Monday, December 8, 2014

Grave Goods ~ Are they still being used?

We all have been to funerals. It's a part of life. We see the flowers arranged the casket and think nothing of it. Then we look at the coffin itself. With the body, there are other items. Photos, a Bible, a rosary, a special book, 2 quarters to pay the Ferryman, stuffed animals, things that were important to the deceased. People do it as their way to pay homage to their loved one. My younger cousin loved collecting autographs, so my brother gave him an autographed football card.

The earliest known burials were the Neanderthals who would add flowers and later would place baron and Aurochs' bones, tools and ochre pigment. Then we've all seen the elaborate offerings left in the tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs ~~ especially King Tut. There is the solid gold sarcophagus, food, water, statues, horses, mummified cats that guard the underworld, even the Pharaohs' favorite slave are buried so they can care for his needs on the other side as well as all the runes to plead with the gods to allow the Pharaoh into their midst. Images of Osirus ~ the Gold of the Underworld who is depicted as a man with a jackals' face. But does that still happen today? I can't say how it is done around the world, but in rural Pennsylvania, it is alive and well.

My younger cousin recently died and his funeral was Saturday. His coffin had so many gifts, it almost covered him. I gave him a yellow rose that I give everyone as well as a locket engraved with "You Are my sunshine." My son and I put in quarters for him. It's a very old tradition, but we follow those old ways. The younger the person who passes to the afterlife, the more goods are placed with him. I've seen everything from bottles of beer to a rolled joint and everything in between.

I believe we will still have our precious possessions after we leave this earth. My dogs and cats who have left will meet me when I finally cross the veil from the torture and pain into a life of endless summer. We'll be reunited with our loved ones. My grandparents and cousins will be there when Adonis leads me home. I'm not sure many others believe that today, but In the Summerland, we will want photos of the ones we've lost, until we're reunited. The other items and they keep us going until we are reunited with those we love.

Not only people receive grave goods. Animals that are particularly loved also receive them. I buried my dogs with a photo of their family right in front of their faces, their blankets, favorite toys, even a food and water dish, so they will never want while they wait for me to join them.

This is a work in progress and is copywrited to me. Please do not take the information as it is for a commissioned piece. Thank you! I will appreciate any of your stories of burials you've attended where grave goods are added and what they are,.

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