This report was originally published by Selco at The Organic Prepper
There is a saying that death is so close to every and each one of us in every moment, so close that actually, it breathes down back of our neck, and I kinda believe that. Still, we are so unaware of its face, and we are so reluctant to see it, both in philosophical and physical term too. It is in human nature to ignore it, to act almost like it does not exist.
When the SHTF, that attitude can bring you some problems simply because death probably will happen more often around you. You need to prep for it – and for the dead bodies that come with it – both mentally and physically.
Dealing with dead bodies
I read years ago a comment in some forum that said (paraphrasing)” if you find a body and that body belongs to a raider, you just leave it there (in front of your house) and put a note on it that says “You are next if you try to break into my home…”
Then there are comments about composting bodies or getting rid of them by burning and many other methods.
And of course, there are words of advice about how all bodies need to be handled with high respect and so on.
Some comments make sense. But others (just like many comments in survival forums and blogs) are simply comments from people who read about the idea. Or maybe they heard it from a guy who heard it from another guy who was someone who read about it in some fiction book or saw it in a movie.
Obviously, they have not dealt with bodies ever in their life, or at least not during an SHTF scenario.
Let’s try to keep it to basic practical advice: what you need to have and what to do with a body.
What do you do with a body?
After you come into a situation where you have a body that you need to deal with there are a few important things for you to think about:
- Does it belong to a loved one?
- How dangerous is the situation outside?
- What is the level of SHTF?
Usually, the answer to these questions will determine your actions. Dealing with a body may range from leaving it outside to rot up to having almost a full funeral service in the closest graveyard.
Let’s try to cover some basics.
Is the body dangerous to you (from the point of health)?
Well, the answer is yes and no.
Yes, from the point of possible health risks and no from the point of how you might imagine it from the movies and fiction books.
In the shortest explanation, most of the diseases (germs) that the person had die when the person dies, some immediately, some a bit later. But there are exceptions for some diseases.
Because of those exceptions, you will deal with the body with caution. And especially because of the fact that you will be in the middle of an SHTF event where even “a small cut can kill”.
Especially if we are talking about SHTF event that happening because of some pandemic.
So for your own safety, store things like bleach, tarps, face masks, gloves, heavy duty duct tapes, ropes…or even gowns. And obviously a shovel.
There is good advice to bury the body far from water sources or down hill from your location and similar. This is all good advice, but be sure to put it in your perspective and scenario. Check what is possible and safe and what is not. Do not get yourself killed because you wanted to do it by the numbers in the middle of SHTF.
Burning or burying the bodies?
Again it depends on the scenario, but in a great majority of situations, it will be burying simply because it will be easier. You will need to have a lot of fuel in order to destroy a body (to some level), not to mention it kinda attracts a lot of attention.
It is much harder to do digging in freezing temperatures, actually, sometimes it’s impossible. But that freezing temperature will “freeze” the body too, so you can “store” it somewhere until warm temperatures when you can bury it – however strange and weird this sounds.
Depending to climate and nature where you are, a possible mistake could be that you bury the body to shallow, and then it can become a health hazard too because animals might drag parts of it around.
Two feet should be minimum. In urban settings, you can help yourself by adding rubble on it, pieces of concrete rocks and similar.
The level of SHTF
One of the important things here is to be sure where something is buried. Depending on the level of SHTF and the reasons why you have a body at the first place to deal with, you may wish to have a clear record where you buried someone for multiple reasons.
For example, you may exhumate it one day and give it a proper burial. You may need to prove something in court one day or similar.
There may also be a situation where only you need to know where you buried someone and how that person become that body in the first place.
SHTF brings some new situations.
Let’s talk about some popular thoughts on what to do with a body
Leaving the body in front of your home in order to “repel” possible attackers make sense from the point of giving them an idea about what happened there and what might await them. But it also gives you the issue of living in a house with a rotting body in front of it and all possible health hazards already mentioned.
It can work for a short amount of time because you will have to deal with that body outside your home.
Nature will do things to the body and while it goes through the natural process of decaying, it changes in ways that may do bad things mentally to you if it is in front of your house.
Especially do not put a sign on it with a “tough message” because in that way you’ll just be showing future attackers that you are inside there and they might check what you are defending so hard. Eventually, someone stronger than you will come along.
Other than that defending your home by repelling the attacker with stench is something that I strongly advise, but do it in more subtle ways, with dead animals or cans with spoiled fish or similar.
Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution. In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today. He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations like Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months. Real survival is not romantic or idealistic. It is brutal, hard and unfair. Let Selco take you into that world. Read more of Selco’s articles here: https://shtfschool.com/blog/ And take advantage of a deep and profound insight into his knowledge and advice by signing up for the outstanding and unrivaled online course. More details here: https://shtfschool.com/survival-boot-camp/
Please feel free to share any information from this article in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to The Organic Prepper and the following bio.
Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.
Bury or burn it.
Otherwise it may end up killing you as well through contamination and disease.
Load em up on the dump truck and deliver them to one of the many leftist’s mansions.
Or try to fit ’em all in Trump’s Towers.
Not to worry Selco. FEMA has millions of plastic coffins strategically stacked across America ready to go !!! 🙁
Hide the bodies with the WMD’s, They will never be found.. Or into the wood chipper, then scattered as gator chum.
My mini-smelter reaches 3000 degrees F. That should be sufficient to turn them into very,very,very fines ash. 🙂
Anonymous, nothing has changed with the options of disposing of dead bodies for centuries, not one thing ! If you live in a moist climate you may have issues with depth to bury from a high water table so it will vary considerably from soil and topo conditions. In some places burying would not even be necessary unless there were more than a few. Where I live the wildlife would strip a carcass rather quickly. I see it quite often. So like everything else nearly everything will depend on where you live and where you plan on being. I do not concern myself with such events, so just more crap to me.
it will be burying simply because it will be easier.
So now I have to ad a back-hoe to my preps.
I miss the good ole days when you could just kick the dead body into the river and watch it float away.
trash bags duct tape, shovel, pick axe and quick lime.
I’ll let you know once I happen upon it. Better things to think about now.
I hope it doesn’t come to that, but if it does. Fire is the devils only friend.
Sarge, I’d say just leave the body where it is. Like Clint Eastwood once said, “Buzzards gotta eat too.”
Same as worms
There will be people in your group who for, whatever reasons, do not fight, or engage in related things. Give them jobs to do that help support the whole group. A sanitation officer and squad will employ such people gainfully, and help keep the group free of disease. They can locate and designate a burial ground, both for trash, and dead bodies. They can dig graves and then inter bodies in an orderly and recorded manner. They can be responsible for trash collection and burial. The officer in charge of this activity would report to the commander frequently about the status of these things. The whole thing will pay dividends.
I recommend you read some authoritative source like dealing with the dead during mass casualty events. There are such publications kept with your state pandemic plans.
The reason I say this they were written by experts after consulting with military, public health officials, morticians, and pastors.
We have this peculiar idea of “self” but in reality your body is a host to 100 trillion bacterial cells. Hard to believe, but it’s true. Then people have worms. Then people have strange mites that live in their eyelashes. And under SHTF situations, many have fleas and some have other critters due to scabies.
Basically, it is true that these leave or die, but in the interim, the insects and vermin that consume the body then act as vectors of transmission. If there is flooding, or the body drains to a river, or floats in one, you have water bourne contagion like cholera. Your gut is full of anerobic bacteria and these are very nasty pathogens that cause all kinds of disease as well as ordinary diarrhea and vomiting. You have lots of bacteria that exists on your skin like proprionic, Strep and Staph. These cause horrible skin infections.
This means your body is extremely dangerous and most commonly, the body is cleaned after death, then wrapped in a cloth, and then without embalming and caskets, then buried about six feet deep, and away from draining to well, rotting into crops, acting as a issue with vermin, etc. This means a dedicated area that is considered a sacred space even to nonbelievers and atheists and agnostics. People will come visit the grave. And grief takes 1-2 years and never goes entirely away.
This means it takes a lot of wise planning as you don’t want to relocate this area. It should be close enough to visit but not near schools, the well, the medical area, the meeting area, the eating area, the trade area, the garbage and refuse burning area, the latrines, the showers, etc. There’s a good chance it will be near the church area. Often gardens are planted as living memorials.
The most dangerous time is immediately following death until it can be determined the cause of death as it may have happened in a violent way amd so an investigation is done and justice and likely retribution. It may be natural causes, but it very likely was due to malnutrition and stress. It could be contagion and so infectious and preparing the body has some risk and there may be a time when the home is sealed so fomites donot infect the grieving and investigators. That is a problem for the survivors. Someone may have to care for widows and or orphans or aging parents who are old.
Many of the problems of Ebola like transmission occur due to lack of care and poor preparation and common sense.
The survivrs may need grief counseling and or a pastor. It may come from elders, the leader, the physician, etc. Some of which involves coping and remarriage and adopting the orphans. It’s very likely under a SHTF situation the family is split up. In very bad situations, the survivors are preyed upon by predatory folks.
Imagine wartime and a teen girl is the survivor. Or a pregnant wife. These are not good situations and the severe loss in help to produce crops, repair, maintain, manage livestock and animals, run a trade, means horrible crushing poverty. It may take a generation to revover economically depending on the age of the children a d their ancestral skills.
In a tribe post-collapse, the deceased may have been the leader, the pastor, the herbalist,the nurse, the physician, the blacksmith, etc and it hurts everyone. It’s highly likely the survivors include an assistant who may feel serious responsibility to the widow and orphans and a need to continue studying and learning and using the tools of the deceased. Mutualism occurs.
There are spiritual rituals and coping mechanisms that facilitate grief,but under a collapse situation, there is a strong need for vengeance if the death was by violence, and so wars begin.
A critical loss may imply weakness and invasion.
You would never just leave the bodies as it causes insect infestation and crushes morale. In history, war and plague go hand in hand.
The ancestral way of making-do, with little or nothing, is tried and true.
But, funerals have been a chokepoint. Rival govts and rival gangs use the crowding of people to their advantage.
In theory, a coke furnace can be approximated from mounded Earth. Rendered grease (like when BBQ’ing) is supposed to speed the process of incineration, supposedly.
These same hygiene issues would generally come up, wherever lots of animals have been butchered. This same field of knowledge would probably be useful to a makeshift mortician, imho.
I think, when you are living, actively, on rustic food, when your nose, and hormones and thinking are clear, smells come from the food counter, modern mortuary, crypts, and cemeteries prone to flooding.
Though people would ideally be sterile and dignified, this is something deservedly dirty, on a primal level. No way around that.
Though astringent herbs, potent smudges, pomanders, sachets, or a pocket full of posies were all supposed to have an antibacterial effect, keep this in mind, during a time lapse video of human decomposition. This is not something you want around.
Ideally, there is a place for this, away from habitation.
Makeshift service industries will start to happen when times like these drag on, like people who picked up the “night soil”.
You mean via hot fire aka: Smelter Skelter
Like the oven used for smelting or to glaze ceramics.
As always good points made by Selco. It is sad to even have to think of these things but very well could become a reality in our sheltered society. The only way to really know how to deal with this is to take some time and clear your head. The steps in the article are great but only id your emotions do not take over. As I have said in the past I believe war will come to our doorstep. Keep your powder dry and your emotions in check. God bless and trust in the Lord. God gave us a brain so lets not forget to use it in all situations.
Think about it. Look at your property. What wood or fuel would you sacrifice? None. Starting a fire on purpose is dangerous and now we control water pressure. You won’t when the SHTF. A careless fire can burn you out.
You actually minimize burning by using cow patties and more efficient heating, thermal mass, and insulation as after a SHTF event,youneed those trees for lumber, furnishing,scaffolding, repairs, building a cart or craft, a root cellar, covering for firewood, a storm cellar, a work shed, corrals, places to get your animals out the rain and snow etc. You can only use lumber if you have a good way to season it and dry it. Otherwise when you cut it, it will warp.
Very likely you will end up using wattle and daub like the English did under feudalism. Because when the SHTF, the next hundred years areunder feudalism. Wattle and daub allows common branches to make walls and fencing that is reinforced with amixture of manure and clay. Otherwise you will waste wood.
You likely are constantly reseeding trees.
To even use wood for cremation means:
1. A mammoth amount must be used
2. It must be well seasoned
3. There is a good chance it willbe incomplete and thus a waste of time.
Are you honestly going to do that? During a SHTF situation? You would give away your location…broadcasting it to everyone around you. This means enemies and those seeking help. What a terrible idea.
I subscribe to this guy’s website, and I hate to criticize someone who’s actually “been there and done that”, but using the rotting corpses of dead animals is no healthier than relying on human corpses in your front yard to deter bipedal predators. Flies and cockroaches will carry all sorts of unfriendly organisms from ANY rotting corpse. Where I live, mountain lions, bears and numerous coyotes already wander into the city where there are so many people as to put them in danger, and seem not to be phased by our presence. Provide them will invitations in the form of rotting flesh, and they’ll be waiting in the shadows near your door,for you to step outside…
Please do NOT use night soil. That is human waste. It is extremely dangerous and linked to contagion.
You likely will use animal manure like rabbit which is dry, easily broadcast, and very beneficial to sweeten the soil.
You will till under some plant “manures”.
Your go to safe and easily broadcast is diluted urine which you sprinkle as it is chemically identical to ordinary fertilizer. And unless you have an infection, it is sterile.
Fecal matter takes 2-3 years digesting with lime and mixed with decaying plant matter and FAR away from your home and crops amd well. Human manure has high levels of heavy metals. You do NOT use nightsoil. It is gross and is made into amanre tea for mixing and is repulsive. You will have a terrible fly infestation doing so. This invites trouble to livestock, pets, and your family will curse you.
Do a search on urine diversion, fecal matter, and Peace Corps, and you find good pdfs on how to properly manage this versus the old style and ineffective privies or outhouses.
Cholera will likely come along with keeping human excrement. The throngs of civilization-addicted immigrants along the Oregon Trail made the Platt River into a sewer–and a fountain for cholera. Many immigrants died there. City living (civilization) is perfect for plagues. That’s why highly urbanized (mass communal) Europeans were so diseased and spread it to the mostly un-urbanized, more dispersed societies of the New World when they went there. It wasn’t just that the New World’s natives weren’t immune to the diseases. The natives’ culture didn’t breed such plagues.
These materials cause leaves of plants to turn dark green and, I would say, with a bluish tint.
Do not broadcast or sprinkle, with all due respect. Bury it, thoroughly, at the drip line of the crown of whichever plant, somewhat severing the roots at the perimeter.
Fewer pests (the visible kind) happen to live in frequently disturbed ground, particularly, where any distressed growth is removed from the plant.
Broadly speaking, plants under intensive cultivation undergo growth spurts, until the soil is depleted. It takes days, not years, for these materials to break down, under ideal conditions.
Mac, I remember my scientist friend telling us about this very thing. This is why militaries carry bull dozers with them to war. They have to dispose of the bodies very fast to prevent the smell and diseases.
COP BITCHES FROM HELL AND MS13 LOOKALIKE.
Not sure if you all saw what happened in Dallas a few days ago, when MS 13 cop look a like, Guyger, who happens to be white, barged into the wrong apartment, according to her and saw black man in her apt, thinking that it was her apt, and shot him twice. Now they have her on camera, Nice try bitch, you lied you ass off, and now the witnesses heard her yelling down the hall, let me in, let in.,then they heard the victim ask her, why, then follow by two shots to the torso, she then called 911, telling them that disobeyed commands. All hell is breaking loose in the streets up in dallas as potential civil war commences. Take a look at the bitches face and it is the look of pure evil. What a recruiting process that police departments follow. I would hate to see what the chi-coms and the UN nationals plan on dealing with non compliant citizens.. These bad police officer are going to ignite a civil and revolutionary war in the country if this bullshit keeps continuing.
There are many uses for bulldozers in the wartime theater, but yeah, our guys will make it home in flag draped caskets and ‘theirs’ go in a big hole.
It was obvious from the start the whole “Thought it was my apartment” deal was BS. I guessed there was a personal connection, like a sexual thing.
How you doin’? Joey bag of donuts sez, take ’em to Indiana and stick ’em in a corn field.
I’ve had a large hole dug for a while now. All I’d need to do is push the mound of dirt back in it.
Lighter fluid. Match. Don’t stand downwind.
Hello folks, I have been coming here for quite some time and leave comments on occasion and was wondering why my last post on this article is no where to be found. Anyway was just curious as I did not receive a notice or anything like that. God bless y’all have a great day!!
People will see the smoke of the pyre? Most will tie them to a bicycle and walk them in. Tie a 4 foot 2 by to the handle bars and push at the seat. If you make it through the snipers. Someone has to be compensated for fuel gathering and maintenance. Bring an offering. A full flask.
Any of you ever smelled a burning body? I have and it’s not pleasant, to say the least. Think about the worst burning pork fat smell that you’ve ever had the pleasure to inhale times five with thick black oily looking smoke coming off the body as it is consumed by fire. I was standing upwind about 40 yds and the smell was still awful.
A couple years ago a young man got electrocuted while working up on a cherry picker lift near street power lines in my neighborhood. Poor fellow’s body was in the expanded metal bucket of the cherry picker, burning, for about a half hour before the fire dept got up there to put him out. It was another half hour before the police got done taking pictures so they could bring the body down. Not something you see every day and hope to never see something like that again.
I wonder if they will drop off big black plastic boxes that you might get three in ,unless they bloat bad.
The most dysfunctional times for families are when they go to church to have a funeral or a wedding.
If you have done ministry and helped during either and hopefully both, you realize how they are similar.
The people directly involved with helping the person before they died…had huge responsibilities that may have lasted over years and often that last year was rough, and the last month was very rough. Then they were present and helping when they died.
Meanwhile family are trying desperately to get back and often don’t make it in time. And they feel overwhelming guilt. There is often unresolved conflict. Words that ought to have been spoken…were left unsaid by both. So to make up for it, they overreact as that what they think are supposed to do to show contrition and grief. They are very likely to second guess arrangements and how the deceased was cared for.
This creates awful fights, stony silence, and people stop talking to each other.
Instead dying should be peaceful, positive, loving, mutually supportive. It can be healing and a release from doubt, conflict, pain, and suffering.
The dying person will try to hang on. They think they have to. Partially it’s wanting forgiveness and offering forgiveness and apologizing.
If you don’t help them process their feelings while lucid, then an awful struggling happens as they start to die. It is terrible to watch and they might already be very sick…say pancreatic cancer
As dying can take a long time as they decline with infection and illness, it is mostly listening and let them talk even if seems there are awkward pauses. They are getting up the courage to tell you because they are afraid of being judged. Don’t make direct eye contact. Sit quietly and let them compose their thoughts.
You can offer to write a letter for them as they give you details, and then this relaxes them as they presume they will die and not have to face whoever they hurt. So this allows them to process their feelings. So if they can meet one last time, now they had time to say what they wanted to say. Plus you give the letter to the survivors as a keepsake.
People have a hard time saying they are sorry. There are four parts. “I know I hurt your feelings. I am truly sorry. It was not right how I acted. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?”
Even the worst sins are often forgiven if you say all four parts and are genuine sincere and sorry. A profound weight is removed from the suffering and those who were hurt.
As asking for forgiveness is rough for most and honestly speaking aloud your feelings, and communicating them clearly, then a good start is recalling positive memories and touching the dying’s hands and face and shoulders. You help them recall and put themselves in the past when things were healthy and happier and then the positive affirmation and physical contact is healing.
Doing both is a very healthy way to begin the grieving process. This is not a time for blaming. You won’t get catharsis by arguing. And if you can do this, it makes everyone relax and be calm.
Most are in shock and under SHTF situations,the natural order of death can be reversed when younger healthy people die. Accidents happen to young people, and it’s a stunning blow to the parents. They may NEVER get over it.
A young soldier may act bravely or something horrible happens like friendly fire, and the morale of the squad can be ripped apart. Everybody blames everybody and it may have been just an accident by the deceased or unresoved conflict can’t ever be repaired. You must not let that happen.
It’s brutal for parents to prepare the deceased for burial. At least help them.
Leaving something at the grave is very helpful as it creates permanence as if the person’s spirit is not truly gone as long as they are remembered. It’s seems brutal, but putting in some dirt or flowers in the grave is very important as they are shock and it all seems unreal.
The worst grievers are those who initially are so shocked they cannot cry. So they feel this awful pressure and guilt for not acting the way they think you supposed to. People grieve in different ways. This is not a perfect movie with a happy ending and closure. It doesn’t exist.
A good pastor or elder or physician will say slightly detached indirect things like the above. If you say them directly,they fall on deaf ears and the survivor cannot process them.
Sadly, it’s when it’s 2-3 weeks to 3-4 months later when friends and family stop calling, and a big HOLE exists where the person’s presence was, and so every little thing, like putting out dinner plates, you forget when you come home and call out to them, birthdays, the house is too quiet, something funny or sweet happens, and you turn to tell them, and they are gone. Truly GONE.That is when it hits you like being slapped.
An alternative would be to stock up on lye and/or quicklime. If you have no access to that, then oven cleaner(more expensive). The deceased is the buried in a 3′-4′ hole and covered with the lye or quicklime. This speeds decomposition and will mask odors. Do not ask how I know.
Lye is the caustic base(high pH versus acid which is low pH) is easily made from hardwood ashes. That is how our ancestors made soap.
Lime is made by finding limestone that is bone dry and heating it up over a hot fire. The limestone crumbles. You need lime for a variety of things like to sweetened the soil ie raise the pH (aiming for 7.0 pH in most instances).
By doing either, you are facilitating the breakdown ie disincorporation of material.
Limestone is easily found. If you were near the ocean, you could use seashells.
Part of prepping is reading old history books and seeing how either indigenous people or settlers did these things. Sometimes historians will write articles or missionaries have to know it as some feel they should be “tentmakers” ie know practical things to help the locals and find work. And Peace Corps folks (they often use the acronym PCV) typically are educated and learn how to make a lot of commonly useful things out of lcally available materials.
When it becomes clear that someone is facing certain death, and they are going to meet their Maker, they need some private time with a pastor. It doesn’t matter what the survivor believes, but what the dying believes that matters.
The pastor will try to be as nonjudgemental as possible and help the dying person remember instances where they never asked YHWH for forgiveness. The dying person has a strong need for letting go and resolution.
They will try to be around for last rites but this is difficult. Pastors call it “death watch” and don’t sleep well. If you’re kind and perceptive, then you realize that doctors, nurses, and pastors can see hundreds or thousands of deaths. And many or most are significant. Whereas the average person might only have 10 significant deaths to deal with in their lifetime. And it can really wreck their minds if they are caring people. This is why some RN have to develop a tough exterior and many can become alcoholics. It’s why some can’t stay more than seven years as a RN as they feel to be a compassionate nurse, they have to hold on to their feelings.
Every denomination does it differently. Whatever you think is not important as this was arranged with the deceased. If you interfere because you feel strongly, it’s an unhealthy manner of coping and terrible guilt will happen later that you can never forget.
You hopefully bring up details and offer to take care of things for them as they may have last requests, wish to bequeath things…but if so get a witness especially if it’s not in the will. They may get fretful.
As the person starts to die, they will often speak, and then they start to lose that ability. They may say important things or cryptic things as they remember some event or worry.
Things will start to happen through changes in their manner and breathing. Their eyesight goes as the opthalmic artery is very tiny and their blood pressure is falling. It’s a kindness to tell them it’s alright to go. That the both of you settled all things. That it’s alright to walk into the light and the loving embrace of Jesus. Your last words should be loving. All of this makes grieving easier.
Then they often relax. The death rattle follows. Then peace.
Funerals are not specifically for the dead. But they might want certain prayers or music. These are great kindnesses. An unhealthy dying person may lash out with mean requests but hopefully the pastor talked them out of it. It’s a horrible thing when bitter angry even evil people die.
Survivors have unhealthy ways of coping at the funeral. They may overly compensate in cases where the deceased was very mentally ill. This is terrible as some of the congregation may have similar issues and then excuse their own behavior. Like drug addiction and alcoholism. Or suicides. They latter can be heavily influenced and copycats follow.
The wake is for the living as much as for the dead. It’s very important in some cultures. Rude folks will criticize if it’s neglected.
Only some go directly to the grave site. It shows sincerity of the relationship and friendship. It does not go unnoticed by the surviving spouse. It is very complicated when there are ex-wives there. It’s important not to make a scene. People may start wailing as they are grief-stricken.
Hopefully when people go to the house afterwards, friends and family carefully planned so the widow has nearly nothing to do. Rude people forget why they are there and act selfishly. The whole point is kindnesses for the survivors like the widow and children. They may retreat or need to retreat as it can get too loud. People will tell stories and may start laughing out of nerves or remembering happy moments,but crying children and the widow do not find it funny at all. So their feelings may get hurt.
You may have to invite people to leave using diplomacy like “They need their rest now. Why don’t y’all go down to a restaurant and visit?”
5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:5-10
There’ll be so many bodies that you’ll be dragging them to the corner for pickup when it’s reasonably safe to do so.
That is a big assumption. Even with a pandemic, what you describe is just about impossible without military organization.
What I have read over the years was nearly having to force civilians to do burial detail whenever there are mass casualties as soldiers have other jobs and are BUSY.
Even dealing with enemies in wartime is complex. Nobody wants to bury them especiallynear where you live. This means almost certainly making a travois like the French settlers and Native Americans and then hauling the deceased far away to a central location. That is some chore.
In WW2 there were dead everywhere and accounts where the dead lay so long, that schoolkids went on “bone detail” and picked these up. I know that is true as I talked to some who were kids back then. That is very bad situation where plagues can break out.
In history, some peddlers who were dirt poor would hitch up some strong dogs, like the precursors to modern dobermans, and pull a cart. Sometimes these were pulled by goats. Look up the goat man. I could tell you some local stories but would give away my location.
I’ve often recommended preppers make a cart that can be pulled by a bicycle. That would most likely need shocks and or springs to absorb the weight. Such a vehicle would have multiple uses like hauling back a carcass from a hunting party.
Say you were bugging out. Well the French fleeing the German blitzkrieg used carts to get away. They were the lucky ones. Those struggling on foot were often shot down by Luffwaffe.
There is a horrific scene in French film strayed where that happens. People ran out of gas and walking onfoot with too many pieces of luggage.
The same is true if going back. You may be hauling gear for 200 miles and most likely using a cart.
Here’s a shory clip of this in WW2.
A travois can be pulled over land. The Native Americans and settlers routinely used them to haul the sick to a physician or they pulled by horses. A ride in a cart when someone is injured can kill them as they may be bleeding or have internal injuries or broken bone shards can tear an artey. The violent shaking over potholes or the springs are going and then they are not stable.
It takes twice as long to ride to the doc and then haul him back and he can’t bring every instrument and herb with him. That is how physician bags got sttarted.
A doc and a midwife might routinely check in locals on a circuit and find someone had broken their arm four days prior. Can you imagine that? It could be worse in a SHTF situation where nobody can get there due to snow and ice. They then suffer horribly without pain meds a d die. And then you can’t bury them for over a month. And they’re using up your root cellar.
A bad broken arm often got amputated. And it was not necessarily a doc who did it, but a family member using a hacksaw while the other held him down. Then infection. Then gangrene. Then death.
Mothers who delivered easily might still have debris inside and needed a D and C but there was no doc and so they got childbed fever. And died. And now, the baby is going to die as there is no formula.
This commonly used to happen.
When I was on a job in Africa I was in an area where at the time starvation was rampant. 100 to 200 people a day were dying in the area.
The military crew that were protecting us used bulldozers to make trenches to put the bodies in. It was horrible but the only way to handle the situation. Truck after truck of dead bodies going to the trenches, day after day. Getting the dead bodies onto the trucks was a major problem. Try lifting 100 to 200 pounds up 8 feet with no machinery. The temperature was near 100 every day and it dumped rain every afternoon. This complicated matters because the trenches filled with water causing the bodies to float. I was in engineering so I didn’t have to face any of this in person, but I saw it all being done from a distance. This will be the ONLY practical way to dispose of the huge number of bodies in a SHTF situation. The only alternative is to move out to another location where there are no bodies and let them rot where they fell.