Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Professional Mourners a lost profession.

We went to the Norton Museum of Art  the exhibit we were interested in was “To Live Forever: Egyptian Treasures from the Brooklyn Museum.”  Some of the items were from 3500 B.C. truly exceptional.

The exhibit was fascinating; I love the mummies, the process of mummification is gruesome, I wonder why that seemed like a good idea to entire generations of Egyptians, and can you imagine being the first person to whip up a brain and take it out through someone’s nose, oh my.  I am fascinated by the extraordinary passion that Egyptians put into the planning of their passage to the afterlife. Afterall a long life was 40 years back then, if I had lived a good long life in ancient Egyptian times I would have been enjoying the afterlife for the last fifteen years.

One part of the exhibit was about the important service Professional Mourners provided.  Back then there was a real need, if the deceased was not going to be mummified the body would be buried within hours not allowing friends and relatives enough time to come for the final goodbye. It was noted even the poorest of families hired at least one professional mourner for their loved ones send off.

For the burial the closest relative would close the eyes of the dead and after the eulogy the simulated grief and  lamentations would begin with "wailing and bitter weeping." Not an easy job but necessary during those trying times when the majority of children did not live past the age of 5 years.

Interesting observations from an inspired learner.

Director of Member Services and Smiles
OurHealth Co-op, Inc

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