World Building: Customs Surrounding Death

When a person dies, their body is washed by the female members of their family, whether that is sisters, their wife, their mother, aunts or cousins. In the case that they have no female relations, the task is handled by women connected with the church, such as nuns. After the ritual bathing, the body is dressed in white clothing, to symbolize purity. The ankles and wrists are bound, to prevent the deceased from leaving their grave.

Wealthy people will often have family crypts, where the deceased members of their family are laid out on stone slabs and covered with thin sheets. Merchants and shopkeepers will typically have underground vaults where their deceased loved ones are buried. The bodies of those in the lowest class, unfortunately, are often either donated to medicine for study or end up in mass, often unmarked, graves.

Although the general feeling is that the body is no longer inhabited by the soul, since it has moved on to the next world, family members will often visit the grave on holidays or their birthdays, in order to remember and honor them.


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