A baton, a whistle, cigars. All items that have been buried with famous people (respectively, Leonard Bernstein, Humphrey Bogart, George Burns). Read more here: What famous people are buried with.
Or buried in. My friend, Ben, sent me this link about a California heiress buried in her $2 million blue Ferrari. Oh, the poor people who had to dig that grave!
It’s a centuries-old funerary tradition. In ancient Egypt, people were buried with items that were intended for use in the afterlife.
Millennia later, we still do this. My Grandma Hager was buried with things she loved and was known for:
She also was buried with the quilt that was made for her, featuring a square for each of her grandchildren. I have a picture of it somewhere; wish I could easily locate it!
There was something comforting about seeing Grandma with these items in her casket. We were sending her off to a different world, but we wanted these important tokens from this world to go with her.
What have you seen people buried with?
Don Myers said:
I had a particularly beautiful, sparkly Lake Superior rock and my mom seemed to like such things so I planned I would slip it into her coffin. What I didn’t realize is that the lining and padding of the coffin did not form a complete enclosure and when I slipped the stone out of my hand, it went through hitting the metal bottom with a loud metallic crash (this was at Mom’s visitation). I nervously tried to cough loudly to disguise it, which of course was completely ineffective. But the beautiful stone should still be there.
That is an incredible story! It would make for a great essay because it has both the humor and the poignancy. Write it!
Don Myers said:
Thanks, Rachel. I’ll think about (and appreciate) your suggestion, though I fear the four sentences above will be all I ever set down!
Leah Renne said:
My grandma was buried with a really good bottle of scotch, and a bag of M&Ms – her two favorite guilty pleasures. The funeral director said she liked her style 🙂
That’s fantastic! Sounds like my kind of woman 🙂
Lisa Simons said:
Artwork from the seven-year-old boy who lost his 41-year-old dad to a heart attack. Not strange or different but very touching.
On a different note, after my first Air Force book came out, I burned it and scattered the ashes on my dad’s gravestone at the Air Force Academy.
I didn’t know that about the book, Lisa. What a great idea. So touching!
Mary Schweim said:
Marvin saw: A 6 pack of beer, and a couple packs of cigarettes, placed between the casket and vault at the foot end, and the poor deceased couldn’t reach either of them!
Yes, maybe it’s best to put those type of things IN the casket!