Navigation Links
Virtual tombstones, tattoo tributes and mourning T-shirts are growing in popularity
Date:9/30/2013

Blending cremated remains into tattoos, creating "virtual tombstones" online and displaying "Rest in Peace" car decals or T-shirts are unconventional ways people increasingly are using to honor the dead this century, a Baylor University researcher says.

"With 'do-it-yourself' memorials, people are creating their own ways of memorializing the dead, particularly in a more secularized society," said Candi Cann, Ph.D., an assistant professor of religion in Baylor's Honors College. "Some people are alienated from some common traditions such as a long funeral Mass. Cohesive rituals may not be part of their lives."

She made a presentation on "bodiless" memorials at the recent international conference, "Death, Dying and Disposal," of the Association for the Study of Death and Society.

In research based on interviews with the bereaved, Cann found that such memorials are "the opposite of what occurs in the religious realm with martyrs and saints and with relics," Cann said. "Martyrs and saints bring us closer to holiness and to God through their bodies and narratives of their suffering."

But modern-day bodiless memorials are increasingly "returning" the dead to us through visual or virtual "replacements" that are more personal than a memorial in a cemetery or in nature.

Wearing a tattoo as a tribute is not unlike customs of Victorian England or the Civil War era, when people sometimes wore a lock of a loved one's hair or a photo in a brooch or watch chain, Cann said.

"People simply want to carry the dead with them," she said. "They see a tattoo as forever."

Generally, it's young people who get tattoos to express grief, Cann said. "Often, they choose one of their grandparents that died, because that's their first loss."

Some go so far as to blend cremated remains with tattoo pigment, although medical experts advise against the practice, and many tattoo artists refuse to do them to avoid legal complications.

These days, rather than black apparel traditionally worn at funerals, some people opt for a "mourning T-shirt" that may be the deceased person's favorite color. It may display dates of birth and death, an image, and an affectionate nickname and be worn long after a funeral.

"A T-shirt also is a way for people who aren't family or allowed time off from work to say, 'I am grieving,'" Cann said.

Car decals, as well as shoe polish or liquid chalk on vehicle windows, are being used to pay tribute to the dead.

While it has long been common to leave teddy bears or erect wooden crosses at the scene of a tragedy, people are becoming more imaginative and personal. Cann found a snow-white "ghost bike," festooned with a maroon Christmas garland and placed at the site of a bicycle accident.

But "the bike is a clean, pristine version - not the one that was mangled," Cann said.

Besides funeral home websites that allow "virtual visitors" to sign guest books, online mourning has evolved to include Facebook's "R.I.P." permanent memorials, as well virtual tombstones, which allow people to use their smartphones to scan headstone codes and launch websites with an interactive life story for those who visit the grave in person or online.

While spontaneous public memorials with flowers and teddy bears spring up after such tragedies as the Boston Marathon bombings, "those spaces are becoming smaller in geography and time," with people differing over how much is enough, Cann said.

But when such public memorials are removed, Cann said, they almost invariably return in "the virtual realm . . . The dead will return to haunt us if we do not acknowledge them."


'/>"/>

Contact: Terry Goodrich
terry_goodrich@baylor.edu
254-710-3321
Baylor University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Virtual Doctors Offer New, Treatment Plan to Recent Mental Health Crisis in USA
2. Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Market Worth 1.06 Billion by 2018 – New Report by MarketsandMarkets
3. Virtual Doctors Save Consumers Thousands in Medical Expenses With New Subjective Health Quiz
4. Online USA Doctors/Virtual Doctors Creates Comprehensive Female Health Plan That Prevents Premature Death in Postmenopausal Women
5. Virtual Health Care Offers a New, Innovative Solution To Impending Health Care Shortage
6. Agenda for Sept. 18 Health Insurance Exchange Virtual Conference Includes Sessions on Exchange Readiness, Call Service Centers
7. Atlantic Information Services Releases Full Agenda for Oct. 8 Virtual Conference on Dual-Eligible Programs Implementation
8. Virtual monitoring could aid adherence to TB medication
9. Online USA Doctors, Virtual Doctor Create a New Approach to Help Those with Diabetes
10. Virtual Doctors Help Men Avoid Rising Medical Health Insurance Deductibles With New, Male Orientated Doctor Health Service.
11. Agenda Announced for the BioTechniques 2013 Virtual Symposium on Exploring the Modern Lab
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/14/2016)... ... February 14, 2016 , ... In ... Heart Failure Nurses (AAHFN) is promoting healthier living with heart failure by providing ... Life! Healthy Living with Heart Failure will kick-off February 14 and includes tips ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 13, 2016 , ... Many individuals ... of protein for a multitude of reasons. IsoPasta by Isolator Fitness has delved ... it once more, but without the high-carb repercussions. IsoPasta has 30 grams of ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... ... an Au Pair comes all the way around the world to provide child ... are often worried things won’t go well. More often than not, however, they find out ... the Year winner’s all commented how their Au Pairs have become a part of the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The law firm of Morrow, Morrow, Ryan & ... purpose of these scholarships is to encourage applicants to pursue a degree in their ... these two parishes. , “We have available jobs in St. Landry and Evangeline ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Each year, the American Physical Therapy ... Anaheim, CA at the Anaheim Convention Center. Almost 10,000 physical therapists across the country ... in action, learn more about their chosen field and network with their colleagues. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- MiMedx Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG ), the leading ... birth tissues, human skin and bone, and patent-protected processes ... and therapies, announced today that it will present at ... New York , NY.  Parker H. ... , Chief Financial Officer and Chris Cashman , ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... WESTPORT, Conn. , Feb. 11, 2016  AfterPill.com ... decision to recommend alcohol abstinence for all women who ... women in the U.S. each year and raises the ... --> --> According to the ... U.S., 70% of women of child-bearing age, who have ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016 Wearable posture tracker, ALEX , has taken Kickstarter by storm, crowdfunding ... seven days left to go, ALEX is said to be delivered to backers starting May of this ... ... ... Created by NAMU, a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: