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Ancient Egyptian Rules for the Dead

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Obit Magazine
January 31, 2011
Wondering what happens after death was an Ancient Egyptian preoccupation. (Maybe because most had their children when teenagers and died by age 35.)  They left more writings about the subject than any equivalent civilization.  Certainty about the afterlife was a cultural given.  Thus, everybody was expected to share in caring for the dead. Not to do so was a violation of decency.  Not surprisingly, a great deal of their lives were spent preparing for the trek to the underworld.
Read the full article at Obit Magazine
Last Updated ( Monday, 13 June 2011 20:37 )

Tahara: Respect for the dead and comfort for the living

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Chicago Tribune
June 12, 2011

Traditional Jewish ritual of preparing a body for burial is making a comeback with liberal congregations.
On the table lay a human form covered by a white sheet. A small group of people gathered around. Nisan Chavkin, steering committee chairman of the Progressive Chevra Kadisha, led them through the ritual.

First the body was to be washed, gently but thoroughly, with most of it kept draped for modesty.

Water was to be poured onto the body from three plastic buckets in a continuous stream: The first bucket poured over one side, moving from the head down to the feet; the second up the other side, the third down over the middle.

As they poured, the group would say, in Hebrew: "She is pure. She is pure. She is pure."
Read the full article and see video (1 min 4 sec) at the Chicago Tribune

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Philosophy As an Art of Dying

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The New York Times
June 12, 2011
Furthermore, death is such a terrifying event, and the fear of it so universal, that to invite it by way of faithfulness to one’s ideas is something that fascinates and disturbs at the same time..... Tell me how you deal with your fear of annihilation, and I will tell you about your philosophy.
Read the full article in The New York Times

‘You Look Great’ and Other Lies

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The New York Times
June 10, 2011
But as my friend’s query suggested, some gestures were more helpful than others, and a few were downright annoying. So at the risk of offending some well-meaning people, here are six things you should never say to a friend (or relative or colleague) who’s sick. And four things you can always say.
Read the full article in The New York Times

The Ancient Process of Cremation

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Crestone End-of-Life Project
The End of Life - Celebrating Each Passing Moment

As the great certainty for all humanity is death, how we prepare for this event can determine the dignity of our passing and its legacy for others. By making informed, clearly defined end-of-life choices, we are endowing those who love and wish to care for us to do so with confidence.

The threshold of death offers greatest of openings for experiencing and sustaining the entrance of Grace. An intentional death is an opportunity to benefit all everyone in the community. One who has taken responsibility for physical death supports the dying process freer of fear, which translates into readiness for the great opening that the death of this body represents.
See the video (14 min 8 sec) at Crestone End-of-Life Project

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