Her Season of Lasts: Traditional, Seasonal, Communal Rituals

Denise Carson

in Parting Ways

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780520251083
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520949416 | DOI:
Her Season of Lasts: Traditional, Seasonal, Communal Rituals

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People often celebrate a person's firsts—the first cry, the first word, the first step, the first birthday. Thoughts about a person's lasts are often reflections rather than plans of action. This chapter develops through the author's decision to make her Mom's lasts momentous. It describes the author's preparations for Thanksgiving for her mother. It also describes her last interview with her mother, as her Mom's last birthday party as part of her last moments with her mother. Although the author is not a devoted churchgoer like her mother, the communal gathering, singing, and then praying for the family shifted her perspective. The support encircling the family is palpable and that leads the author to a deeper appreciation for rituals steeped in communal bonds and fellowship with which Americans in pre-modern society confront death.

Keywords: Thanksgiving; lasts; last interview; pre-modern society; death

Chapter.  7225 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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