Culture-Building: Mourning

Where there is war, there is death and, ultimately, the mourning of it.

In my series, the country of Evon has been steeped in war.  In fact, it has been defending its soil from an empire many times larger than it for more than half of its two century existence.

This, as one might imagine, has led to the creation of a mourning “ceremony” that is simple, can be performed by anyone at any time, and is general enough that it can be used for one or more dead at one time.

By the time the series takes place, the mourning “ceremony” is simply a song.  Whether it was once something grander matters little to a people that wish to mourn those they’ve lost without risking the loss of more.  To them, the Song of Mourning is poignant and reminds everyone who hears it of what they’ve lost.

The Song of Mourning

Send me away from the place I call home,
Send me away from the one that I love,
Send me away on the tides of tomorrow,
Send me away, send me away.

Send me away o’er fields and o’er mountains,
Send me away under blue skies and clouds,
Send me away with the rush of the river,
Send me away, send me away.

Send me away with the morning’s first sunlight,
Send me away in the darkness of night,
Send me away to Carith, Creator,
Send me away, send me away.

How do you mourn?  How do the characters you write mourn?  Please share.  I would love to learn about it.

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3 comments on “Culture-Building: Mourning
  1. boteotu says:

    Cool topic. Thanks for sharing!
    Mourning in my current novel-in-progress (I’ve so far only considered it for the culture of civilized humans in Pathallea):
    The funerary and mourning rituals for these humans was effectively established around a thousand years prior to the main setting of the novel, when a brutal war took place between the humans and other allied races against an advanced race of evil beings.
    The race brought with them a kind of robotic technology that was contagious via touch and completely took a body over once ‘infected’.
    It soon became apparent that the most humane solution was to put such infected victims to death. For the humans, cremation was adopted because it was capable of neutralizing the tech, and the ashes were stored in a special stone funeral house in each town so that all the casualties of the war could be tallied by the king at the time for his recounting of the war itself.
    Now, each household in the human realm has their own funerary shack, where all their family’s deceased are kept.
    Before the war, elaborate funerary rituals were undertaken including a feast and songs sung. During the war, all this was replaced by the much more brief saying of a prayer and a couple days of mourning. A thousand years later, the singing of songs is usually done, but usually prayers still suffice for the poorest of people.
    Anyway.. Enjoy it for what its worth..

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