Causes of death

1. natural death

2. illness

3. accidents

4. suicide

5. abortion

6. misscarridge

7. murder



When someone has deceased, the body goes through a couple of different stages. Pretty soon after death, changes start to occur. The first sign is that the stomach gets discolored and starts to smell weird. It gets like that when the enzymes and bacterias breaks down the proteins in the body and form sulfide.

How the changes of the body shows depends a lot on the surrounding environment. If the deceased is in a closed room it usually takes about 24ohurs before you notice that something is wrong, this is because of the oxygen, heat and moisture which is starting the process.

The stiffness of a dead body usually occur 2 hours after death and is a obvious change. A sign of this is that the body is very stiff, hard and the fingers start to bend. After 10hours the body is at its peak of stiffness and after 48-72 hours the body starts to get soft again.

There are theories about the body losing 21 grams of weight when you die. Some sees this as a sing of the soul leaving the body and that the soul actually weights 21 grams. Others think its the oxygen which is going out of the body and some don’t believe the theory at all. No scientist has proven this theory to be correct so far.

If the burial will take place a long time after death and you want a open casket, you can choose to embalm the body to stop the decay process. In this way the body looks like usual when the relatives take farewell and almost no sign of change is shown. The embalming is a simple procedure and is based on injecting formalin into the thigh of the deceased. Embalming should only occur if it is necessary.

During some circumstances the body decays faster than normal, examples of this can be if the dead drowned. When this happens. The body has to be prepared for the burial. This is done by covering the body in cellulose wadding soaked in formalin and then put in a sealed plastic bag. This prevents smell. The body is then put in a casket or is cremated, depending on the family.


After Life

“The dead are in contact with the living across many cultures; indeed, the two realms are imbricated in a wide variety of superstitious practices (Quigley, 1996, p. 16ff). Pieces of the dead circulate as relics and trophies (Quigley, 1996, p. 247). While attention must be paid to cultural differences, no culture fails to engage its dead in one way or another. Put graphically, in reference specifically to the practice of beheading, ‘‘severed heads always speak, [but] they say different things in different cultures’’ (Janes, 1993, p. 245). The dead communicate to us from monuments and graves, demanding remembrance. Although Michel Serres (Harrison, 2003, p. 21) claims that the first statue was a mummified corpse, I would maintain that, through mummification the corpse becomes something else: a citizen of the dead realm. It signifies a living absence, an emptiness that its mere preservation cannot fill. It connects us to another world through this very absence. It is not in transition from the land of the living; it has arrived in the Underworld,2  and testifies to us about it.”

Baglow, J 2007, The Rights of the Corpse, Mortality, Vol. 12, No. 13, p230, Canada, viewed on the 7th of September 2011.


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