Who Is The Grave Woman
My name is Joél Simone Anthony. Funeral Service and Mortuary Science are my passions. For the past 8 years I have dedicated my life to working in the funeral service industry in various capacities. Prior to being formally educated in arts of funeral service and mortuary science; I worked in a cemetery helping families arrange funerals and burials for their loved ones and promoting/ selling preened funeral and burial services and merchandise. I graduated from the Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service in August of 2012. After graduation I completed my apprenticeship and have served families in both the cooperate and private sectors of the funeral service industry.
Throughout my educational and professional journey in the funeral service industry; I have identified that my path and purpose in life is not to practice the arts of funeral service and mortuary science in their traditional sense. I instead am dedicated to stimulating an open and honest conversation about death and educating the public about the death and dying from a global perspective.
While completing my apprenticeship I began searching for an outlet which would allow me to freely express feelings and experiences while educating friends and family about the funeral service industry and mortuary science. I also wanted to create a safe space for others to have their death topic related questions answered by various professionals and discuss death in a way that they were comfortable with.
On November 4th, 2013 I started a blog entitled The Grave Woman. The blog has since spawned my YouTube Chanel and has also allowed me to connect with families, individuals and businesses from around the world who share one common goal... talking about death. I have learned so much from those with whom I have connected but I desire to learn and share much more.
In addition to connecting with the public, I have had the opportunity to speak and educate small groups about preplanning and funding for funeral and burial. I have been featured in several online and in print publications and have developed a preplanning guide which will be published this year. I have traveled to conduct interviews with individuals and families of various ethnic, cultural, professional and religious backgrounds. Some of this footage along with educational and motivational vlogs have been posted onto my blog and YouTube Chanel.
There are numerous platforms dedicated to discussing death from multiple vantage points. The Grave Woman is unique it’s in its quest to explore various cultural practices while stimulating an open and honest global conversation about death. The Grave Woman combines professional knowledge with public query while utilizing multiple perspectives and conversation points.
In our Western (and many other cultures) death is taboo. We celebrate youth and avoid and discard most all that ages and dies. Because of this cultural perspective, the job of the funeral professional begins when a death occurs and ends upon final disposition. It is my personal belief that though this is functional; it is incomplete.
From my perspective as a funeral service professional my job begins at birth and continues indefinitely. I believe that having open conversations with others from divergent backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, socioeconomic status and religions opens the door for conversations about death to become less taboo. At some point we will all experience a loss or death of some kind. I believe that by connecting the dots and getting to know each other from a place where we are all universally connected; we have the power to shift our beliefs and fears about death and to heal the wounds of fear and prejudice that we may or may not know exist within all of us.