Now on Reqriting Death

Writing Farewell to a Love While I was on a religious retreat with some other Dionysians, some of us were talking about this project, and especially for the need for mourning rituals. One of them spoke up and said that when her husband died, she had no idea of the kinds of possibilities that home funerals offered, and that she wished she’d known that she could spend more time with his body. Missed posting this Wednesday....

Now on Rewriting Death: A Certain Kind of Death and Cemetery Law

Today there was a glitch that means there are TWO posts to read on Rewriting Death. Movie: A certain Kind of Death A Certain Kind of Death is a documentary from 2003 about the work of the LA Coroner’s office and legal processes that surround dead bodies. The movie tracks several bodies after their discovery through the process of trying to find next of kin, looking for any funeral plans they might have made, checking to see if they have the money to cover their own disposition or if the county will need to cover it, and more. It shows the process of cremation, including shrouding the body, putting it in a cardboard coffin, putting it into the crematorium, manually breaking up the bones and sweeping out the ashes. For those who are interested in the process, it’s a good, straightforward look at the work of the unsung members of the coroner’s office. It’s nothing very exciting cinematographically, being very simply shot, and there are some images of bodies that have been lying in place for days or weeks that are fairly gross. It’s certainly not a movie for everyone. Research: Cemetery Law by Tanya D. Marsha and Daniel Gibson, Funeral Law Blog, and Papers Tanya D. Marsh has rapidly become an invaluable resource for me, although very little of my reading of her work will actually make it into the book. Instead, her work informs how I talk to other polytheists about the practicalities of death....

Now on Rewriting Death: A Comic Look at Death Preparedness

A Comic Look at Death Preparedness This summer, Randy did a storyline (beginning here; content note: first comic mentions a sex toy) in which main character Davan and his wife Vanessa discuss death preparedness. It’s far from the only time S*P has addressed serious topics, including Alzheimer’s, miscarriage, and the sudden death of a close relative. It is the first time I’ve ever seen a comic — any comic — address the necessity of wills, life insurance, and funeral wishes, and the fact that none of us can guarantee that we will live long lives....

Now on Rewriting Death: Writing Washing the Dead

Writing Washing the Dead I’ve never washed a dead body, and yet I had to write about it. It’s the first service to be performed for the Dead, and it was the first one I wanted to write. So first I spent a lot of time researching. The ritual for washing the Dead will be up on Rewriting Death's Patreon as a perk for patrons....

New Post on Rewriting Death

Research: The Greek Way of Death by Robert Garland This is the foundational text of my research. While it does not, and indeed cannot, speak to Orphic matters, it does give an excellent outline of the most usual ceremonies of laying out, funeral, procession, disposition, and funeral feast. My copy is filled with bookmarks, dog-ears, and underlinings. I have copious notes just from this one book. It helped shape my outline for the book as well as the individual rituals....

Rewriting Death

I've started a new blog, Rewriting Death, about the process for writing the Starry Bull's death and funerary rituals. There's a Patreon to go with it, with the proceeds to go to books and other research. I'll be posting there on Wednesdays, and probably post a brief alert here when a new post goes up. I hope people will find it interesting....