Death is the one thing that scares the guts out of the living. Well, most of the living. It’s the concept that no one understands, many ignore, few make peace with, and everyone dreads. Death is not a pleasant part of life, because it ends everything. Not a dead end, but the end.
As far as philosophy goes, death is the only thing that gives meaning to life. Without death, everything we do and everything we are will be meaningless. We’ll have the power of immortality for sure, but nothing we will ever be or do will have an impact if we continue living. This would not only restrict new life on the planet but would also limit possibilities.
Death may be terrifying, but it’s the only truth about life. No illusions, no ambiguity, just the plain truth. So, if you’re referring to this beautiful yet frightening truth these emojis would be helpful.
Our first image of death is often mortal remains. The 🦴 bone structure that holds our entire body together is what comes to our minds when we think of death. It is a fact indeed. Our bodies do become nothing but bones in the end. But the skeletal representation is just a physical consequence of death that takes years to form. So, if you were to dig up a fresh grave within three years, chances are, there would still be some meat on the bone.
☠️ Skull and Crossbones emoji is another symbol for death, which is a merged icon of the emojis mentioned in this section, the 💀 Skull, and 🦴 Bones.
The coffin or the coffin box symbolizes one of the conventional ways of disposing of the dead. It is a custom that’s deeply rooted in religion and culture. Hence, ⚰️ also suggests a religiously sentimental manner of bidding farewell. The shape and appearance of ⚰️ generally mark a Christian funeral. But many other religions such as Islam and Buddhism also bury their loved ones, each having their own designed casket.
Universally, there are two main ways of discarding a human body once it is dead. The remains are either burnt or buried. There are many other methods, but these two are mainstream. So, communities that don’t bury the dead; the ones that don’t go by the previous emoji, cremate, instead. When that happens, the ashes of the dead are saved in a container ⚱️ for emotional reasons or to fulfill rituals.
When a body is buried, the grave is marked with a headstone. It’s called a headstone because this vertically rectangular stone is placed at the person’s head. Headstones that have engraved info about the person’s birth date, death date, etc., are called ‘gravestones’. Sometimes, the grave is honored with a tombstone, a stone layer placed over and around the grave. There are graves that have both the tombstone and the 🪦 headstone as well.
These gigantic stone sculptures that have caught global attention for a long time now have memorialized Easter Island. Though they attract great tourism and have also become a mark of marvel, 🗿 are not just monuments. They’re tombs, in fact. The Polynesian people or specifically, the Rapa Nui tribe constructed elaborate stone bodies in memory of their deceased leaders. The moai is built with such massive stature, in the belief that the leader would continue watching over the tribe(s).
We don’t have a Pyramid emoji on the list, but we do have an 🔺 upward-facing triangle to represent. Pyramids, like the moai, were reserved tombs. They were built exclusively for the one(s) at the top of the hierarchy. In the Egyptian context, pyramids were tombs erected to safeguard the departed Pharaohs, who were now be embalmed and mummified.
🕌 is essentially the ‘mosque emoji’, but we’re using this emoji in reference to the ancient Islamic manner of royal burials. Many Islamic kings and queens often built palaces that would further be converted into mausoleums for themselves and possibly their family too. The Taj Mahal is the best example here.
The reason we chose the ♻️ recycling symbol to denote green burials is the idea behind such burials in the first place. Humans are 100% bio-degradable!
When we bury in ways other than the green way, we’re accustomed to embalming the body with chemicals. Green burials replace those chemicals with eco-friendly methods that continue into biodegradable coffins. This not only gives the body that much-needed organic goodbye, but also returns to the earth what she first endowed us. We are essentially recycling ourselves!
Green burials may go against many religious rituals regarding bodily disposal at the time of death and it may also be a long while before green is the only black, but it’s worth the foundation. Loving and caring for the planet while we’re alive and enriching it when we die is a great way to keep the land going stronger.
Death is inevitable. Every cell that’s born has to die, but we’re talking just physical here because that’s all there is to death. It’s the end of the body. You may or may not believe in bodies possessing a soul, but truth is, death only sheds the physical. Everything else about that being stays, and better, it recycles. So, when you do meet someone you knew in a different form, you’d honestly, never know.