Shrouding Sisters Blog

Coronavirus Information:

For the past few weeks, my posse of Piedmont death care professionals has worked diligently on getting this document ready for the public eye.  

We hope the day never comes when you actually find yourself having to use it.  But if you do, know that you have it within yourself to do the needful.  And this guide will help you every step of the way.

May we all be given strength while finding ways to endure these unprecedented times.

Download PDF: Care for Those Who Die at Home in Pandemic Times

Today I actually spent time with Pat for my initial shroud fitting!  She has selected wonderful organic materials (muslin for the main body of the shroud and an almost sheer jersey for the face covering).  Pat will add a pocket, right on my heart, to hold lavender and rosemary (but mostly lavender because it's my favorite!!)  We're imagining that the pocket will be made from tulle with a ribbon of some sort.

The title of this post is a quote from Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (Act II, Scene 7) where he defines the seven ages of man.  It also served as the title for one of my graduate school research papers at UNC in the year 1981.  In the paper, I was making a comparative analysis of Islamic and Christian cemeteries.

The year is 1969, and I am a Senior at Hickory High School.  Our Honors English class is reading Dante's "Inferno" and I am apparently asking too many questions of the teacher because my friend, Tom,  continues sighing. Some exasperating sighs.  At one point, he just blurts out:  "SARA HILL!  YOU ARE OBSESSED WITH DEATH!"  This will become one of the defining moments of my life.  Thanks, Tom, for speaking your truth.  And for the inscription in my yearbook.  Forty-five years later, I am STILL obsessed with death.

Here is Pat, hard at work with the design of my shroud!  Can you see the MODELS she is using, to help explain to me how the shroud will work?!!  She found her Barbie at a thrift store and told me, "It was obvious from her purple lips, discolored legs, vacant stare, and general stiffness that she had departed this life, so I closed her eyes out of simple decency.  Mabel's demise was sudden and unexpected, but fortunate for me, as I needed a more zaftig model!!"

Well, it might look odd to see "The End" at the beginning, but with this new blog, I will be telling the tale of how my funeral shroud is being created. I will also write about how I came to be interested in death and dying, a topic that my generation, "the baby boomers," is beginning to talk about more openly. 

I am blessed to know a wonderful artist in my hometown of Mebane, North Carolina, and she graciously consented to design and make my funeral shroud.

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