Endings
in The life–cycle in Western Europe, c.1300-c.1500
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Death naturally marks the end of life. In late medieval descriptions of the ages of man, death followed decrepitude, the final stage of old age. It is easy to assume that death cast a long shadow over life in late medieval Europe. This chapter discusses the types of arrangements and rituals surrounding a person's last moments on earth, and the planning needed by those wishing to perpetuate the memory of her or his life. The funeral rites marked the stage of transition as the dead person was taken on a one-way journey from the place of the living (usually domestic) to that of the dead (a sacred setting). Like the death-bed rituals, funerals assisted the healing processes associated with loss. Burial physically removed the dead and the process of decay from the eyes of the living.

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