For my last contribution for Fortnight Journal, I was challenged to demonstrate my ideal funeral through a series of photographs. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an ideal funeral — to each their own death. This is simply my best attempt to show what I hope is the next wave of death care in the Western World.
It is a return to a time when a person would pass away at home, away from the machines of the hospital and in the presence of the people they spent their lives with. Their family and friends are the primary force in caring for their dead body. I am present, as a mortician, only to help guide the family and aid them in washing, preparing, and shrouding the body. The body is taken to a natural burial cemetery, where it is put directly into the ground and allowed to decompose, returning from whence it came.
The photos were shot in Topanga, CA on a film camera by photographer & Order member Darren Blackburn. Mara is the exquisite and convincing corpse (though she is still very much alive) and David is her stricken family.