Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back In The Saddle

Well, this ol' Mountain Mama has been out for a few days with some of those summer allergies. The kind that leave you with pounding migraines and achy body. Coughs and sneezes. Yuck!

But I am back, and will probably have several articles I'd like to share with you today as I go through my ton and a half of mail!

The first regards post-mortem photographs.

Maureen Taylor, The "Photo Detective", from Family Tree Magazine, recently sent out an article on this very subject. You can read it here.

While some would consider the act of post-mortem photgraphy rather morbid, there are those who consider it the last act of getting a photo of their dear-loved one. I myself am in possession of photographs of my great-grandparents and my grandparents, that are post-mortem. And should I outlive them, I would suppose that one day I will have them of my parents as well.

Morbid? Well, not to me.

It is interesting to learn the post-mortem customs of our families. Both present and past.

Locally, the deceased is layed out in the mortuary in a visiting room. The night before the funeral, friends and family gather for about 2 hours to visit at the side of the coffin. There they are offered condolences and are regailed with stories of the departed.

However, in the Germanic area of Indiana where my mother's family is from, the departed is layed out in the coffin in the funeral parlor. There for two full days prior to the funeral, for 12 to 14 hours a day, the family and friends gather about the departed, and family of the deceased, and visit with one another. Sympathies are offered, and stories are told of the departed persons life. [It's rather exhausting!]

Years ago [in 1977] when my first husband's grandmother passed away, her body was taken first to the funeral home, where she was prepared and placed in a coffin. Then the body and coffin were brought back to the house, where she lay there for a day and a half before the funeral which took place at the graveside. Someone sat up with the body the entire night before the funeral. [It's termed a "wake". I've often thought so because someone had to remain "awake" for the entire event!] When I've questioned why, I have been told "Because it's how we've always done it!" Not being a very good investigative researcher, I suppose, I've never tried to find out the why in any other fashion. {Perhaps I'll put that on my list of things to do next!}

You will find Maureen's article illuminating to say the least! Be sure to read it: for Tuesday, August 26, 2008.

Until later!

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