Deathxpert Opinion: How to Move (and Fly) a Body

charon-detail

Welcome to our new, monthly feature, Deathxpert Opinion, where members of the Order will be answering your questions on death logistics, death history, and death culture. First up is our Seattle-based green funeral home owner Jeff Jorgenson on how bodies get around. 

June 16, 2015 | Deathxpert Opinion

A Shocking Likeness: Photography and Death in the Civil War

Unidentified soldier in Union uniform of the 119th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, wearing the belt buckle of the Philadelphia Reserve Brigade.,c.  1861-1865, Library Of Congress

It is impossible to think of a time when photos of war and destruction weren’t plastered on the front page of newspapers.  Order member Kelly Christian explores just such a time, and how the Civil War and technology came together to change our relationship to the visuals of death. 

May 20, 2015 | Blog

Washing Kathryn, Touching Death

Stream

No matter how long you’ve been working with dead bodies, it can still be emotionally difficult. But what if the person was someone you knew? Nora Menkin, funeral director, tells us this story. 

February 5, 2015 | Blog

Curating a UK Medical Museum: Two Heads are Better Than One

Sweeps

Order-member Carla Valentine is the technical curator of Barts Pathology Museum in London. I asked her to explain what it’s like to share human specimens for educational purposes in the UK, where the restrictions are borderline draconian. Here’s how she fought the system (and why we just might need the system). 

January 7, 2015 | Blog

A Field Trip to North Carolina’s Death Chamber

Gurney in Place, As Seen From the Witness Room

Order-member John Carbone is a forensic psychiatrist and, until last month, the Director of Mental Health Services for the North Carolina prison system. You can also find his words at Alienist’s Compendium. 

January 4, 2015 | Blog

Dad’s Corpse in the Spare Bedroom

Resurrection

“How dare this woman leave her husband’s body to rot in a bedroom? Why did nobody intervene to stop this atrocity?” Simon Davis explores. 

December 18, 2014 | Blog

Hey Funeral Directors, Get the Hell Out of the Way!

Liberace

Jeff Jorgenson is one of the Order of the Good Death’s best pair of boots on the ground. He works in the trenches of Seattle, WA (there are no literal trenches) running his green/alternative funeral home, Elemental Cremation and Burial. Here he asks, “why is it so hard for funeral directors to trust their families?” 

December 2, 2014 | Blog

The Macabre Mystery of the Deathly Cameos

"Inside were two lovely plaster cameos with delicate gold edging..."

Order-member John Carbone is a forensic psychiatrist and Director of Mental Health Services for the North Carolina prison system. His passion for collecting led him to write this piece. You can also find his words at Alienist’s Compendium. 

August 5, 2014 | Blog

Talkin’ Transi Tombs with Caitlin & Elizabeth

Cadaver Tomb

Elizabeth Harper, relic hunter and mistress of All the Saints You Should Know, and Caitlin, boring ol’ medievalist mortician, bring you their correspondence on transi tombs.  We hope to one day turn it into a cable access chat show. Geek out with us! 

July 29, 2014 | Blog