As cremation grounds struggle to keep up with the long line of people dying from COVID-19, age-old customs are being pushed aside.
Religious scholars and faith leaders reflect on the death rites cultures have developed to honor the deceased, comfort the living and share the burden of mourning.
Unlike those who died during the Vietnam War, those who perish during the current pandemic are unlikely to receive a national memorial. Perhaps they should.
The objects we gather around us - from op shops, from roadsides, from the intimate spaces of lost loved ones - are far from inanimate. They carry wisdom, comfort and guidance.
Virtual music vigils after the Nova Scotia shootings draw on a long tradition of Atlantic Canadian disaster songs and 'broadside ballads' to mourn in a time of social distancing.
From burial sites targeted by grave robbers to disposing of ashes at sea, the job of disposing of the unclaimed dead has a rich history. Sadly, it still goes on today and is on the rise.
My research as a professor of death studies shows how facing up to our own mortality can offer the opportunity to rediscover some positive truths about life.
Funerals, as we know them, will regrettably but necessarily be another of our social rituals that must radically alter in the short-term.
Funeral homes, crematoria and morgues face many challenges in the months ahead as the coronavirus death toll rises.
For people of faith, for whom communal prayer and service are central to their beliefs, the need to stay away from each other is particularly challenging.
As the Nigerian tradition of dressing in matching outfits for special events continues to grow in popularity, it brings with it a threat of social exclusion.
Iranian leaders seem eager to use the powerful emotions surrounding his death to coalesce power around the regime. History shows that mass mourning is a powerful way to bring people together.
The processing time for the government's Funeral Expenses Payment is decreasing, but the costs related to a funeral are still high.
There is a gap in most people's knowledge – experiential poverty – about how to deal with death.
It seems many Australians are over-insuring when it comes to funerals.
If no one claims the remains of cult leader and killer Charles Manson, it's unclear what will happen to his body. Will it find an anonymous California grave or face dissection in an anatomy lab?
Many in the Western world lack the explicit mourning rituals that help people deal with loss. On Day of the Dead, two scholars describe ancient mourning practices.
Dying in America 200 years ago was a simply family affair, devoid of pomp. The US Civil War and Abraham Lincoln's embrace of embalming changed everything.
Although 'Game of Thrones' -style funeral pyres are still out of bounds, Americans are increasingly turning to cheaper, greener and more meaningful ways to dispose of their loved ones' bodies.
We've come a long way since the dark days of grave robbing to provide bodies for dissection. Now, there are ceremonies and memorials to honour people who have donated their body to science.