Dearly missed in November

This November coverphoto contains the following people who are dearly missed. Share your memories on their tributes.

Joe Frazier 11/7 visit his tribute: http://bit.ly/16zublX

Stieg Larsson 11/9 visit his tribute: http://bit.ly/184lLjR

Wilma Rudolph 11/12 visit her tribute:http://bit.ly/1a2voCx

James Coburn 11/18 visit his tribute:http://bit.ly/172jLO8

Robert Altman 11/20 visit his tribute:http://bit.ly/Hqpy43

John F. Kennedy 11/22 visit his tribute:http://bit.ly/184oOZ2

Larry Hagman 11/23 visit his tribute:http://bit.ly/16zB3iZ

Freddie Mercury 11/24 visit his tribute:http://bit.ly/18SgzPe

Leslie Nielsen 11/28 visit his tribute:http://bit.ly/1iGX8yB

Natalie Wood 11/29 visit her tribute:http://bit.ly/16zBBpb

Evel Knievel 11/30 visit his tribute: http://bit.ly/1eawFfb

Advertisements

Drugs aren’t innocent!

On Saturday August 31, a twenty year old Dutch girl called Lisa, went to a party and took a fingertip of MDMA. This led to water intoxication and eventually led to her death. Her life ended at Wednesday September 4th after a cardiac arrest.

More than eighty percent of the Dutch people use drugs at festivals. That’s what became clear to Lisa’s parents when they had spoken with Lisa’s friends and other youngsters.

Drugs are cheap

The reason for the use of hard drugs is the low price. Using hard drugs is cheaper than drinking alcohol. A pill only costs 3 Euros and is easy to get at festivals, because there are a lot of dealers. This makes the use of drugs very popular.

The parents of Lisa would like to get attention for what happened. They lost Lisa for nothing. “This death should not have happened” is what they said.

On August 31 Lisa was at Voltt, a Dutch dance festival in Amsterdam. Around 9pm Dutch time, Lisa didn’t feel well and took a cab to her hometown Leiden. A friend of hers stayed at the festival. “In the afternoon, around 5pm she took a fingertip of the MDMA powder which she bought before she went to the festival” is what she said. Lisa had already used MDMA a few times before.

“Lisa didn’t drink any alcohol during the festival” her dad says. “When she got home, her roommates stayed with her. Later that evening her situation became worse. She had to throw up a lot.”

Very thirsty

Her parents and sister think Lisa would have drunk a lot of water when she got home. Being very thirsty is one of the side effects of MDMA. “It’s like your tongue sticking to your palate” learned her sister, after she did research about MDMA on Google.

At September 1 around 4.30pm Lisa’s parents got a phone call from the Leiden University Medical Centre about Lisa being in a coma. The hospital was informed by Lisa’s roommates about her situation. Her condition had become even more worse. Lisa now had foam around her mouth and epileptic like seizures.

Drugs can shut down the kidneys, which stops you from peeing. People who drink a large amount of water, are able to poison their own bodies. A lack of salt causes swelling. The skull of a young person has no extra space in it. A swelling will pressure the brain stern, which can have fatal consequences.

Tuesday morning Lisa was declared brain dead after stopping the ventilation. Lisa was a real families person. Unfortunately she couldn’t become what she wanted to: ,,Rich’’. 

Image 

R.I.P. Lisa 9/4/13

http://www.leidschdagblad.nl/regionaal/leidenenregio/article24448233.ece/Lisa-dood-Denk-na-wat-je-doet

Thieves Have Found A New Low

A new warning from police about a trend so despicable, even veteran detectives are stunned: Thieves are now using funerals to rob families blind.

It doesn’t get much lower than this: Bands of thieves are targeting families at their most vulnerable. Here’s how it works: When you lose a loved one, you post an obituary in the paper, along with details of the funeral. The criminals know you won’t be home, and that’s when they strike… while you’re at the cemetery.

They are well-planned attacks: Thieves poring through local obituaries, and picking out the homes of grieving relatives.

When you leave for the funeral, the thieves move in. And they are heartless.

It happened to Cindy and Dennis Higdon. Their son Christian was tragically killed. But while they were at his funeral laying him to rest, thieves were ransacking their Kentucky home.

“It’s like, you already felt like you’re at the lowest point you could be and … it’s like I just fell to the ground,” Cindy Higdon said.

Police say the thieves found the family through an obituary in the local newspaper listing their full names, their hometown, and the date and time of the funeral. Investigators say two men, now charged, hit the house during the service, giving them hours to steal everything from expensive jewelry to computers to sentimental items from Christian’s own room.

“They took everything away from us; they put us into another level of low that we didn’t think could ever exist,” Dennis Higdon said.

We said: “You thought you were at the lowest –”

“Yes. Yes. Till we found out there’s still a long way to go.”

And police say it gets even more extreme. Near Seattle: 10 homes burglarized while the families were at funerals. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in possessions stolen.

“It’s heinous,” said lead investigator Margaret Ludwig. “It’s reprehensible.”

Ludwig busted three crooks, now in prison. They were running an obituary crime ring so sophisticated and organized, even seasoned investigators were stunned.

“They had their computers set up to where they would receive email notifications of the new obituaries that were coming into the local paper,” Ludwig told us. “Lots of planning, lots of preparation, a lot of thinking went into how they were going to pull this off.”

For victims who’ve already lost so much, it’s the ultimate invasion.

“It’s like, please, have a heart,” Cindy Higdon said. “I mean, think about the people you’re doing this to, what they’re already going through.”

The family is so traumatized, they’re planning to move out of the house. It just doesn’t feel like home anymore. Police say we can all learn from this, and there are ways to protect yourself.

Here’s the takeaway: If you have to write an obituary, don’t print your full name or your hometown; that makes it easy for criminals to find you. If you can, have a friend or neighbor stay at your house during the funeral to keep an eye on things. And if that’s not possible, park a few cars in your driveway to make it look like someone is home.

Obviously, losing a relative is hard enough, and it’s a shame we even have to think about this. But as we’ve seen, the criminals will stoop to any level to steal from you.

 

Source: Today

Suicide Has Become an Epidemic

1369319859688.cached

When Thomas Joiner was 25 years old, his father—whose name was also Thomas Joiner and who could do anything—disappeared from the family’s home. At the time, Joiner was a graduate student at the University of Texas, studying clinical psychology. His focus was depression, and it was obvious to him that his father was depressed. Six weeks earlier, on a family trip to the Georgia coast, the gregarious 56-year-old—the kind of guy who was forever talking and laughing and bending people his way—was sullen and withdrawn, spending days in bed, not sick or hungover, not really sleeping.

Joiner knew enough not to worry. He knew that the desire for death—the easy way out, the only relief—was a symptom of depression, and although at least 2 percent of those diagnosed make suicide their final chart line, his father didn’t match the suicidal types he had learned about in school. He wasn’t weak or impulsive. He wasn’t a brittle person with bad genes and big problems. Suicide was understood to be for losers, basically, the exact opposite of men like Thomas Joiner Sr.—a successful businessman, a former Marine, tough even by Southern standards.

But Dad had left an unmade bed in a spare room, and an empty spot where his van usually went. By nightfall he hadn’t been heard from, and the following morning Joiner’s mother called him at school. The police had found the van. It was parked in an office lot about a mile from the house, the engine cold. Inside, in the back, the police found Joiner’s father dead, covered in blood. He had been stabbed through the heart.

The investigators found slash marks on his father’s wrists and a note on a yellow sticky pad by the driver’s seat. “Is this the answer?” it read, in his father’s shaky scrawl. They ruled it a suicide, death by “puncture wound,” an impossibly grisly way to go, which made it all the more difficult for Joiner to understand. This didn’t seem like the easy way out.

Back home for the funeral, Joiner’s pain and confusion were compounded by ancient taboos. For centuries suicide was considered an act against God, a violation of law, and a stain on the community. He overheard one relative advise another to call it a heart attack. His girlfriend fretted about his tainted DNA. Even some of his peers and professors—highly trained, doctoral-level clinicians—failed to offer a simple “my condolences.” It was as though the Joiner family had failed dear old Dad, killed him somehow, just as surely as if they had stabbed him themselves. To Joiner, however, the only real failing was from his field, which clearly had a shaky understanding of suicide.

The entire article is a big read, but definately worth it! Check it out here on Newsweek

 

 

A glimpse into the alternative death industry

Caitlin Doughty, a Los Angeles mortician, is a true champion of the alternative death industry. Today, Northern California is at the heart of the “alternative death industry”, which advocates eco-friendly, coffin-free home burials. In 2011 she founded the Order of the Good Death, an online collective committed to returning death to contemporary American life. Its mission is to cut through anxiety around death, and help people to consider their mortality anew. The interest in death was always there – but just like in any other field, modern technology has advanced the conversation.

Image

Up to years ago, people kept bodies in their homes for a few days after death. But the corpse has been taken out of our culture, and that’s to the detriment of our relationship with death. Now burial means an embalmed body in a heavy-duty casket with a vault built over it, so that the ground doesn’t settle; basically leaving the body in many layers of denial. Engaging with the corpse is good for us, mentally and emotionally.

In California, options for disposing a loved one’s body are basic; burial, cremation, scientific donation. People make urns shaped like golf clubs, or put ashes in fireworks. That’s not innovation. “I don’t think people realise how limitless our engagement with death could be”.

Doughty is now in the process of setting up her own funeral business, as a freelance death midwife. She wants to consult those close to death, and work with funeral directors to realise the funerary desires of the deceased. Just as a wedding planner guides people through the options for the biggest day of their life, so wants Doughty to show people the possibilities for the biggest day of their death.

As to her own death? She would like to be laid out in the desert to be torn apart by animals. “I would like a wolf to eat my foot, and a vulture to pick at my eyeballs. I would like to be scavenged”, says the straight-faced mortician.

 

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/death-becomes-her-meet-the-very-modern-mortician-who-champions-cool-funerals-8627550.html

Preservation of Venezuelan leader’s body not easy.

Much as we perhaps would like to; we do simply not live forever…. Even the bodies of famous world leaders like Lenin and Mao Zedong are simply illusions, with a little help from science. Only the caretakers of Hugo Chavez’ body know what they are doing in order to preserve his body.

Image

If this were in the US, the technique used would be a simple repeat embalming. However, embalming is not meant to preserve a body for eternity, it is merely meant to delay the inevitable process of decay. That would also mean that these bodies need to be injected periodically, in order to keep the tissue moisturized. If that fails, sometimes a face mask is made, which can be placed over the flesh so it looks as if the person just died. And that is where the illusion comes in; we simply do not know if masks are used on the displayed bodies of famous world leaders.

When Mao died in 1976, Chinese doctors weren’t sure how to preserve his body. Eventually they found a formula in a Western journal in a medical library in Beijing. However, they decided to change the formula slightly, with shocking effects. Mao’s face was round as a ball, and his neck was now the width of his head,” Li Zhisui wrote in The Private Life of Chairman Mao, published outside China 18 years after Mao’s death. The team managed to restore Mao to a more normal appearance with hours of careful massage and makeup, he said, but, just in case, a wax copy of the body was readied as a stand-in Permanently staving off decomposition is no easy job.

The interesting question however is why do certain countries go through these great lengths to preserve their former leaders? For Hugo Chaves it is most likely an elevation to the league of communist deities like Lenin and Mao. Better to belong to that club, than to no club at all….

 

Source: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2013/mar/09/preservation-venezuelan-leader-hugo-chavezs-body-n/

Green Piece – green in the ground?

Green burials have become a growing trend lately. More and more funeral homes start offering this so called eco-friendly service. A survey conducted by funeral industry publishers Kates-Boylston Publications found that 43 percent of surveyors said they would consider a green burial. 

Judging by the number of material used for burials per year, there is definitely a need. According to Mary Woodsen, a science researcher at Cornell University, an estimated 60,000 tons of steel and 4.8 million gallons of embalming fluid are buried each year. That’s enough material to build eight Eiffel Towers. To give the slowly but gradually growing phenomenon even more kudos, there is now a committee called the Green Burial Council.

 Eco friendly burials use predominantly biodegradable material, or e-coffins. Bodies are wrapped in or placed in a pine coffin and put to rest where they then decompose and become part of the earth. It’s a nice idea to know that your body is able to return to the earth after you are put to rest. While it’s definitely a personal choice, it’s comforting knowing that you can still keep your values, even at the end; dust to dust.

The Green Burial Counsel performs ecological surveys of the cemetery grounds and sets rules that include hand-digging the grave, replacement of the same soil that was dug up, and no vault or cement grave liners. Only biodegradable material is allowed to be buried with the bodies.

 

Source: The Weekender – http://www.theweekender.com/news/greenpiece/511065/GREEN-PIECE-Green-in-the-ground

 

Image

Can I Use My Phone During a Funeral?

A recent study by Co-operative Funeralcare in the UK under 2,000 people over 18 who had attended a funeral, found that funerals considered to be the most inappropriate function where a mobile phone may be used. Second and third were weddings and while driving. However one in six people actually do use their phone during a funeral anyway. Apparently even the Duchess of York was caught texting while attending Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

 The study also showed that 40 percent of the respondents would not turn off their phone, albeit that a third of that sets their phone to silent. Most however claim they have left their phone on inadvertently, much like people forget to switch off while on a plane. One in six people also said they had seen people (frantically and embarrassed) trying to switch off their phone once it rang.

 In a different study, under funeral directors, it became apparent that one in five funerals gets interrupted by a mobile phone ringing. One ironic anecdote said the ringtone was “If You Are Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands”.David Collingwood, operations director of Co-operative Funeralcare, said the use of mobiles had “become commonplace at events which would have been considered unthinkable only a few years ago. We are witnessing a cultural shift in society’s stance on funeral etiquette “.

 

It seems like we have double standards when it comes to using our phones at seemingly inappropriate moments and functions.

Source: The Guardian