Thursday, August 10, 2006

Attention: Taphophiles! This is an event you don't want to miss!

Thursday October 19, 2006 - Saturday October 21, 2006
Death & Loss in America: Colonial Era to the Present; Museum of Funeral Customs Symposium
Springfield, Illinois

The Museum of Funeral Customs will host “Death & Loss in America: Colonial Era to the Present,” a special symposium addressing scholarly research in the subjects of death, funeral customs, interment, grief, and mourning in North America from the Colonial Period to the present. Held at Springfield’s Crowne Plaza Hotel, October 19-21, 2006, the conference brings together representatives from a broad spectrum of disciplines, including funeral service professionals, museum professionals, academic historians, sociologists, psychologists, archaeologists, anthropologists, cemeterians, theologians, and graduate students, to examine the subject broadly, share current research, discuss common interests, promote networking, and disseminate material.

The Symposium includes several concurrent sessions of paper presentations over the three-day format, an Open House Reception at the Museum of Funeral Customs on Thursday evening, and a Friday evening banquet with independent author Christine Quigley delivering the keynote address, “The Body as Memento Mori.” Additionally, licensed Illinois funeral directors can earn up to 13 hours of continuing education credits towards their license renewal throughout the Symposium. The registration fee for attending all three days is $100 if registering by October 1st ($150 if after the early-bird deadline), individual day registration is at $50 per day ($75 per day after October 1), and $30 ($55 after October 1) for a student registration with a copy of a valid student ID. The banquet is $30. Inquiries about the Symposium and registration can be made by phone at 217-544-3480, or by e-mail at


Unfortunately, I WILL be missing this event, but I want to hear all about it when it's over! My excuse? Well, since all I've been writing about lately has been my baby, you can probably figure that out. Annabella is due Oct. 11, so ... And I think I shared that I originally had a paper proposal for the symposium accepted. Oh, well. There's always next year! I do encourage all of you who can to go, as it's going to be a great event. If you haven't been to the museum yet, it's a real treat. Very well done. And if you do go, I'm going to of course want someone to cover it for Epitaphs Magazine! If anyone wants to do a write-up, let me know!


As far as cemeteries go, I haven't been out to visit any for a long while. I did teach a class on gravestone rubbing last month, though, and that was pretty cool. It's exciting to meet new taphophiles, especially ones really into their family genealogy and cemetery preservation. The recent heatwave has kept me inside as of late, so I haven't been out and about among the graves much this summer. I feel like I have a little bit, though, due to the images people have been sending for the website and magazine.

Speaking of which, I'm in the process of updating the Featured Photos section of It was taking too long to load, so now I'm transitioning to thumbnails. I've been swamped with major events at and for my day job, so my time has been limited. Summer is a huge season for the college. Weird, huh?

Bill and I also started our childbirth/lamaze class this week. I didn't realize it was lamaze when we signed up, which is no problem. I just didn't know. I am focusing on hypnobirthing. I'm doing a home study class to prepare for the birth. Both techniques are all about relaxation and reducing fear and anxiety, so it's all good. Maybe when it cools down I can practice hypnobirth in one of my favorite cemeteries. That always relaxes me! (Don't worry, I don't plan on having the baby in the cemetery. My husband would freak out at even the mention of it!)



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