our own headstones throughout the United States; it's not just a Christian thing, but a Jewish rite of passage as well.
Studying tombs teaches us that the last judgment is often portrayed as a macabre theme. So we find that in the beginning the 11th century a formerly unknown relationship between death of each individual and his awareness of being an individual arose. But a tightly woven relationship with God through the character of Jesus Christ.
Some scholars agree that between the year 1000 the middle of the 13th century "a very important historical mutation occurred." The manner in which men applied their thoughts to their surroundings. Their concerns underwent a profound transformation; the mental processes – – their manner of reasoning and perceiving concrete or abstract realities changed. This radical change meant greater individuality.
So the cult of the dead from the Middle Ages did not continue into the 19th century. A revolution of cultural sorts occurred. The cult of the dead and of the cemeteries did not experience the great development that occurred in France, Italy, and Spain from the time of the Christian era beginning in Rome.
This revolution began in the United States and spread to England, the Netherlands, and industrialized Europe. A sentiment expressed during the last half the 19th century applied to dying persons.
Death itself was now hidden from the dying person and even hid from him in some conditions. People were beginning to question the truth of the death cult. "Was it heaven or hell?" Mark Twain would write in 1902. In doing so he pointed out that the dying person must one day know; although relatives no longer had the courage to tell the truth themselves.
A motivation to lie was the desire to prepare a sick person the burden of their emotional or ordeal. An intolerance of another's death would arose.
A new sentiment born of modern Trinity, the modern times, then arose. We learned to avoid the unbearable emotions caused by the ugliness of dying and by the very presence of death in the mist of our happy lives. Life must always be happy for us. At least, we must strive towards happiness rather than dwell in the deep crevices of death's in pending anonymity.
Death rituals remained as before because people did not know how to change them, even if they wanted to change them. A hush-up campaign began.
Sometime between the 1930s and 1950s a new development came along to change the place of death.
Hospitals became the place of death rather than one's home. Hospitals served as the death place because we received care no longer available at home because of industrialization. Where before hospitals served as shelters for the poor and pilgrims, now they became medical centers for people to be healed.
People also considered a certain type of hospital as the place to die. We learn to die because the doctor did not In some cases we're snatched from these hospitals to die at home. In many cases in these modern times the hospital is the proper place to die, in any case. Sometimes medical insurance covers a care takers fees so that we can die an unattended death at home; usually baby boomers with a past in the union labor force receive such care. These days their numbers dwindle quicly.
Also, ritual ceremonies no longer occur in hospitals as they once did near the dying person's bed. Before, when friends and relatives gathered to join with the soon to depart, the object of their concern received care until the moment of death. And that's when death was recognized, at the cessation of care.
Death now now occurs when an electronic gadget in the hospital emergency room or critical care room alerts us to the end of the physiological processes. A cessation of care determined in a more-or-less manner the decision of a doctor or hospital team to declare the moment of death. The loss of consciousness served as a sign of death until most recently.
So the dramatic act of death no longer follows us into that dark and silent anonymity. Now death consists of many silent deaths. We no longer have the strength or patience to wait over a period of weeks for a moment which has lost a part of its meaning. We know longer dwell on "here it comes" but hear the reassurances of continued life.
We have analyzed death psychologically, sociologically, and anatomically; a new spirit of social acceptance arises as a result; we've replaced the priest in many cases.
It's like a landslide occurred in death processing. Now most of us die in hospitals. Perhaps outside the death room the janitor swept, mopped, and polished the floor while waiting to enter the death room; then he/she cleanes for the next patient and death scene cleanup. We often die an unattended death as electronic gadgets alert medical staff to our passing, our unattended death.
In this way the patient receives an acceptable style of living while dying. Little if any pain. A sense of dignity before death too. An acceptable death is now death which can be accepted or tolerated by survivors. It beats the embarrassing graceless death. A graceless death creates strong emotions for survivors.
We learn to avoid emotions in hospitals and everywhere in our society. Oh some of us become emotional, but many others looked down on us and we become emotional because our emotional state causes others to suffer the pains of death all that much more. So we suffer secretly as a result of our hiding her emotions. We live in the emotionless death cleanup generation.
Funeral rites today are quite different than before. In England and Western Europe formalities are ignored in many cases. We no longer have the scene where the family of the decedent lines up at a funeral service to be greeted by visitors to the death ritual. The formal and outward appearance of mourning is no longer acceptable.
Death receptions disappeared in many cases. When they are held, we no longer dress in fine suits and such. In fact, no one realizes that many funerals are held and attended by people dressing as they would on any other day. It is so with the working class, the middle class, and we can only assume that it will become so with the 1%. Of course, with the 1%, death cleanup has always taken place with the garments of the ruling class.
Showing signs of sorrow no longer inspires pity but indicates a sign of instability by the mourners. It is morbid. A family tries not to upset the children and thereby suppresses their fears and emotions. Crying is okay but it is better if it's done in private. Solitary and shameful mourning is the only practice accepted in many circles. A death revolution has been radical in the 20th and 21st century. We no longer visit the tomb of the dead.
Cremation became the dominant means of burial in England the century. It supersedes many funeral rites. For some, it's a break with the Christian burial ritual. This reflects a approach to death influenced by the Enlightenment, moderinity. Now, this is quite a bit different than burials in the United States. Although we will find many instances that burials are headed in this direction, it's slower. We should expect more cremations for concrete reasons, like economic conditions. Many families must decide between a casket and professional unattended death cleanup service.
Characteristics familiar to commerce and idealism bring consumerism to the burial process. Still in the United States we transform death by putting makeup on it; we sublimate it; we do not want to make it disappear, but to enhance it. It helps provide jobs after all. Somehow viewing the remains of the departed no longer appeals to family and friends.
Then again, funeral directors and the large percentage of the American population reject cremation. For them, cremation gets rid of the remains to quickly and indicates a radical departure from the traditional Christian burial ritual. It's a question of "dignity and integrity."
American Puritanism gave us a confidence in man, in his goodness, and his happiness. Hence, the death ritual remains part of our death process.
The captain of the cemetery, the director, has complete control over the cemetery and all that goes on within its fences. Switching out one tomb and its occupant for another tomb and a new occupant became a standard operating procedure. After all we have to make room for the new and as Malthus indicated, we do tend to populate beyond her means - - consumerism.
Old cemeteries were church property and today as indicated above, Catholic churches in the United States continue tone church property use for cemeteries.
We would imagine that more cemetaries will run out of room. Whereas cemeteries in the United States have been occupied as private property, in Europe cemeteries are municipality properties and never left to private initiative. We would wonder if unattended deaths are also a municipal task rather than left to private enterprise.
But of course, Sheriff-corner corruption in the homicide cleanup, suicide cleanup, and unattended death cleanup industry continues cronyism. That is to say free enterprise no longer exist in the death cleanup business in the United States. Crime scene cleanup exists as a hand maiden to our county governments as a result. Kiss free enterprise goodbye.
Sheriff corner's employees have a monopoly over unattended death cleanup, for example. They merely handoff the business card or telephone number on a blank piece of paper to a dead person's family. They direct the dead person's family to the indicated unattended death cleanup company. They say something like this: "these guys will take care of you real well."
We prefer to have others clean after unattended deaths and readily accept county employee monopolies over unattended death cleanup, suicide cleanup, and homicide cleanup; likewise we should note that embalming remains the practice overall, and we accept referrals to morticians too.
During the 18th century in Europe the craze was embalming. We would think that the wars of Europe would have helped to resurrect embalming, but not so. In California embalming appeared in the early1900s time frame. The meaning of embalming escapes this writer, but there must be some meaning to it.
Undertakers, funeral directors, became "doctors of grief" who have a mission, as do doctors and priests. They were no longer simple sellers of death cleanup services. From the beginning of the 20th century they hoped mourners survived to a return of normalcy in their lives. Just like the unattended death cleanup practitioner helps the family returne to life in their own home, so too does the funeral director do the same for the families mourning practice.
The new funeral director is an expert at returning the abnormal minds to normal in the shortest purse possible time. It is no different than that of the unattended death cleanup practitioner like myself. They are members of an exalted, almost sacred calling. Meanwhile, the unattended death cleanup practitioner remains a glorified janitor earning "good money."
Of course that the public does not know about unattended death cleanup practitioners is that the actual unattended death cleanup practitioners do not make "good money." Yes they make more than minimum-wage, but no they do not make $100 per hour. The only way to make $100 per hour is an unattended death cleanup practitioner is to own your own unattended death cleanup business. And that is nearly impossible considering that Sheriff-corners employees, medical examiner in voice, County employees that is, have a monopoly over unattended death cleanup.
In any case to regress, funeral directors play a role in helping mourners. And we no longer have a socially necessary role, like miners or farm workers. Morning as previously imposed by society at one time the middle class female mourner was expected to remain single for at least one year following the death of her husband. A moral strike that a morbid state of existence no longer exist as it did, then. It has been shortened, race bike the "Dr. of grief." So is the social welfare practice of the funeral director in the death cleanup business. So we now have death cleanup in terms of mourning and emotional states. It's death cleanup for after death time frames and necessary periods of mourning imposed by society.
We will recognize that are urbanized culture pretty much destroyed Puritanism. Are urbanized culture is dominated by rapid economic growth and by search for happiness link to the search for profit. We are basically for Randy's, putting in Star Trek terms. It's interesting how accurate this term, "Frankie," serves its need for the present. We have a Frankie president in the body of Donald crop. Where before we had commodified everything under the sun as best as possible, Pres. Trump has taught us how to commodified everything political, democratic, and nearly fascist.
We have basically suppressed everything reminding us of death in our commodified culture. Compared to the middle ages and the dread of death on almost everyone's mind, today's urbanized culture presents life and youth. We must remember that unlike our predecessors in the Middle Ages, we are not confronted by death outside are very door. Where before it was not uncommon for dead bodies to litter the streets in villages and towns, we no longer see the dead but in makeup and mortuaries.
Americans are willing to transform death. We turn it into a ride to the cemetery. Perhaps one or two. Perhaps one or 200 cars follow the remains of the departed from a funeral service to a cemetery. The visit to the cemetery shows a veneration regard to the tomb in which replaced the dead person. Represented by public opinion, the funeral director finds his place among the family members to help them through their mourning. During these moments.
From one extreme to the other, we face death fearlessly and without despair, or with passive resignation, or with a mystical trust. Our destiny is revealed through death. The days of a dying person are accepted and recognized through public ceremony with different customs. These customs are all, moments of sharing with the departed. The death ceremony ranks right up there with the funeral ceremony. We see the destiny of each in deaths of others.