A mausoleum is an external free-standing building (usually stone) with interment space above ground for the remains of many. It is an alternative to individual burial plots when land is premium.
In the City of Granada, Spain, there are many such mausoleums where the coffin is placed in a niche above ground. The niche is usually rented by an entire family for decades to ensure that generations of family members are laid to rest together. If subsequent generations fail to renew the rental agreement and a lease is left to expire, the remains are often then buried.
This niche also serves as a focal point for the 1st of November ‘Dia de los Muertos’, when respects are paid to those that have passed on that year.
Si nada nos salva de la muerte, al menos que el amor nos salve de la vida. Spanish poet, Pablo Neruda. Translation: If nothing saves us from death, at least loves saves us from life.
Funerals in Spain usually occur within 24 hours of the death. Word of mouth and notices posted outside the church are the only methods used to inform others of a funeral. Friends or family members hold a vigil in the Tanatorio (funeral home) staying the night with the deceased for one last time. After a funeral service the coffin is transferred to the local Cemetery, often accompanied by a procession of locals walking behind the hearse.
There is no cure for birth and death, save to enjoy the interval. Spanish born philosopher, George Santayana.