Into the Silent Land: Memorization, Grief, and the American Way of Death

Oct 29 2016 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

812 S. Church St.
Paris, TX 75460

Join the Maxey House as we welcome Hal Simon, Texas Historical Commission Interpretive Specialist, for his presentation entitled "Into the Silent Land: Memorialization, Grief, and the American Way of Death" on Saturday, October 29 at 3 p.m.

Western society has had formal and often codified protocols for how to mourn and express grief since the mid-17th century. The formality of the mid-19th to early-20th centuries provides some outstanding examples of how mourning was expressed publically as an outward sign of grief.

Examining ways in which 19th century people expressed their grief through mourning and memorialization, and the physical artifacts which remain from that era, can help explore and understand the processes lacking in modern culture today regarding grief and mourning.

In the past, the outward symbols of mourning served to express personal grief, and to help define for others how social interactions with the grieving should occur. From the end of World War I until the close of the 20th century these formal rules and protocols increasingly fell out of use. Exploring these changes and illustrating the practices of the past can help us understand the history of mourning and grief theory, and may also lead us to consider how we deal with personal losses in today’s world.