> My husband died just over a year ago, and I was amazed at the way I
> behaved and the things I did. It really gave me an insight into burials
> and grave-goods. I was so amazed that the half of me, (the rational
> half), which was watching the other half, seriously contemplated
> contacting the group to ask if anyone would be interested in this sort of
Marjorie, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband, it must be a great loss.
As I said to my son (but not quite this way) it is quite rational to grieve,
and it is quite acceptable to be irrational when grieving have a hug from
You mention grave goods. In your case what did this mean?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael Haseler" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 11:48 AM
> Subject: [BRITARCH] Death of flint - why the ceremony?
>> This weeked flint died. It was a rather interesting experience. Flint was
>> a Russian hamster (real name flin - but his teet had a rather cutting
>> edge). Now although I didn't particularly mind flint, I can't say I
>> particularly like having rats in the house - it's that pungent odour that
>> wafts your way as you watch TV and the way, hamsters insist on staying
>> asleep all the time the children are awake, and waking up just in time
>> for all the later night TV.
>> To put it further in context, we are about to get some hatching eggs and
>> as cockerals don't lay eggs, half the chickens will not be living long
>> ... and guess who will do the dispatching. Which makes it all the more
>> strange that having found flint unconscious, cold, but still limp and so
>> presumably alive in his tube I spent a good two hours trying to coax him
>> back into life.
>> Unlike my own hamster which I kept as a batchelor, and simply flushed
>> down the loo when it committed suicide, for flint I made a nice "coffin"
>> out of cereal box, took my son out into the garden, asked him where he
>> would like Flin buried and duly dug a 40cm hole and gently laid the rat
>> in it. I spoke a few words about how good a friend he had been (which is
>> what I find so incredible - the compulsion to have a ceremony) and then
>> put back the earth trying to restrain my gardener's instinct to jump on
>> it - which would flatten the coffin.
>> Now of course my son wants something to mark the grave. A cross would be
>> the obvious choice, but a bit ironic given my views on the Roman Penchant
>> of torturing people to death. A simple marker engraved "Flin" would be
>> next best - but best of all would be none and anything would interfere
>> with the grass mowing.
>> The question I would appreciate an answer to, is why I went to all the
>> trouble over this "rat"? - When if I kill the cockerals, we will eat them
>> and boil up the bones, which like the hens we had were put in the dustbin
>> when they died.
>> Is this final ceremony a way of providing one total and final "caring"
>> gesture to reassure we have completed our social obligation to care?
>> (although my son was never very good at cleaned his cage!) And, if we do
>> it for the hamster, will I have to do it for the chickens? - Or don't we
>> have a social obligation to our food?