Monday, September 20, 2010

Post Mortem Photos

I know this is a strange topic...but when i found this photo, I found it something that I thought i would bring up.

I buy out old estates of people's personal things, so every now and then I run into these photos.
The ones of the me ..are so sad..this one, although sad, is a bit different.

At first, when I was scanning this, I didn't realize it was Post -Mortem, I just thought it was an old woman that might have been blind. That was until I saw her hands. And I remembered being at funerals and seeing hands like this. So I was immediately taken back, until I looked at the items all around her. The hymnal in her hand (there is no piano there, why is this a Hymnal?)
The china, all different kinds, and stereoscope near her..even the peaceful way she was sitting..this was a loved woman..a woman who was loved by those around her..who cared enough to surround her with the things she loved.

It was a few weeks ago, I ran across the show Chasing Mummies, that is the History channel show all about a famed Archeologist that is finding mummies..
And what happened on the episode i saw, was that the mummy was surrounded by the pets, pottery, utensils..all things that the former person loved and would use in the after life.

I suppose we all grieve in different ways...

The most important thing is how we lived...and for this photo..what I read into this was a woman that was loved..

meaning she learned enough in life to have others love her.

In the song "Nature Boy"
that was sung by Nat King Cole refers to this:

Take a listen:
These are the Lyrics:

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy
And sad of eye
But very wise
Was he

And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me

"The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return"

have a great week,


SteveHL said...


I find this topic really interesting. Post-mortem photos seem to sell well, but I have never understood why people want them. They are just about the only photos I rule out purchasing without ever bothering to look at them. I would be interested in hearing why people collect them.

I also don't understand why people at the time wanted these taken, except perhaps for one where the family had no other pictures of the deceased. This would probably have been the case with most infants. As you say, the ones of children are always particularly sad.

Steve Levine

Cathi said...

Hi Steve:

Sometimes i think they are kind of like looking at a car accident, you dont want to look, but you cant turn away.

This is one of the few that I found at least somewhat ok..the care that was given to place this woman just right in this photo.

It was surprising how many remarks I got on messages on ebay on this many didnt believe it was post mortem.. of course, many that did, but the more i looked up post mortem images, and the look of her hands, her glasses, the fact that some people they actually did put in a sitting position....the more i was completely convinced.

i also kind of think, this was one of those photos that was taken but put that last vestage of a person..
really interesting..but like you..i dont think i am going to start collecting them any time soon..i just run across them from time to time.

take care!

Free Blog CounterEnglish German Translation