Matthew Gillies @m-gillies ?

active 9 months, 4 weeks ago
"~Life’s a Grave & I Dig It~" · View
  • MSO wrote a new blog post: Hart Island – New York City’s Island of the Dead   4 days, 9 hours ago · View

    Thumbnail This photo by NYC reporter and social activist Jacob Riis was taken in 1890 and showed the coffins of NYC’s homeless and unclaimed being delivered to Hart Island. Throughout history Hart Island, which is located on the western end of Long Island Sound in New York City, has been put to many different uses. It [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: The Johnny Cash Project   1 week, 2 days ago · View

    Thumbnail The Johnny Cash Project is an amazing, ongoing global art collective. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have contributed to making the music video by drawing frames for the project. Visit to add your artwork to the video. With the recent release of a new album “Out Among the Stars” containing 12 [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: The Jamaican Tradition of Nine-Night   1 week, 3 days ago · View

    Thumbnail Nine-Night is a lively gathering with music and dance to celebrate the life of a family member or friend. This  screenshot is from the Nine-Night of Jamaican playwright Trevor Dave Rhone. A mixture of Christian and African traditions, Nine-Night is essentially the Jamaican form of a wake except is it much more a lively celebration [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: The Importance of Final Arrangements   1 week, 4 days ago · View

    Thumbnail Planning your funeral helps to take some of the burden off your family in their time of grief and also allows you to arrange how you want your life celebrated. As much as we would like to strive to live forever, the truth is, we all die trying – and while death is unavoidable, there [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: Funeral Haka – A Powerful Dance from the Soul   2 weeks, 2 days ago · View

    Thumbnail The New Zealand Defence Force performs a Haka as the hearses containing the bodies of their fallen soldiers are repatriated. The Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, have been using Haka for hundreds of years. Perhaps the most well known to most people not familiar with their history is the Haka used by the [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: A Fireman’s Prayer   2 weeks, 4 days ago · View

    Thumbnail A.W. “Smokey” Linn wrote The Fireman’s Prayer after being unable to save three children from a fire at an apartment block in 1958. Alvin William Linn  was a career fireman in Wichita, Kansas who passed away in 2004 at the age of 80 years.  He was known as “Smokey” Linn from an incident that happened [...]

  • Thumbnail A young woman reads some of the descriptions on the love padlocks on the railing of the Bridge of Love in Serbia. In recent years love padlocks have become a new phenomenon occurring on bridges in major cities around the world. The practice, however, goes back much further, to the start of World War I in [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: Paul McCartney’s The End of the End   3 weeks, 3 days ago · View

    Thumbnail Paul McCartney wrote “The End of the End” to let people know how he wanted people to remember him at his funeral “I remember once an Irish woman wished me well by saying, ‘I wish you a good death’ and I said, ‘Say what?’ I thought about it later and actually it’s a great thing [...]

  • L-Johnson wrote a new blog post: What Not To Say To The Grieving   1 month ago · View

    Thumbnail “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” Kahlil Gibran When someone you care about is grieving, your presence and sympathy alone is all that’s needed to provide some comfort during this difficult time. We feel like [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: Another Way to Write a Will   2 months ago · View

    Thumbnail To most people, willing your treasured possessions to those you love is acknowledging that you are going to die. It shouldn’t feel that way, Mitsuo Aoki created a way to help people make writing a will a more personal and enjoyable experience. Many of us have not written a will, in fact surveys say anywhere [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: Presidential Sendoffs   2 months ago · View

    Thumbnail Did you know that it is the law for US Presidents to make their funeral plans in advance? In honor of Presidents’ Day this infographic explains the history of Presidential Sendoffs.

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: The Language of Funeral Flowers   2 months ago · View

    Thumbnail Most religions appreciate the gift of flowers at a funeral however there are some exceptions. Flowers have been a traditional funeral gift for millennia, there’s even evidence that Neanderthal people buried their dead with flowers more than 60,000 years ago. Not only are flowers beautiful but they have a language all of their own. They [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: Clocking the Time of Death   2 months, 1 week ago · View

    Thumbnail Every week for 30 years Dr. Farrer wound the clock on St. James Church in Clapham, England. It stopped at the exact minute he died. But it stopp’d short — never to go again When the old man died.  - My Grandfather’s Clock by Henry Clay Work Every week for 30 years Dr. John Farrer who lived [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: Think of Laura By Christopher Cross   2 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    Thumbnail American musician Christopher Cross was Laura Carter’s friend at the time she was murdered. He wrote the song “Think of Laura” in her memory. Laura Carter’s father and step-mother were visiting their daughter who was attending Denison University outside of Columbus, Ohio. It was parents’ weekend, April 17, 1982. Laura, an 18 year old freshman, [...]

  • J-Stacknik wrote a new blog post: Men and Mourning   2 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    Thumbnail Men and women grieve differently. Women are more open and look for comfort while men tend to hold their grief inside. Some people show their grief after something tragic happens, such as a death of a loved one, and some keep their grief private and to themselves. The latter is what appears to be the [...]

  • J-Mirabelli wrote a new blog post: Pringles Can Inventor Buried In Pringles Can   2 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    Thumbnail Frederic Baur invented the Pringles can in the late 1950s and requested that part of his ashes be buried in the can when he passed away. You never think about the can as you devour your Pringles potato crisps. Industrious potato crisp lovers often find countless uses for their empty containers and use them for everything [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: The Oregon Trail – America’s Longest Graveyard   3 months ago · View

    Thumbnail Only a few graves were marked along the Oregon Trail most were not to deter grave robbers. “Here lies an early traveler who lost his life in quest of riches in the west.” There’s no name or date on this grave marker to identify this traveler but he was on his way west via the [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: Angel of Grief   3 months, 1 week ago · View

    Thumbnail William Story was an American sculptor who created the Angel of Grief for his wife Emelyn’s grave. William Wetmore Story graduated from Harvard Law School in 1840 intending to follow in his father’s footsteps but his heart wasn’t in his profession. He decided to leave his successful career in law and take up sculpturing. When [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: The Corpse Reviver   3 months, 1 week ago · View

    Thumbnail Harry Craddock was a legendary bartender who invented the Corpse Reviver #2 at the American Bar in the Savoy Hotel during the 1920s. Although the Corpse Reviver sounds like it will bring someone back from the dead, it really is just a bit of the “hair of the dog” remedy after a night of imbibing [...]

  • MSO wrote a new blog post: This is a Cemetery…   3 months, 1 week ago · View

    Thumbnail A cemetery is a place where memories of loved ones are made tangible. A quick search reveals that many cemeteries around the world have used this poem on websites and immortalized the words on plaques on their grounds. This poem, in a few short lines, manages to convey all the reasons why cemeteries are so [...]

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