The year for me so far has been dismal on the private and domestic front. My husband and I have had a series of emotional upheavals that we expected one day, but not just yet. As February drew to a close the post that I had decided to write for Worldwide Genealogy was bumped to next month because today's post was created on the back of something that I did yesterday.
Yesterday I did several things. Firstly I entered my Mum's death details into my family history program along with a copy of her death certificate. I then spent several hours writing a presentation made up of several readings and the music that will be delivered and heard at her funeral. The presentation will be shared with members of my family and friends who can not attend. It will also be a lasting tribute to my Mum.
I became acutely aware that in the space of a few moments the transition from life to death happened, and in a longer time frame the existence of my Mum within my genealogical material from a living individual to an ancestor occurred. I can not tell you the series of emotions that I felt as I sat at my desk yesterday. Sadly, I know that some of you will know exactly how I felt because you have done something similar.
The point of this post is not be weepy and depressed. Far from it. I am absolutely my Mother's daughter. Things I write, say and do. We all exhibit things from our parents and those we interact with on a daily basis. Those things are what keeps our relatives alive in our memories.
How did though our ancestors deal with bereavement, death, dying and grief? They would have felt the absolute emotions that I have felt over recent weeks, but we are not the only people who have lost a loved one. Sadly death is a fact of life and yet over hundreds of years how we deal with the emotions and the physical process has changed, probably I suspect beyond recognition.
The Victorians dealt with death with a great deal of pomp and ceremony. Sometime ago I came across this video, which is from a lecture held at Gresham College in 2010. You can view the Power Point presentation with other details at the Gresham College website. This lecture forms part of the The Victorians: Culture and Experience in Britain, Europe and the World 1815-1914
Therefore, from the saddest of events we can learn and reflect on the past and truly understand how our ancestors dealt with the natural order of things.