VM Book Club Review: Maude by Donna Foley Mabry

"Maude" in an engrossing read that takes the reader through the twists and turns of American life from the late 1800's up through the late 1960's. We see life through Donna's grandmother Maude's perspective. She describes in detail the lifestyles that once were the norm for many Americans including how families dealt with profound loss, untimely deaths and early funeral traditions.

Through Maude, we learn about the fascinating transition from living before electricity, indoor plumbing and toilets, washing machines, microwaves, cars and telephones to how the American way of life changed as each of these became part of everyday life.

"Maude" also describes how the World Wars affected American society. She explores the transitions of early societal expectations on women and womens' rights (including when women first voted), and how marriages and families changed over the years. The book is a well written and enjoyable read.

Have you read "Maude" yet? If so what were your impressions of the book? 
Have you read other non-fiction books which capture American History in such an enthralling way? If so, please share.

Farewell to The Colonel

The Colonel, Copyright: Viki Kind
Re-posted with permission from bio-ethicist, author: Viki Kind

"I am sad. My chicken died while we were on vacation. Apparently, the neighbor's dog killed The Colonel. The Colonel used to tease the dog constantly thru the fence. His mistake was jumping over the fence into the dog's yard. RIP"

Tribute to a Miniature Schnazuer

In honor of Day of the Dead (el dia de los muertos) we're posing a lovely tribute to a miniature schnauzer...

I will never forget my dear friend "Pepper". Pepper was my trusty miniature schnauzer and a wonderful companion to me during my years of turbulence as a pre-teen up into my very early twenties. 

Never one to turn down any piece of food, including such oddities as raw garlic and lettuce, she was never what one would refer to as "svelte". She was forever motivated by food, and happily and quickly learned a great many tricks when food was the reward. She once learned how to speak on command within only an hour of training with reinforcement in the form of ripped up pieces of left over Belgian waffles. Hence, her resemblance to a stuffed sausage, or as I used to describe her plumpness -- a gray little trash can body on pencil legs.

Her eyes were most unusual, not the dark chocolate brown one normally sees on dogs, but rather a creamy brown shade of caramel. I always considered her unique eye color to be indicative of her remarkableness, even after I learned that light eyes in a miniature schnauzer were considered to be a fault by the American Kennel Club. 

Pepper was more than a pet to me, she was a family member. Growing up as an only child meant that my pets over the years have always been more than merely cute, furry, showy companions as we have often seen as part of the Hollywood celebrity fashion craze (i.e. Paris Hilton carrying a toy Chihuahua on the red carpet), but more like substitute siblings for me.

I actually never felt i missed out on the sibling experience while growing up as an only child. In fact, I rather liked it. I am certain that my pets, Pepper especially, had a great deal of influence over my lack of loneliness and the appreciation of solitude I developed as an only child.

Pepper, will forever be missed.

Today is Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Do you have a special tribute to share about a pet that has passed?  Are there any pets from your childhood that you remember? What was special about them?

History of Day of the Dead (el Dia de los Muertos)

A Look at Day of the Dead - el Dia de los Muertos

In this video, we explore the origin of the Day of the Dead celebration. We review the development of the holiday, the history behind it, some of the practices, influences, attitudes, and special traditions of remembering loved ones in the Latin American culture.


Please tell us: What do you like best about Day of the Dead? How do you celebrate?

Roadside Memorials: A Place to Grieve or Safety Concern? by Madison Moore

Exactly 4,800 daffodils planted in the shape of a heart bloom along the Route 611 bypass in Doylestown, Bucks County, where nine-year-old Holly Huynh was killed in a horrific, high-speed crash caused by two racing cars on the eve of Thanksgiving 2012.

About seven miles away in Hatfield, an array of balloons, flowers, and a photograph of 15-year-old Dennis Kee sits in the overgrown grass off the shoulder of Route 309 near Mill Road. Kee was walking on the shoulder with his friends on April 26, 2013 when he was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver who was speeding and texting.

And a "ghost bike" sits at the busy crossroads of West Girard and Ridge avenues in Fairmount to remember and celebrate the life of Jay Mohan, 26, a popular filmmaker and Temple University graduate who was struck and killed by a car May 9 as he rode his bike home after taking in a movie with his girlfriend.

By telephone poles, corners and highway sides, roadside memorials mark the sites of fatal accidents – in which a life took a last breath. Some are maintained frequently with new teddy bears, pictures or other meaningful memorabilia. Others are weathered from rain and snow, or covered in grass left unmowed.

Roadside memorials often become a part of a daily commute or a weekend trip to the shore, and no matter the season, their existence fosters two viewpoints in the community. 



In Pennsylvania, there isn’t a formal policy stating rules and regulations of roadside memorials. Instead, PennDOT views them on a case-by-case basis. Over time, maintenance crews will remove them. (New Jersey limits their duration.)

“It’s a balancing act,” said Charles Metzger, PennDOT's community relations manager. “We try to be sensitive to the family.”

While respecting the family's need for a grieving period, PennDOT does recognize that some memorials can be “visual distractions” or become roadside projectiles. Metzger said that people have called and complained from time-to-time, but “it’s not a raging problem for our maintenance crews.”

That’s why PennDOT refers families to their Adopt-a-Highway program, where the name of the lost family member or friend can be placed on a blue and white sign — a memorial that is a permanent fixture, and won’t become washed away with bad weather. 

As part of the program, family members conduct quarterly cleanups along the stretch of highway they have adopted to fill the requirement of having the memorial sign. 



For many in the community, these “organic” memorials that serve as reminders for motorists, whether it’s to slow down, stop drinking, or put the cellphone away. 

Kimberly Cambra, an executive director at CB Cares, a Doylestown educational foundation, said she suggested a flower memorial for Holly Huynh (pictured left) to Bucks Beautiful, an organization that seeks to enhance the beauty of Bucks County with roadside flowers and gardens. The group planted thousands of daffodil bulbs at the crash site.

Roadside memorials are “a personal matter of the heart,” Cambra said. “People do whatever they deem necessary to hold someone’s memory and keep them alive. Especially those that are too young to die.”

Leslie Gearhart of Dublin Borough, who frequently drives by the Holly Huynh flower memorial, said roadside memorials “fulfill their community purpose – to remind you of ones who have, usually, tragically passed.”

She believes, however, that municipalities should have rules or policies regarding the distance from the street in which they are placed and what items can be used to decorate. 

Gearhart said a roadside memorial on Dublin Road in Hilltown Township sits “very close" to the road, and uses reflective tape – like that seen on the back of an emergency worker. A new fluorescent uniform shirt is hung every few months, “because the old one fades.” Earlier this month, Gearhart noticed the shirt portion was moved further back from the road. 

That memorial remembers 24-year-old Ricco Rios of Norristown, a refuse collection worker who was killed on the job in July 2013 when the trash truck he was riding in fell into a ditch. A black cross marks the spot of the tragedy. 



Other residents say that if roadside memorials do not compromise driving safety, there is no reason they should be an issue. 

“As long as like anything else on the road, they don’t obstruct a driver’s view or cause a hazard, or violate any existing property/safety ordinances, I think they are fine,” said Mariann Davies of Doylestown. 

Dan Harrah of Doylestown said the roadside memorials “definitely” draw attention, whether it is “good or bad.” 

From firsthand experience, he thinks they are an acceptable form of grieving.
“I had a friend growing up that died in a motorcycle accident,” Harrah said. “A few of his closest friends would set out flowers every year on the anniversary of his death.”

Elizabeth Casey, a grief counselor in Quakertown, said the sites can be a very “sacred place,” and often times in a sudden death, it can be the place where loved ones can grieve and come to terms with what happened.

Ghost bikes, a somber type of roadside memorial adopted in the early 2000s by the cycling community, are often used to remember riders who are killed or hit on the street. Painted all white, a bicycle is locked to a street sign near the crash site. A small plaque or poster may tell more about the person. These memorials also serve another purpose: they stand as quiet statements in support of cyclists' right to safe travel.

The Jay Mohan memorial, chained to a traffic light at the intersection, includes a list of terms to describe the Brewerytown resident, including "Visionary. Educator. Goofball."


Not all memorials are seen from the window of a car. For one Portland, Oregon woman, she has a personal mission to find roadside memorials and “shrines,” telling the untold stories of lives lost.

Her journey mostly stays within the border of Oregon, but Jane Cushman, a licensed funeral director and embalmer, has also traveled to Washington and California to find roadside memorials, jump out of her car, and snap some photographs.

She plans on turning her pictures into a book, along with the stories to go along with each one – so they become more than just a memorial on the side of the road.

Cushman said she felt like roadside memorials were a subject that “wasn’t being documented,” so five years ago she began photographing them herself. 

“It’s still really exciting because they’re all so different,” she said. “You don’t know when you’re going to find them and sometimes, you only have a short window.”

In the state of Oregon, much like Pennsylvania, roadside memorials aren’t considered illegal. The state of Oregon maintains memorials for pedestrians or bike riders, but there is no allowance for automobile-based roadside memorials, according to a 2007 study on state laws and policies on roadside memorials. 

“I think that's part of the reason cities don’t like them, if they become rundown and they look like rubbish,” said Cushman.

The photographer said that from the shrines she has seen in Oregon, a lot of family members or loved ones really take the time to refresh the memorials, during times like the anniversary of the death or the deceased person’s birthday. 

Cushman has been drawn to these memorials because they reflect the vision of her and her husband’s start-up funeral services company, Village Memorial, which helps families celebrate lives in ways that are special and unique. 

Cushman said that these memorials are just another way to recognize the deceased and that roadside memorials are a part of the healing process for families. “People doing things on behalf of the deceased is helpful,” she said.

Our Video on Roadside Memorials

**The article above originally appeared in The Philly Voice on July 15, 2015 and was re-posted here with permission of the author, Madison Moore. All Roadside Memorial Photos included in this re-posted edition are the property and copyright of Village Memorial. Any re-posting/copying of these photos is violation of our copyright.**

About Burial Shrouds

A burial shroud is a distinguished wrap for the body; also referred to as burial sheets, winding-cloths or winding sheets. Shrouds can be made from white cotton, wool, linen or other material that is made of natural fibers. 

The shrouded body can be delicately carried with attached natural woven straps or inserted bamboo poles, and transported by hand to the natural setting. The shrouded body may simply be laid directly into a casket, or easily carried alone. Shroudage is much lighter than the usual (100 lb. to 300 lb.) weight of a casket.

The folds and ties of this shroud (at right) are patterned after a Japanese gift wrapping method, where presents are enclosed in material, not paper.

Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin dates back to the Middle Ages, likely between 1260 and 1390. It's made of herringbone twill, composed of flax fibrils, sized 14.3 ft. by 2.7 ft.

Shroud of Grushetskaya

This was Agafya Grushetskaya's shroud, daughter of Russian Noble, Semyon Fyodorovich Grushetsky & Mariya Ivanovna Zaborovskaya, she married Tsar Feodor III of Russia, becoming Queen (Tsaritsa). She died in 1681, aged 18, from childbirth complications.

When are burial shrouds used?

Some religions require the use of a burial shroud wrapped around the body prior to burial. For example, Jews use a burial shroud or "Tachrichim" and Muslims use burial shrouds of white cotton or linen shroud referred to as "Al kafan". 

The shroud is often wrapped around the body and the wrapped body is placed inside the casket for burial. Green burial grounds usually require the use of either a biodegradable casket or a natural burial shroud for burials in their cemeteries.

If you choose burial, would you use a burial shroud? Why or why not?

Portland Oregon Support Network

Aging, End-of-Life and Bereavement resources in and around the Portland Metro area.

In-Home Hospice

  • Southwest Home Care and Hospice
    100 E 33rd Street, Suite 201 Vancouver, WA 98663
  • Serenity Palliative Care and Hospice
    6975 SW Sandburg St., Ste. 190 Portland, Oregon 97223
  • Specialty Comfort Care
  • Community Home Health and Hospice
    "Keeping pets and Families together during Hospice"
    14508 NE 20th Ave #201, Vancouver, WA 98686

  • In-Home Health Care

    In-Home Medical Equipment

    • Long Term Loan Program
      104 SW Clay St, Portland, 97201
    • All in One Mobility Home Medical Equipment
      12833 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR 97230
    • Adventist Health Home Medical Equipment
      5835 NE 122nd Ave, #105, Portland, OR 97230

    Food Delivery

    Family Caregiver Daytime Respite Care

    • Lambert House
      2600 S.E. 170th Ave., Portland OR 97236
    • Marie Smith Health & Social Center
      4616 N. Albina Ave. Portland, OR

    PERS - Home Medical Alert Services

    • Columbia Medical Alarm Inc.
      Offering Philips Lifeline service to the Portland / Vancouver Areas

    Mobile Medical Services

    • American Medical Response

    Advanced Directives

    Bereavement Support and Classes

    • Portland Adventist Medical Center Grief Classes/Support Meetings
      10123 S.E. Market St. Portland, Oregon 97216
    • Providence St. Vincent Hospital Medical Ctr.
    • 10 to 11:30 a.m., first and third Tuesdays, Pastoral Care Conference Room
      7 to 8:30 p.m., second and fourth Tuesdays, Conference Room 3
      9205 S.W. Barnes Rd., Portland, Oregon 97225
    • Tuality Community Hospital
      Surviving the Loss
      335 S.E. 8th, Hillsboro, Oregon 97123
    • Health & Lifestyle Center
      1885 NW 185th Ave, Aloha, OR 97006
    • SW Washington Medical Center
      Grief and Bereavement Support Group
      P.O. Box 1600
      Vancouver, Washington 98668
    • Providence Portland Medical Center
      11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., first and third Tuesdays, Pastoral Care Conference Room
      4:30 to 6 p.m., second and fourth Tuesdays, Pastoral Care Conference Room
      4805 NE Glisan St., Portland, OR 97213
    • Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center
      1:30 to 3 p.m., second and fourth Tuesdays, Providence Willamette Falls Community Center
      1500 Division St., Oregon City, OR 97045

    Children's Grief and Bereavement Care

    • Legacy Hospice
      2275 NE McDaniel Lane McMinnville, OR 97128
    • Camp Erin - Grief Support for Kids
      6410 NE Halsey St., Suite 300 Portland, OR 97213
    • Me, Too. and Company Children's Grief Support Group
      P. O. Box 10796, Portland, OR 97296

    Physician Aid in Dying - Resources and Information

    Dying with Dignity


    News and Magazine Articles

    Other Refences

    If you know of or offer other resources you feel would be helpful for folks, please let us know so we can add them to this page.  We thank you for your input.

    Funerary and Memorial Cultural Glossary

    Some words have jumped out at us over the course of our work with funeral and memorial culture. This glossary explores the psychology of aging, death, dying, as well as funeral and memorial customs as reflected in language.


    • Active Dying - the process of physically dying; permanent cessation of bodily functions
    • Advance Directive
      Advance Directive - a written document that indicates what types of medical treatments a person wants and whom the doctor should talk to when a person is unable to speak for himself/herself. This document is the combination of a Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare.
    • Age-related Grief - Grief as that occurs in relation to one's age. The grief over lost youth.
    • Agnostic Funeral - funeral for a person who neither believes nor disbelieves in a deity, agnostics claim neither faith or disbelief
    • Al Kafan - (see burial shroud)
    • Arrangement Conference
    • Aqua pyre - (see hydro cremation)

    • Arrangement conference - the meeting with the funeral director in which you make plans for your loved one's funeral or memorial and the preferred method of disposition
    • Art Coffin - craft coffin used in memorial art therapy to write special messages and decorate with special artwork in tribute of the deceased


    Basket Casket
    • Basket Casket - a casket that is fabricated of a natural woven material, often wicker, willow, bamboo, banana leaf, and seagrass
    • Bereavement Coordinator - coordinates the grief counseling to the families of the recently deceased
    • Blended Family - generally consists of one female and one male and the children from their prior relationships; may also include children from their present relationship
    • Burial - also referred to as interment; generally refers to earth burial at a cemetery or a natural woodland burial
    • Burial Basket - (see basket casket)
    • Burial Doll - effigy created in likeness of missing person for the purpose burial rites in memorial art therapy; promotes closure for families of missing persons
    • Burial Garments - clothing selected and worn by the deceased for burial or cremation
    • Burial Pod - biodegradable papier mâché burial container
    • Burial Shroud - cloth wrapping placed around a decedant in preparation for burial (see photos of burial shrouds )
    • Burial Swaddling - cloth used to wrap infants that have died in preparation of burial
    • Burial Tree - tree planted in memory of the deceased, may or may not be placed at the gravesite


    • Cadaver - a dead human body used for the purposes of medical research, study, anatomical dissection and transplantation.
    • Casketry - selection of burial coffins and caskets found in a funeral home's merchandise display room 
    La Catrina

    • la Catrina - Originally drawn by Jose Guadalupe Posada, La Catrina is a female skeleton caricature of the rich and wealthy and sysymbolizes that no matter how much money we have, we cannot escape death. La Catrina is used in many Day of the Dead (el dia de los muertos) decorations and statues. (See Day of the Dead below)
    • Celebrant - a person who officiates a personalized and meaningful memorial or funeral ceremony
    • Cemetery Arts - monuments or art installations present at cemeteries for the purpose of memorialization
    • Chevrah Kadisha - In the Jewish faith, a group of men or women from the synagogue who are assigned to care for the dead
    • Columbarium - an standing structure with spaces (niches) where cremated remains are secured
    • Committal service - a brief graveside service held before the casket or urn is placed into the ground or columbarium
    • Contemporaneity - existing or occurring in the same period of time
    • Corpse - a dead human body
    • Corpse Dog - (also incorrectly referred to as Cadaver Dog) dogs used for locating the dead in disasters
    • Coroner - an official in a community responsible for researching unexplicable, violent and or sudden deaths
    • Cortege - a procession of vehicles driving from the funeral service to the place of disposition (usually the cemetery)
    • Fire-based Cremation
    • Cremation - the Greek originated method of reducing the dead body small bone fragments by fire (flame based) or present day, by treated water (alkaline hydrolysis) (see hydro cremation)
    • Crone movement - A movement that takes its name from the archetype of the older woman, as a symbol of wisdom and strength (also known as crone energy)
    • Crypt - an above ground burial site inside a mausoleum


    Dia de los Muertos / Day of the Dead Skeletons
    • Day of the Dead (el dia de los muertos) - a holidayy, usually celebrated on November 2nd in Mexico and other Central and South American countries when people honor and pay tribute to deceased relatives by decorating the grave and setting up an altar of food and gifts as tribute to the deceased at home. Skeleton imagery and statues are often used as part of the decorations. (Learn more about the history of the holiday by viewing our video on Day of the Dead.)
    • Death Doula - one (can be either a male or female) who aids the dying through the final dying process and often prepares the body for viewing once death has occurred.
    • Death Midwife - female version of death doula 
      Oregon has Death with Dignity Law Since 1994
    • Death with Dignity - in Oregon, a 1994 Measure established the U.S. state of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act (ORS 127.800-995[1]), which legalizes physician-assisted dying with certain restrictions. Passage of this initiative made Oregon the first U.S. state and one of the first jurisdictions in the world to permit some terminally ill patients to determine the time of their own death. (Visit the Death with Dignity national center for more info)
    • Decompiculture - refers to how decomposing organisms could be grown or cultured for a variety of uses, for instance to decompose waste; in human burial, refers to cultivating fungi for the purpose of facilitating corpse decomposition.
    • Direct cremation - immediate cremation without a funeral or memorial service
    • Direct burial - immediate burial without a funeral service
    • Disaster Mortuary - an emergency response mortuary team deployed to a mass fatality disaster for the purpose of preserving the dead for identification (visit DMORT - Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team)
    • Disaster Veterinary - an emergency response veterinary team deployed to disasters for the purpose of collecting, treating and caring for displaced animals (Visit the AVMA Disaster Veterinary page)
    • Doll Urn - anthropomorphic doll used to hold cremated remains, often in the form of a soft stuffed animal or bear
    • DNR - Stands for Do Not Resuscitate. It is a request to not have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if your heart stops and/or if you stop breathing


    Embalming Fluid
    • Embalming - (see hygienic treatment)
    • Entombment - placement of a casket in an above-ground structure (mausoleum)
    • Enzyme Hydrolysis - (see hydro cremation)
    • Ethical Will - a document written by the dying to pass along ethical values, life lessons and wishes for the surviving loved ones; a practice that originated with the Lakota Sioux and the Hebrews (read more on ethical wills )



    • Family-Led Funeral - (see home funeral)
      Family Led Funeral
    • Fantasy Coffin - Decorative coffins made in bright colors and bold shapes that are themed in celebration of the way the deceased lived; an idea that originated in Ghana
    • Final Disposition - the performance of final services pertaining to the dead (Next of Kin decides this for each person)
    • Fluctuating capacity - when the patient sometimes has the mental ability to make his or her own decisions and sometimes does not have the ability
    • Funeral - a ceremony honoring the life of a person who has died where the body is present for the service (not to be confused with memorial which takes place without the body present)
    • Funeral Fundraiser - a fundraising effort used to aid a family in the funeral expenses of a loved one, often in the cases of unexpected deaths
    • Funeralogy - the study of funeral rituals, ceremonies, culture and customs


    Ghost Bike
    • G-Burial - abbreviated version of green burial
    • Gerontophobia - the fear of growing old, or a hatred or fear of the elderly.
    • Green Burial - natural earth burial without the use of chemicals, graveliners or crypts, usually in biodegradable containers (read more on green burial)
    • Ghost Bicycle - a bike painted entirely white (including tires), that is affixed where a fatal bike accident occurred (usually in an urban setting or on a roadside), in memoriam of one who has died; the practice of which originated from the United Kingdom (see a ghost bike )
    • Grave liner - concrete slabs used instead of a vault, to support the earth load inside of a grave (not used in green burial) (see how a vault supports the earth load)
    • Grief Facilitator - (see bereavement coordinator)
    • Guardian
    • Guardian - A court-appointed person who is assigned to make decisions for an incapacitated person. This person may also be called a conservator. This person is often in charge of medical decisions and or financial decisions.


    • HIPPA - Health Information Portability and Accountability Act; A law that protects medical information and gives individuals the right to decide who will and will not have access to his/her own personal health information (see more info on the HIPPA act )
    • Holistic End-of-Life Care - focused on continuity of care from aging well, dying, death, funeralization and after care
    • Holographic Will - a will that is written entirely by hand of the person the will belongs to
    • Home-Funeral - a funeral that is held in the home of the decedant; it may be with or
      Home Funeral
      without the assistance of a funeral director, but can alleviate the need to move the deceased to a funeral home (read about home funerals) (also known as family-led funeral)
    • Honorarium - the charitable fee typically paid to a clergy person or celebrant for officiating the funeral or memorial ceremony, or for the musicians or soloists for their performances in the ceremony
    • Humanist - Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appealing to universal human qualities, particularly rationality, without resorting to the supernatural or alleged divine authority from religious texts.
    Hydro Cremation

    • Hydro Cremation -the environmentally friendly version of cremation that reduces human remains to small bone fragments through the process of hydrolysis, using water, heat, agitation and an alkali solution (also known as bio-cremation and resomation) (read more about hydro cremation)
    • Hygienic Treatment - the intravascular cleansing of the circulatory system of the dead human body for the purposes of slowing putrefaction and for disease control during extended viewing or travels (also known as embalming)


    • Iatrogenic illness - induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures & iatrogenic rash
    • Identity-stripping - All persons flying on commercial airlines would be identity-stripped by a database that would include their names, phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth, their traveling companions and itineraries, how tickets were paid, rental car information and destinations, names and addresses of businesses the passenger has used, all information about their current and past car ownership and even newspaper subscriptions. Gullette's use is different. Gullette's idea is a more personal loss/sense of identity, whereas the above definition refers to an exposure of one's personal information.


    • Jinazah - a funeral or funeral prayer for Muslims (in Islam)




    • Kin - one's relatives, referring to blood relationship. (Next of kin has right of final disposition for one who has died.)




    • Life cycle - The biological cycles of life from conception to death.
    • Life Story Review - the review and collection of one's biographical history and important life events, often in a hospice setting, but sometimes collected during pre-need funeral arrangements (how to collect a life review)
    • Living Will - a written document that indicates what types of medical treatments are desired. This can be specific or general. It can also be called an Advance Directive.
    • Living Funeral - a pre-death celebration of life to honor one who is nearing the end of life; the tone is often celebratory, but can be serious in nature as well (read more about living funerals and activities )


    Memorial Art Therapy
    • Mausoleum - a small building in a cemetery that where a body is interred above ground
    • Memorial - a service or ceremony honoring the life of a person who has died, the body is not present for this service. Cremated remains (ashes) may or may not be present. (Not to be confused with funeral)
    • Memorial Adventure - the process of scattering a loved one's ashes on pilgrimage to location(s) of special significance (read more about scattering ash stories and travels)
    • Memorial Art Therapy - the therapeutic use of art to address and heal grief; artwork made in memory of one who has died; can include works that incorporate a loved ones cremated ashes, artifacts or hair (cremation jewelry with ashes incorporate into the art piece)
    • Memorial Ecosystem - the biological community of interacting organisms within the cemetery environment
    • Memorial Fundraiser - (see funeral fundraiser)
    • Memorial Telecast - the transmission of funeral/memorial services over the internet or television
    • Memorialogy - the study of memorialization and remembrances
    • Mortuary Arts - the science and study of preserving human remains for the purpose of viewing
    • Mourning Wear - clothing that communicates one is grieving, historically this was worn for a designated period of time after a death (see photos of historic mourning clothing)


    • Niche - a space in a cemetery columbarium that holds cremated remains (ashes) permanently for visitation


    • Obituary - a notice placed in a newspaper that announces the death to the community, covers a briefly write up on the person's life and may or may not invites readers to attend a funeral or memorial
    • Ontological - the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being.
    • Out Funeral - a funeral that celebrates the lifestyle preference of the individual in addition to honoring the deceased


    Private Property Burial
    • Pallbearers - the people who carry the casket from the funeral ceremony to the hearse and from the hearse to the gravesite
    • POLST - Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatments, which is a doctor's order form that documents the patient's wishes, not only about CPR but for other end-of-life choices. (Visit Official POLST website for Oregon)
    • Private Property Burial - burial on one's home property, the legality of which is usually determined by local ordinances (view more info on private property burial)


    • Quasi -Property Theory - the legal theory pertaining to the dead human body whereby rights to the body are only associated with disposition purposes only; no other property rights to the body exist.


    Rental Coffin / Rental Casket
    • Rental Coffin - a coffin that is used purely for the funeral service and not utilized for final burial or cremation. It is designed to accommodate a fitted liner which the body is laid within, the liner is then placed inside the rental coffin and removed immediately after services, usually used in cases of cremation
    • Restorative Art - a term that refers to repair of the dead body to make it presentable for final viewing


    Sindone or Tachrichim aka Burial Shroud
    • Second Burial - when a body is exhumed after some time, then cremated and placed in a family columbarium (usually occurs in traditional Asian cultures)
    • Secular Funeral - a funeral service focused on celebrating the individual's life and accomplishments; not religious or spiritual in nature
    • Sindone - (see burial shroud)
    • Somatic Death - activation-induced cellular death, cessation of life


    • Tachrichim - a Jewish burial shroud that is typically handsewn and made of white linen
    • Thanatology - the study of death


    Cremation Urn


    Vault around casket
    • Vault - a concrete or metal container into which the casket is placed in a traditional cemetery burial (green burial grounds require that vaults not be used) (learn how a vault is used to support the earth load)
    • Village Memorial - When family, friends and neighbors (community) comes together to celebrate a life, and or participate in end of life care.
    • Visitation - a scheduled time for family and friends to view the person who died (also referred to as a viewing)


    Water Cremation



    • Yahrzeit - anniversary of the death (in the Jewish faith)
    • Yizkor - a memorial service that is recited 4 times a year (in the Jewish faith)


    • Zenetery - a cemetery that is styled in the tradition of the Japanese Zen Garden
    • Ziegler Case - a metal container that is gasket-sealed and used for shipping human remains either inside of a casket, or on its own 

    Are there any words or meanings you found especially interesting? Are there subjects or terminology that you feel should be included here? Please share.