How people in Kupiškis perceive the death

Aušra Jurčikonytė

Death is one of traditional rituals, when certain related symbols are created and the concept of death and life is revealed. The life stage can be divided into six separate segments. (1) Stories about prediction of death, i.e., the dreams, presentiment by a dying person of the Reaper approaching, and eyes also can show signs of death. Domestic and wild animals or sounds in a house often are predictors of a death. (2) Talking with the deceased–in order to communicate with them or help the deceased. The people in Kupiškis think that by the prayers, the Mass or dreams make it possible to communicate with the deceased relatives. (3) What is the soul – that’s a complicated issue. The Kupiškis people cannot directly define how they conceive the soul after the physical death, but everybody agrees that the ghost exists. (4) Different deaths–there are three types: a suicide (tragic death), such deceased are punished in the next world; the death of a kid–as a little kid dies, it is agreed that its soul is sacred; a sudden death–although opinions differ, this case is attributed to a terrible death. (5). The next world and remembrance – in the area of Kupiškis there is an opinion that the next world exists and that the remembrance of the deceased must be kept and the dead person should be mentioned with respect, and his will should be fulfilled. (6) The death and burial ways – the opinions of people about cremation and euthanasia differ, thus two types of standpoints appear in the area of Kupiškis, and no one of them clearly prevails. Generalising it can be said that the death issue in the area of Kupiškis differs at some points. People try to find and imagine the versions most suitable for them, when they speak about the last stage of the life.