Tag: burial

Bodies in the Way: Delhi’s Dead and the Pressures of Space

In 1930, Delhi’s residents were sorely in need of a new hospital. The city’s population had ballooned by more than 30% over the previous decade, but its infrastructure had failed to keep pace.1 The overburdened Civil Hospital warned that it was struggling to provide care to twice as many patients as it was designed to… Read more →

Burying the Dead, and Then Digging Them Up

About a week after my partner Clayton was murdered in 2015, I went back to his gravesite with one of his brothers to visit. The cemetery, located in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, was a peaceful place, with expansive lawns and even some trees that afforded much-needed shade near Clayton’s burial site. Clayton’s headstone… Read more →

Death, Distance, and the Digital World

My neighbor died as I was finishing this essay. We were two weeks into the stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. When the ambulance came, I stood on the front porch and watched the paramedics don hazmat suits before entering his home. His wife stood on the street as they loaded him into… Read more →

Weaving Wool into Death: Burial in 17th-Century England

The rituals we use to honor someone in death often reflect the way that they lived, from their religion to their favorite color. People have strong preferences for what will happen to their body after they die and what kind of funeral they want. Twenty-four percent of UK adults have already chosen which songs they… Read more →

Miscarriage and Memory-Making: An Uneasy Relationship

When the Guardian journalist Hadley Freeman wrote about her miscarriage in early 2017, many readers praised the fact that this common, yet woefully misunderstood experience had been so candidly aired. Miscarriages do not elicit the type of kindly curiosity that ‘successful’ reproductive experiences often do, such as the pregnancy revelation, the swelling bump, or the… Read more →