British death exhibition has skeletons, mummies and even fantasy coffins




Crows have long been shrouded in superstition and associated with death.

Aside from taxes, there’s nothing more certain in life than death. Daniel Defoe knew that. As did Benjamin Franklin. Many are keen to avoid the subject, though.

A new exhibition in Bristol is hoping to change that, attempting to de-stigmatise the issue and encourage more discussion around death and dying.

Death: The Human Experience, which was two years in the making, draws together some 200 items from across the world to show how different nations have lived with life’s great inevitability for centuries.

Coffins, mummies, mourning clothes and grave goods are among the artefacts on display at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

The exhibit explores the science, ethics, attitude and process of death, and features examples of Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations (which feature in the new James Bond film’s opening scene) as well as Victorian Britain’s mourning rituals. Mortuary tables and fantasy coffins are also included, with some exhibits behind doors allowing visitors to choose if they see them.

A mortuary table from the former Bristol General Hospital which was used until the 1960s.

A mortuary table from the former Bristol General Hospital which was used until the 1960s.

An installation entitled Death: Is It Your Right To Choose? provokes debate around end of life choices at a time when euthanasia is undergoing scrutiny in the UK.

“Around the world, different cultures have expressed their relationship with death in a myriad of fashions, from the visual Mexican Day of the Dead to the audible lament of the Australian Aboriginal death wail,” city councillor and assistant mayor for culture Simon Cook said.

“Yet in recent times we have seen a reluctance to engage with the subject, something I hope this exhibition will help to change. Death: The Human Experience will provide visitors with an opportunity to encounter the death practices and beliefs of many world cultures whilst also being encouraged to reflect upon their own thoughts on death and the dead.”

The exhibition has already been a hit in Bristol, with thousands pouring through the doors. Here are a few of the items on display.



A Ghanian fantasy coffin is featured in the exhibition.



A figure in the form of a stylised European ship figurehead.



Skeletons, mummies and coffins feature in the exhibit.


The show took two years to put together and features 200 exhibits.


The exhibit explores the science, ethics, attitude and process of death.


Visitors can choose what to pay and the show is designed to be seen in a lunch hour.


Some of the exhibits are behind mortuary style doors, allowing the visitor to choose if they see them.


“Death: The Human Experience” runs until March 13.

Complete Article HERE!


Join Me on The Death Chicks Crowdcast Show


I’m going to be a guest on The Death Chicks Show!

09/10/15, Noon Pacific and 3pm Eastern

(Does that make me a death dude?  I’ll have to ask them.)

Who here is an expert in ACTUALLY dying???

Have you done it?

To achieve expert status, one usually has to be proficient in something or have done something over and over again.  Hmmm… kind of tough with the death thing”, eh?.  Even those who have had near death experiences are still amateurs in a way– because they’re back!  They didn’t do it right the first time! 😉

This is why we LOVE the title of this book and the work that Richard Wagner, PhD has been doing for the last 30 years.  Since we are all amateurs at “the death thing”, there is actually a road map for those who are dying and will be dying.  Is that you?

Richard Wagner, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist/sex therapist in private practice in Seattle, WA, 1981 to present.  He has AGDD_front coverover 30 years of experience working with terminally ill, chronically ill, elder, and dying people in hospital, hospice, and home settings.  He facilitates support groups for care-providers as well as healing and helping professionals.  He provides grief counseling for survivors both individually and in groups settings. He is the Founder of PARADIGM/Enhancing Life Near Death, a cutting edge, health related nonprofit organization.

Dr. Wagner was awarded the prestigious University of California, San Francisco Chancellor’s Award for Public Service in 1999 for this very work.

He is also the author of Longfellow And The Deep Hidden Woods, a critically acclaimed children’s book that touches upon the topics of death and bereavement.

Dr. Wagner was born in Chicago and grew up in Niles, Illinois, a Northwest suburb. He left home to attend the seminary after high school and graduated from Oblate College in Washington, DC in 1972. He moved to Oakland, California in 1972 and studied at The Jesuit School of Theology (part of the Graduate Theological Union) in Berkeley.  He was ordained as a priest in November, 1975 and obtained his Ph.D. in 1981. Dr. Wagner lived in Oakland until 1978 and moved to San Francisco until 1999.  He then relocated to Seattle, Washington where he lives today.

Richard can be reached at http://theamateursguide.com

+The Death Chicks   show was created to shine light on the tabooed topics of death, dying, grief, and loss.  We’re listening to all perspectives and having the conversations that we as human beings who live and die on this earth, need to have, without fear of judgement.

+Patty Burgess Brecht   is the President of Possibility for Doing Death Differently and Teaching Transitions.  She is an End-of-Life Educator and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist.  She is the developer of the End of Life Specialist Training and Certification (CEOLS), and teaches individuals and organizations how to Do Death Differently by not being overwhelmed or afraid of death, but to seek and experience the joy, the passion, and the even the exhilaration inherent in the honor of BEing with the dying.  Her video-based, online, inspiring course is used in hospices, hospitals, home care, colleges and universities across the country and is now open to individuals who are drawn to this work.

www.doingdeathdifferently.com – for Individuals
www.teachingtransitions.com – Hospices and Colleges/Universities

+Myste Lyn  is an Empowerment Coach who specializes in supporting women recovering from loss.  Myste is an intuitive healer who reconnects women with their inner place of peace.  She specializes in reducing fears, alleviating guilt, and creating inner confidence.  http://www.bittersweetblessing.com/

Join  on Thursdays Noon Pacific and 3pm Eastern.

As we like to say NO ONE is getting out of this gig alive!   So we may as well talk about, learn about it, plan for it, lean into it, and feel comfortable with it when it is our time or the time of our loved ones.

Please share and help us get the word out!

Can you think of someone:

  • who is facing their own death and might be comforted by a roadmap
  • who is burdened by very heavy feelings, and could use some help re-entering life after a death?

If you do, please pass this invitation on (or after the fact, recording…).

You never know when a suggestion out of the blue from YOU, can give another a reason to go on.  This could make a true difference for another. And there are people, only a mouse click away to with whom to connect and share.

The new crowdcast app lets you watch the show from Facebook, Twitter, or simply sign in via email, and of course you can always watch it from this page or YouTube.  For those not on Google plus, they can watch it from where ever they are happiest!  Find your happy place here:

See you there!



The Amateurs Guide to Death and Dying: A Truly Aventurous Way to Explore Your Mortality


Thu, September 10, Noon Pacific and 3pm Eastern

Hangouts On Air – Broadcast for free


A comprehensive resource for people living with disabilities


I thought I’d take a moment and share with you a resource that has come my way.

This guide aims to help make the federal grants available to seniors, veterans, and disabled people much easier to understand and take advantage of, particularly for remodeling homes for accessibility.

Click on the image below to access the guide



The reasoning behind Expertise.com is to help people make truly better decisions by clearly laying out their options, with content written by industry experts. Because of their non-biased approach, they’ve been a trusted source for government entities and organizations throughout the US. Many publications and businesses already use our guides as resources for their readers.

So give it a look-see.  I think you’ll be impressed.


Death Education


The term death education refers to a variety of educational activities and experiences related to death and embraces such core topics as meanings and attitudes toward death, processes of dying and bereavement, and care for people affected by death. Death education, also called education about death, dying, and bereavement, is based on the belief that death-denying, death-defying, and death-avoiding attitudes and practices in American culture can be transformed, and assumes that individuals and institutions will be better able to deal with death-related practices as a result of educational efforts.

There are two major reasons for providing death education. First, death education is critical for preparing professionals to advance the field and accomplish its purposes. Second, it provides the general public with basic knowledge and wisdom developed in the field. The overarching aims of death education are to promote the quality of life and living for oneself and others, and to assist in creating and maintaining the conditions to bring this about. This is accomplished through new or expanded knowledge and changes in attitudes and behavior.

Death education varies in specific goals, formats, duration, intensity, and characteristics of participants. It can be formal or informal. Formal death education can involve highly structured academic programs of study and clinical experience. It can be organized into courses, modules, or units taught independently or incorporated into larger curricular entities. It can be offered at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, in postsecondary education, as professional preparation, and as short-term seminars or workshops for continuing professional and public education. Informal death education occurs when occasions arising in the home, at school, and in other social settings are recognized and used as “teachable moments.” In the home, the birth of a sibling or the death of a pet may naturally lead to interactions that answer a child’s questions about death. At school, a student’s sudden death may trigger educational follow-up, in addition to crisis counseling.

Two distinct methodological approaches to structured death education are the didactic and the experiential. The didactic approach (involving, for example, lectures and audiovisual presentations) is meant to improve knowledge. The experiential approach is used to actively involve participants by evoking feelings and thereby permitting death-related attitudes to be modified. This approach includes personal sharing of experiences in group discussion, role-playing, and a variety of other simulation exercises, and requires an atmosphere of mutual trust. Most educators use a combination of the two approaches.

Death education can be traced back to the death awareness movement, which unofficially began with Herman Feifel’s book, The Meaning of Death (1959). He and other scholars noted that the subject of death had become “taboo” in the twentieth century and challenged individuals to acknowledge their personal mortality, suggesting that to do so is essential for a meaningful life. Feifel pioneered the scientific study of attitudes toward death and pointed to the multidisciplinary nature of the field. At about the same time other pioneers focused on more specific issues concerning dying persons and their care and the experience of grief.

Complete Article HERE!