Beauty In Death

For thousands of years humankind has been obsessed with death. This connection to death is deeply integrated into where we keep the departed and how we decorate these spaces. From the tombs and pyramids of the Egyptians, the catacombs of Rome and Paris, to the Greyfriars Kirkyard in Scotland people have been honoring the dead with the practice of mummification, entombing the departed with beautiful statuary, or decorating crypts and tombs with paintings.

Ancient Cemeteries

Why Cemeteries?

Long time Fascination

I have long be fascinated with graveyards for the beauty that can be found in the art and the peace that can be found in the quiet spaces. This has been a fascination of mine for as long as I can remember.

When I was a little girl living in Virginia Beach, VA my family lived in an apartment building that had an abandoned cemetery located behind our building. The graves that were my special playground were scattered between overgrown bushes and swampy pits of quicksand. I would spend hours in this magical forest space playing between these broken and left behind beautiful stones and cracked open grave covers making up stories in my head of the lives these people had lived.

When my family would take vacations across the country I found myself most fascinated and largely well behaved when we were exploring graveyards. I have had the pleasure of visiting Arlington National Cemetery, the old southwest town of Tombstone, and the fascinating graveyards of the Civil War - one of my favorites being the beautiful story told in the graves of the boys who lost their lives in Gettysburg, PA. All uniquely beautiful and inspiring graveyards that absolutely had their impact on my life and fascination with the beauty that can be found in death.

Body Decomposition Timeline

Post Death What Happens To The Body
24-72 hours Internal Organs Decompose
3-5 Days Body starts to bloat and blood containing foam leaks from the mouth and nose.
8-10 Days Body turns from green to red as the blood decomposes and organs accumulate gas.
8-12 years Without a coffin a body can take this long to decompose into a skeleton.
12 or more years With a coffin and depending upon wood type decomposition to a skeleton can take many years - oak taking the longest.