“Many people have asked me why I do it,” said Miss Girodat. “For my own part, I see nothing strange or unusual in a woman entering this business. I have read in my bible of how after the crucifixion of Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus came and took the body from the tree. The story states that Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and ‘that other Mary’ brought spices for the preparation of the body for burial. So, you see, it was an ancient custom to have the women prepare the bodies of their own loved ones for burial, the last earthly office.
Patricia Lundy explores the relationship between women and death by reflecting on two books. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, Caitlin Doughty’s memoir on her experience (past and current) in the death industry and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, with specific focus on Lady Pole. In this post Patricia entertains the idea that death is an important facet of female identity, and when it is stripped away, this identity, as well as female autonomy, is stripped away as well.
Kate Mayfield is the author of the memoir, The Undertaker’s Daughter. Here she takes us back to a time when women were not prominent figures in the funeral industry. Sharing the stories of women who played important roles ‘behind the scenes’ at her father’s funeral home, Kate’s childhood home.
We are delighted to announce our post this coming Monday will be from the wonderful Kate Mayfield, author of The Undertaker’s Daughter!