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The great “leveler” is death.  The “Grim Reaper” comes for kings, millionaires, terrorists, pacifists, Hollywood movie stars, athletes and you and I.  Religious beliefs  vary for those who are living and they also vary for those who die.  Experts on death and dying like Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross state that the subjects of death and dying are taboo even in the world of advanced technology.   Most people with terminal illnesses want to discuss it, but only when they are come to terms with their mortality.  My mother appreciated speaking about her forthcoming death.  She was worried about leaving me.  She was happy to know that I had a good partner and that her spirit would remain with us.


Buddhism: Belief about death

Cremation Containers - Buddhism

Cremation Containers – Buddhism

Death of the physical body is certain, but only a part of an ongoing process of re-incarnation until one receives enlightenment. After death it is believed that the dead person goes through a transformation in which they discover death, and prepare for their rebirth (if there is one).

Funeral practices

In early times and commonly today, Buddhists cremate the bodies of their dead. The first seven days after death are the most important for final and funereal prayer.

Mourning rituals

Prayers are said weekly, during a 49-day funeral period. It is during this period that the prayers of the mourners are believed to help the deceased during the post-death transformation and awaken their spirit to the true nature of death

Symbols on Gravestones

The Compassionate Buddha

Dharma Wheel

Dharma Wheel

Dharma Wheel: Also known as the “Wheel of Life,” the dharma wheel is the globally recognized symbol of Buddhism. The dharma wheel features a chariot wheel with eight (or more) spokes and represents “dharma,” the Buddha’s teaching on the path to enlightenment. When used on headstones, grave markers, and memorials, the dharma wheel most likely functions to symbolize the quest for enlightenment

Lotus Flower

Lotus Flower

Lotus Flower: Though a symbol used by many of Asia’s religious traditions, the lotus flower primarily represents beauty and detachment in Hinduism. Rooted in the mud, but floating gracefully on top of the water, these flowers model the Hindu way of life. Used on headstones, grave markers, and memorials, the lotus flower typically signifies the tranquility that results from detaching from mundane things.


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