In today’s post, I want to share with you something the Lord pointed out to me this week during my quiet time with Him.
Working in funeral service and death care, it’s very easy to get caught up in aspects of dying. It’s only natural to ponder these kinds of things when you’re constantly thinking about it at work. Because well, that’s what you do when it’s your job. But even when you are just writing about it, there comes a point when you have to pull yourself away from the work and refocus yourself. As Christians, death is not where we’re supposed to be mentally and emotionally. We’re supposed to be focused on life and bringing others to eternal life in Christ.
October is upon us once again. The leaves are beginning to change colors and fall from their branches. Squirrels are hunting for acorns to store up for the coming winter. The air is becoming more and more crisp, and there’s an unmistakably different feel to it…almost as if you can feel the process of the equinox. As beautiful as this time of the year is, I’m always in tune to the fact that it all represents the dying process. That inevitable evolution away from life - warmth, green everywhere, flowers, birds singing, eggs and cocoons- and into death - a chill in the air, dryness and decay, darkness, stillness and silence.
Most people say, “This time of year is so beautiful! Look at all the stunning colors! Pumpkin spice! Sweater weather! Cozy evenings by the fire! Yay!” Quotes abound to honor the season… “Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower.” (Albert Camus) That’s one of my favorites, actually ;) Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely one of those people who loves all of this! Fall is my favorite season, and I love all the coziness, creature comforts and family time that come with it. But the fact that everything is fading away, dying really, is always in the back of my mind. It can bother me if I think too much about it. Can you relate?
When it gets cold outside and the sun does not shine as long during the day as it does in summertime, it can have a real effect on people. Many people begin to suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) about this time of year. It lasts on through winter and only begins to subside when spring breaks through. Maybe this is you. Maybe the anniversary of a pertinent loss is coming up, and this time of year you are always reminded of it. Maybe the death of a loved one is currently imminent, so the reality of it is very raw for you right now. Even if you’re simply struggling to see the beauty of life in the falling of the leaves, keep reading.
This week, God reminded me that even in fall - even in the midst of death - there is life.
In my meditation I was telling Him about what I just told you, how I love that He's blessed us with the beauty of fall and all the fun times and memory-making that comes with it. I told Him I loved it, but that it reminded me of death and dying, too. I told Him how it bothered me. I was visualizing a beautiful autumn wood as I was talking to Him and sharing my concerns. He guided my vision upwards toward a giant, golden tree. Leaves falling everywhere in a beautiful rain all around us, He told me (this is my interpretation): “The leaves on this tree may be dead and falling. But the tree itself is not dead, it’s very much alive. It has been alive longer than you can even comprehend. It’s roots run deep and it knows that in just a short time, life will spring forth from its branches once again.”
The tree itself is not dead.
Comfort swept over me as I processed what this meant. Yes, death is inevitable, just as is fall. We grow old, we may face a terminal illness, we experience the unexpected loss of family and friends. These earthly bodies will pass away, just as the leaves dry up and pass away from their tree. But the tree itself is not dead. As Christians, our bodies may be dead, but our souls remain very much alive thanks to the eternal life we have only in the eternal blood of Jesus. Because of Him, death has lost its sting. And one day, it will truly be no more! What a promise we have to look forward to.
I hope this realization blesses you as much as it has me. As you watch the colors change and the leaves fall away from their branches, I hope you see with new eyes the true beauty and message it has to share.
“Oh, the sweet life of a Christian that hath made peace with God! He is fit for all conditions: for life, for death, for everything.” Richard Sibbs
Happy Friday! Today we’re taking a look at the life, death, and famous grave of renowned guitarist James Marshall Hendrix, known the world over as Jimi Hendrix. He is described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and by his devoted fans, as “the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music.” Even in death, Jimi Hendrix continues to shine as one of the most influential performers of all time.
Jimi Hendrix was born Johnny Allen Hendrix in Seattle in 1942, and endured an unstable childhood. His family lived in poverty. His parents drank regularly and they struggled to properly care for their children; several of his siblings were sent to foster homes, and Jimi himself often stayed with his grandmother. When he was only 9, his parents divorced, and he went to live with his father.
Inspired to learn guitar by the famous musicians of his era, Jimi acquired his first instrument as a teenager. It was an acoustic and he loved it, but he soon realized that he would need an electric guitar if he was going to truly be heard while jamming with his friends on stage. The next year, his father bought him his first electric guitar, and the rest is history.
Jimi joined the Army in 1961, completed training as a paratrooper and was honorably discharged by 1963. After coming home, he began to pursue his interest in music full-force, and was eventually noticed and appreciated by Chas Chandler of The Animals fame. Chas helped him start up “The Jimi Hendrix Experience,” a band created with the purpose of promoting Jimi and his extraordinary talent on the guitar. The “Experience” helped to launch Jimi into worldwide fame, as more people came to recognize and remember his unique style of playing.
By 1969, the “Experience” had run it’s course. But Jimi Hendrix showed no signs of stopping. He was scheduled to headline a show at the much-anticipated Woodstock festival in New York in August of that year. One of the songs he played was his own version of the Star-Spangled Banner. With added technique to mimic the sounds of the Vietnam War, it proved to be the performance of a lifetime.
DRUG USE AND DEATH
Jimi had experimented with drugs for most of his adult life. But he wasn’t able to handle himself when his abuse of drugs was mixed with his penchant for alcohol. He was know to behave eradically and was especially prone to violence during these times. On September 18th, 1970, Jimi Hendrix died of barbiturate overdose while staying at Samarkand Hotel in London. It’s worth noting that the days and hours leading up to his death are disputed.
Jimi Hendrix was 27 years old when he died. 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of his passing.
FINAL RESTING PLACE
Jimi was buried at Greenwood Memorial Park in his home state of Washington, where his mother is also interred. In 2002, his body was exhumed from its simple grave and re-interred under a cenotaph befitting of his legacy. Every year, thousands upon thousands of people visit his famous grave to pay their respects.
Jimi Hendrix's grave in Renton, Washington
Several years ago, palliative nurse Bronnie Ware wrote a memoir entitled “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.” She collected first-hand quotes from those who were at the end of their lives, tallied them up and concluded the five most common regrets they shared.
By examining these regrets up close, we can get an idea of what we too can expect to feel (at least on a conscientious level) when one day at death’s door ourselves. Let’s take a look together, and see what we can learn while we still have the time.
Regret #1- “I wish I’d lived my life true to me, and not to the expectations of others.”
Everyone feels pressure from others, whether from parents, friends, or society in general. We all feel pressure to look a certain way, behave a certain way, and even feel a certain way. If we don’t, we’re considered “strange” or “different.” Those who are dying want us to say loud and proud, “So what?” This is your life and not anyone else’s. Do what brings you joy. Don’t waste time comparing your life to anyone else’s. Nothing is a competition or a race!
Regret #2- “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
The rat race gets most of down on a daily basis. Society says we must go to college and then to work, pay off our loans and contribute to our 401K for decades, only to retire with just enough time to live life how we actually want to. But the dying encourage us to take on a different perspective. It was never about the company or the money or the recognition, they say. All of that fades away. It was always about the relationships. Nurture them.
Regret #3- “I wish I had shared my thoughts and feelings more openly.”
It’s so easy to hold in our feelings. It’s not so easy to hold our tongue when we need to get a point across, but for some reason we do it all the time. The dying say, Stop! To think that one day we will be out of time like them, and will have lost our chance to tell our loved ones just how much they mean to us - or what was really on our mind the whole time. Think about that, and don’t let another opportunity to do so go to waste.
Regret #4- “I wish I had stayed better connected to my loved ones.”
This regret comes in at #4 on Ware’s list, but it may be the saddest of them all. Why do we keep our precious friends and family, who are so very important to us, in the back of our minds? After all, it should be so easy to keep in touch with loved ones, especially in this day and age of social media. But we’re just too busy and it’s too easy to think, “I’ll call them tomorrow.” Or, “I’ll reply to that text message once I’m done doing this…” only to forget about it entirely. No…call your loved one today. Reply to that text message sooner rather than later. Because the day is coming when one of you won’t be on the other end of the line.
Regret #5- “I wish I had been happier.”
Happiness is a choice - this is something that the dying wish they had realized sooner. Attitude really is everything, and true joy can be found in even the most unhappy of circumstances. Don’t take a single moment of life for granted. Live in the moment and really learn to be mindful of each and every breath you take, every bite of food you taste and every song you feel in your heart. Most of all, be thankful for what you have in life. You never know what the next day will bring…when it will all end…and when you’ll be out of time.
Learn more about Bronnie Ware and her memoir at her website: bronnieware.com/
If you have been asked to give the eulogy at the funeral of a loved one, your first thought is probably, “Yes! Absolutely I will. What an honor.” But after some time passes, you begin to think of everything that goes into the writing process. There are memories to gather and record, and important names and dates to remember. You have questions regarding how long your eulogy should be and whether or not you should include this or that. Once you do finally get all your thoughts together, you have to then figure out how you’re going to organize everything so that it makes sense to your listeners. Not to mention you are probably looking at a deadline.
Besides all of this, there are the inevitable emotions that will come with writing and preparing your eulogy - because you are literally sorting through memories in your heart of your loved one and all the times you had together. So…needless to say, it can be a very draining process.
Not everyone has the means to hire a professional writer to do it for them, or even family or friends who are able to help. So Eulogies by Aubrey is offering anyone who needs it this free eulogy template. All you have to do is copy the questionnaire we’ve created below, paste it into your word processor, fill in the blanks, and then print it out for the day of the funeral.
Please note: This is a very general outline that is meant for an adult. If you are needing a eulogy outline for a child, pet, or young adult, please message me here and I will be happy to send you a separate template. Generally speaking, eulogies contain about 1,000 words and take between 6 and 8 minutes to deliver. But this is by no means a rule. Your finished eulogy may be longer or shorter than that, depending on your answers. And of course, feel free to add your own sections if you'd like.
Hello everyone, and thank you for being here today. For those who don't know who I am, my name is _____________________ and I am ________________________'s _____________________. It's so very difficult for me to be standing in front of you today as we all prepare to say goodbye to ___________________, but at the same time I'm extremely honored to share with you a little bit about (his/her) life and legacy.
____________________ was born on ___________ to ____________ and ____________.
(He/she) passed away, much too soon, on _______________. There is no possible way for me to even try and iterate the life that was lived in between those two dates, but in the short time that I have today, I'm going to do my best.
___________________ grew up in ___________________, and spent much of (his/her) childhood in ____________________. (He/she) was one of ______ children. Childhood years brought with them many memories, one of which was _____________________
_____________________________________. Another story from childhood that _____
____________ liked to share was _____________________________________________
But carefree childhood days don't last forever, and soon _______________________ was a young adult and ready for adventure! At the age of _____, (he/she) decided that the time was right to ___________________________________________________. (He/she) eventually graduated from __________________________ and then made the decision to ___________________________________. (He/she) worked at _______
____________________ for ________ years.
The year was ______ when ____________________ met and fell head over heels in love with ____________________________. There was no other love story in history like the love story between ______________________ and _____________________! They dated for _________ and were united in matrimony on _____________________.
These two journeyed through the ups and downs of life together for ________ wonderful years...although I'm quite sure it wasn't nearly long enough.
For those of you here today who knew _____________________ in life, you probably know just how I'm about to describe who they were. To describe _________________
in just a few words is very hard, but if I had to, I'd choose the words ______________
_____________________________________. And if anyone knew how to live life to its fullest, it was ______________________. Some of (his/her) favorite hobbies included
(He/she) also loved _________________________________ and even _______________
____________________________. But something you may not know, is that ________
And if there was one thing that never failed to put a smile on (his/her) face, it was
While ____________________ enjoyed many things in life, (he/she) knew the great
importance of doing for others. It brought (him/her) great joy to be able to help out
(his/her) fellow man by ____________________________________________________.
(He/she) was also known to _________________________________________________
whenever (he/she) got the chance to.
_____________________ was extremely blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family in (his/her) life, many of which are here today. I just want you to know that (he/she) did not take any of you for granted. I pray that you will always hold close to your heart the wonderful memories you have of _____________________. I
know (he/she) did of you, too.
And _____________________ had so much to be proud of. But there is no doubt that (he/she) was certainly most proud of _________________________________________
Personally, I have so many cherished memories with ___________________________,
sweet, sweet memories that I will always keep close in heart and mind. And I will continue to re-visit these memories as the years go by. I want to share just a few of them with you, today, if I may. One time, ______________________________________
________________________________. Another precious memory I have is __________
And finally, I'd like to share one last sweet memory of __________________ with you all today: _________________________________________________________________
Before I close, I would like to share with you one of ____________________'s favorite (verse/poem/song lyric/quote). I think it really shows just what kind of a person
_____________________ was and just how full (his/her) heart was: ________________
Thank you all again for being here as we say goodbye to ________________________.
I know that the past several days have been extremely difficult for us all, but I
hope that we can find peace in knowing that ______________________ is at peace now. No more pain, no more suffering, no more death. I also want to show my gratitude to ______________________________ for _____________________________
as we've gone through the motions and plans for today. There is not one word of encouragement or support that was spoken to us over these past several days that we will not be eternally grateful for.
Last but not least, I want to say thank you, and goodbye for now, to ______________.
You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten. Your memory and legacy will live on as we do, in our hearts, minds and souls forever. I love you, ___________________.
We hope that this template brings you a little bit of reassurance that yes, you can create a quality eulogy in memory of your loved one without any unnecessary struggle. Remember, if all else fails, Eulogies by Aubrey is available 24/7 to help you write your eulogy. We are honored to be of assistance.
August 31st, 2019 will mark the 22nd anniversary of the tragic death of Princess Diana. Born into aristocracy as Diana Frances Spencer in 1961, she became Diana, Princess of Wales, upon her marriage to Prince Charles. She was destined to be the future Queen of England, but fate would not allow it.
Diana grew up in Norfolk, England on the Sandringham Estate. She was only six years old when her parents divorced. This event saddened her deeply and affected her for the rest of her life.
When her school days were done, she took several different jobs, from nannying to restaurant cook. She was quickly noticed by the paparazzi when her courtship with Prince Charles began in the late 1970’s…the cameras would never leave her alone from then on.
Diana married Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, on July 29th, 1981. The day was deemed the ultimate “fairy tale wedding” by the press, but the actual marriage would prove quite the opposite of a beautiful fairy tale. Despite all of the glamour and smiles, Diana would later admit that her wedding day was “the worst day of my life.”
Little did the public know, during their engagement both Diana and Charles had serious doubts about their love for one another. These doubts would lead to terrible rumors and infidelity. Both of them had affairs during the marriage, with Charles resuming a relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowels-- a flame from his past he never quite got over. Diana always knew about this relationship, and it caused her much mental and emotional turmoil.
Despite sharing two children, William and Harry, the couple’s relationship was irreconcilable, and in 1996 they were officially divorced.
Although no longer a member of the royal family, “The People’s Princess” remained beloved by the public, not only in Britain but all across the globe. Her death therefore came as a total shock to the entire world.
On August 31st, 1997, Diana and her companion, Dodi Fayed, were in Paris. They had just left the hotel where they were staying and were being hounded by the paparazzi. Their driver crashed their Mercedes in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, fatally wounding Dodi and the driver. Only her bodyguard came out of the wreck alive, although critically injured and having lost any memory of the event. Diana was mortally wounded and died after being taken to a local hospital. She was 36 years old.
Funeral procession of Princess Diana
Her funeral was broadcast to the world from Westminster Abbey. Her brother Charles, the Earl Spencer, gave a moving eulogy that criticized both the paparazzi and also the royal family for their treatment of his sister. She was laid to rest at Althorp Estate in Northampton, England, on a picturesque island known as the Oval.
Princess Diana's gravesite
Diana’s legacy was one for the ages, and she will never be forgotten. Her contributions to humanity served to bring about progress in many areas…from eradicating stigmas surrounding AIDS, HIV and other diseases, to raising awareness of existing landmines. Diana’s personal touch remains, and her legacy lives on in her children and grandchildren.
To read more about the life and death of Princess Diana, see here:
Em-balm /əmˈbä(l)m/ (verb)
1. to preserve [a corpse] from decay, originally with spices and now usually by arterial injection of a preservative.
2. give a pleasant fragrance to.
Embalming rates in the United States have begun to drop, as cremation (and other more economical, eco-friendly alternatives) becomes more popular.
But there was a time not all that long ago when embalming was the most popular option for final disposition.
In ancient times, specifically in ancient Egypt, embalming came by way of mummification. Priests studied and became skilled at the process of removing the organs of the deceased. These organs would be preserved with certain spices and fragrances and kept in jars, and a salty mineral called natron would be used to dry out the rest of the body. The body was finally wrapped in linens before it was ready for burial. This whole process took 70 days. The ancient Egyptians believed that preserving their loved ones like this would allow their spirits to one day return again to the in-tact body, so that they could live forever.
Throughout history, there are other ancient cultures- the Mayans and Aztecs come to mind- that utilized embalming in one way or another. But in the United States, it all started with the Civil War.
The Civil War is known as America’s bloodiest conflict. As battles raged on, the body count began to climb to drastic numbers. When soldiers were identified, if possible their remains needed to be sent back to their families for a proper funeral. But it often took days, if not weeks, for the bodies to arrive back home, and by then, decomposition could be severe. The railroads were not willing to transport these bodies, due to odor and fear of disease. For this reason, mass graves were the unfortunate answer to the problem.
Enter Thomas Holmes, aka “the father of American embalming.” He was a mortician with a better solution. Before the war, he had studied and experimented with various forms of preservation, and ultimately decided that arterial injection was the best way to preserve the whole body. Arterial injection is the main method used to this day to embalm.
Holmes began to produce and sell his own embalming fluid. He was first hired by the Union army to embalm a few soldiers that had been killed in battle, and that were needing to be shipped back to their families. He charged $100 for each case he completed.
Embalmer at work during Civil War era.
Word of Holmes’ essential work began to spread. President Lincoln himself was aware of the great need for embalming during the war, and so authorized it for the fallen. After the war was officially over, embalming continued to gain popularity as funeral parlors took advantage of the market. By the early 1900s, it had become mainstream in America. Over time, arsenic was replaced by formaldehyde as the preservative of choice.
Embalming is still very common in modern funeral practice. But as cremation, natural burial, alkaline hydrolysis (more on that in a later post!) and other forms of final disposition gain in popularity, it’ll be interesting to see where embalming will be in 10, 15, or 20 years.
When you have lost someone you loved, especially someone who was very near and dear to you, you need help. You need loving support from family and friends, an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. You need help planning the funeral. You may need help just keeping the house clean and food stocked up. Sometimes you need gentle reminders to take care of yourself, to bathe, eat, and brush your teeth or hair. You may need spiritual support and guidance, such as what a pastor could provide. You may also seek professional help in managing your thoughts surrounding your grief, and that is perfectly okay.
It is a wonderful thing to have people in your life who can provide you with these types of necessary support as you begin to process your loss and heal from it. But not everyone has this kind of support network, and these are the people who need special consideration.
Are you or someone you know struggling to deal with the passing of a loved one? Below, I have compiled a list of resources that can be used as a starting point to get you the help you need. Whether a passing has already occurred or is imminent, please feel free to bookmark or share this page as needed.
It is my hope and prayer that you find the assistance and encouragement you are seeking.
7 Resources for Those Dealing With Loss
1. Grief Net
Grief Net is an online community for those dealing with a recent (or not so recent) death. At Grief Net, you can join support groups, browse through the gift shop, and even create a virtual memorial for your loved one. They have two sites, one tailored for adults and one just for kids. http://www.griefnet.org/
2. Samaritans Hotline
Are you wrestling with constant mental or emotional turmoil following the death of your loved one? If you are feeling extreme loneliness and/or having thoughts of suicide, call or text Samaritans Hotline. They are accessible 24/7. For immediate support, reach them at: 877-870-HOPE or 877-870-4673. https://samaritanshope.org/
3. Everplans Funeral Checklist
Planning a funeral is hard work. Even if you have the help of a director, it is still up to you to make and keep track of several important final decisions. The end-of-life planning experts at Everplans have created a free funeral planning checklist to help you out. Find it here: https://www.everplans.com/articles/checklist-plan-a-funeral-or-memorial-service
4. Next Gen Memorials
Next Gen Memorials has compiled a lengthy list of poems, verses and other sayings fit to be read at a funeral or memorial service. Check it out here for some extra inspiration: https://www.nextgenmemorials.com/funeral_poems_memorial_verses/
5. Modern Loss- Books on Grief
Sometimes books can be the best companions! If reading is your thing, take a look through this short list of “6 Grief Books That Actually Helped” over at https://modernloss.com/6-grief-books-actually-help/
Also check out Eulogies by Aubrey's Pinterest Board, "Books on Topic," here: https://www.pinterest.com/eulogiesbyaubrey/books-on-topic/ for additional ideas.
6. Light a Candle
Many times, a physical gesture (such as a butterfly release or letting go of a balloon) can serve to help us say goodbye to those we love in a symbolic way. At https://gratefulness.org/light-a-candle/, the internet allows you to do this virtually. This site has reached millions of people all over the world…light your own candle there today in memory of your loved one.
7. A Master List of Grief Resources
Masters in Counseling has a giant list of 115 other resources for you to take advantage of. No matter what your needs are (and no matter what kind of grief you are dealing with-death of a loved one, child loss, job loss….), you are sure to find something helpful: https://www.mastersincounseling.org/guide/loss-grief-bereavement/
And if course, should you need any help writing a eulogy, you know who to turn to <3 Eulogies by Aubrey is a quality eulogy writing service available to you 24/7. Contact us today right here: http://www.eulogiesbyaubrey.com/contact.html#/
Selena Quintanilla Perez, the “Queen of Tejano,” was a Mexican-American singer from Corpus Christie, Texas. Hit songs including Dreaming of You, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, and I Could Fall in Love brought her to world-wide fame in the early ‘90s. Her presence was larger than life, and her tragic, senseless death brought the world to tears.
Born in 1971 in Lake Jackson, Selena got her start in music with the help of her father, Abraham, who noticed her vocal talent from a young age. Along with her brother and sister, Selena would perform at her father's restaurant, weddings, and other parties. Word of her beautiful voice began to spread, and soon she left school to focus on her career.
In 1989 she released her first studio album, Selena, and not long afterward fell in love with Chris Perez, who had joined her family’s band on the guitar. While Selena’s mother approved of the relationship, her father did not, believing Chris was no good for his daughter. When he started taking measures to keep him out of the picture, Selena and Chris eloped in 1992. Abraham took the news hard, but eventually accepted their marriage and welcomed his new son-in-law into the family.
As Selena released more albums and became more and more successful, she decided to start a fashion line. She opened several shops and hired Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club, to manage them. Yolanda quickly fell out of favor with the employees, however, whom she treated dismissively.
Selena couldn’t believe that Yolanda, who she thought was her biggest fan, could really act that way, so she never took steps to correct the behavior. However, her father and other members of the family could see through to Yolanda’s cagey ways, and warned Selena on numerous occasions to keep an eye on her.
When it was eventually discovered that Yolanda had embezzled thousands of dollars from Selena’s ventures, Abraham threatened her with legal action if she did not hand over documents proving her innocence.
While he also told her to stay away from his daughter, Selena chose to give Yolanda the benefit of the doubt, and remained friends with her. But this would prove to be a fatal decision.
In late March 1995, in order to avoid having to hand over to Abraham the documents he demanded, Yolanda claimed that she had been assaulted. Selena believed her and accompanied her to an exam. Back in the hotel room where Yolanda was staying, Selena requested the documents. Yolanda then pulled out a gun and shot Selena.
Bleeding heavily, Selena was able to escape the room. Emergency services was called and the singer was rushed to the hospital. All attempts were made to save her life, but the loss of blood was too severe. Selena Quintanilla Perez died March 31st, 1995 at the age of 23.
A public viewing was held in Corpus Christi on April 2, at which countless fans paid their respects. She was buried the next day at Seaside Memorial Park.
Yolanda Saldivar was convicted of her murder and is currently serving a life sentence in prison.
To learn more about Selena's life, I recommend watching the 1997 movie "Selena," starring Jennifer Lopez. It does a wonderful job at documenting her childhood and rise to fame.
I have never been to see Selena’s grave in Corpus Christie, but would love to pay my respects one day. Have you ever visited there? Let me know your experience in the comments below.
In September 2015, Austin and I were married and decided to honeymoon in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Of course I was looking forward to spending time with my new husband, but I was also quite excited about seeing a pretty famous grave that just happened to be in Glenwood.
Doc Holliday’s was the grave I wanted to find. He is buried in Linwood Cemetery, a relatively small graveyard hidden within a treed area up Jasper Mountain. We would have to hike a pretty steep trail up to see it, but it was worth it!
Once we got to the cemetery, it took us a little bit of time to find the marker (he is believed to be buried somewhere in Linwood, but no one is for sure the exact location)…we were mesmerized by the other graves, many of which are from the nineteenth century. Linwood Cemetery, also known as Glenwood or Pioneer Cemetery, is also the final resting place of Wild Bunch gunslinger Kid Curry (Butch Cassidy’s gang).
Born John Henry Holliday on August 14th, 1851, Doc grew up in Georgia, then moved to Pennsylvania where he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the age of 21. He was told he had tuberculosis shortly after starting his dentistry practice, and moved from town to town in hopes of slowing the disease.
Doc Holliday was known for his gambling ways, quick temper, irreverence for the law, and of course for getting into gun fights. Ironically, he was a good friend of lawman and frontiersman Wyatt Earp, whom he helped to capture another outlaw and also famously saved Earp’s life (remember that one card-playing saloon scene from Tombstone?).
He eventually made his way to Glenwood, Colorado, where he hoped the natural hot springs would help relieve the symptoms of his tuberculosis. He finally succumbed to his illness on November 8th, 1887 at the age of 36.
Here are a few pics we took of the trail and his grave marker while at Linwood Cemetery:
If you want to learn more about Doc Holliday and his famous grave, these links may be of interest:
Also check out the 1993 film Tombstone, featuring Val Kilmer as Doc. The movie does a memorable job at chronicling his adventures as well as his relationship with Wyatt Earp (played by Kurt Russell).
Really, Aubrey? Funeral fashion? Is that even a thing?
Yes, yes it is.
Throughout the decades, fashion has evolved throughout society, and funeral society is no exception. In the olden days (circa 1800s-early 1900s), when someone died, much attention was placed on what the mourners wore, much more attention than they receive today. In fact, “mourning attire” was all the rage back then.
Following a death, it was not uncommon for all-black outfits to be worn for an extended period of mourning. A good example of this:
Queen Victoria (1819-1901)
Britain’s Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, shared a love story for the ages. When he died quite unexpectedly at the age of 42, Victoria fell into a deep depression and never fully recovered. She famously wore black for the rest of her life (almost four decades) as a symbol of her sorrow.
Note: Believe it or not, much of today’s fashion trends come directly out of the Victorian Era. During her reign, British and Americans alike emulated her style, setting fashion standards for the rest of the civilized world. It’s no secret that Victoria was the first to wear a white gown for her wedding, setting that standard…and some say that she is also the reason wearing all-black funeral clothes became mainstream.
To understand modern funeral fashion, we first need to take a look at modern funeral etiquette. What is appropriate to wear to a funeral today? While much is dependent on the culture surrounding the funeral in question, generally, dark colors are still the way to go. Black, navy, dark violet, and dark greens are all appropriate options, especially when one is unsure of what to wear. But, as always, fashion trends are changing.
As time goes on, some families are now choosing to opt out of the traditional dark, sad clothing. Some even request that those who attend the funeral of their loved one avoid dark garments and instead go for bright, colorful looks (for a celebration of life or homegoing rather than a funeral). That said, conservative dress is usually still deemed appropriate for the modern funeral service, no matter the color choice.
As today’s funerals continue to drift away from the traditional order of solemnity (featuring the usual visitation and subsequent order of funeral and burial), and more into the realm of personalization, we will inevitably see more changes in funeral fashion trends.