Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
While the details vary from culture to culture and through time, the pattern is undeniable: humans find value in guarding or watching the bodies of the deceased for some period of time following death.
In a ritual called the Famadihana, the Malagasy people of Madagascar remove the dead from their grave and dance with them. Buddhists in Tibet chop the body into pieces, mix it with flour, and leave it to vultures, returning it to nature. In Indonesia's Irian Jaya region, the body is kept in the home, and even spoken to, until funds sufficient for the funeral are saved; it can take years.
These traditions, which appear to extend even to animals, have reached a nadir with the Duck Face Dead Granma Sefie.