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:2/12/2016)... ... , ... AssureVest Insurance Group, a locally owned insurance firm with offices serving ... funds earmarked to purchase computers and software for Mrs. Harrison’s 2nd and 3rd grade ... a low-income area and has more than 60 2nd and 3rd graders with learning ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Erlanger Agency ... the greater Columbus, OH area. The latest campaign focuses on the fight against breast ... Donations are now being accepted here . , Carmen is a loving single ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Miami Dental Specialists is excited to bring patients the choice ... in January, Miami Dental Specialists will offer the non-metal implants as a safe, holistic ... be chosen by the dental implant manufacturer, Straumann, to bring this cutting-edge technology to ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Mediaplanet today ... , The print component of “Revolutionizing Cancer Care” is distributed within the February ... and Seattle, with a circulation of approximately 250,000 copies and an estimated readership ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Homeowners now ... design possibilities. CertainTeed, North America’s leading brand of building products, has improved upon ... showcased in the mobile version of the ColorView® Exterior Style and Color Selector. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... PRO-DEX, INC. (NasdaqCM: PDEX) today announced financial results for its ... also filed its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the ... Exchange Commission today. --> --> ... --> Net sales for the three months ... $5.4 million from $2.8 million for the three months ended ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016  Walgreens has committed to provide drug ... Washington, D.C. as part of a ... commended by shareholder advocacy organization As You Sow. ... "Many people hold on to unneeded drugs because they lack ... consequences." --> Conrad MacKerron , Senior Vice ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016 Potrero Medical, Inc., the developer ... announce the appointment of George M. Rapier, III , ... Antonio, TX , WellMed is one of the nation,s ... and HMO members in Texas and ... out of his own internal medicine practice, he has been ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: