The lives of insects are unceremonious, and often end as splatterings of colorful ichor. For the most part, they are small, fragile things with short lifespans and long lists of predators. As such, humans can earn the loyalty of their simple spirits by granting them something that the wilderness beyond rarely ever does: a proper funeral. Every species has its own preferred rites, several of which are outlined below:
The house moth should be thoroughly swaddled in a layer of silk, then wrapped snugly with ribbon. This artificial cocoon is then lowered over the flame of a candle, where it is allowed to dissolve into ash, along with the body contained. This final metamorphosis allows it to flutter off into the afterlife with wings of light, where it may tell other spirits of its liberator’s good deed.
The honeybee is entombed within a hexagonal sarcophagus crafted from polished wood. Three small jars should be placed inside as well: one containing pollen, a second containing propolis, and a third containing honey. The burial is not complete, however, until their hexagon is completely surrounded by other occupied hexagons; as such, some fanatics have taken to constructing entire necropolises for their kind.
The male praying mantis perishes when his head is devoured during the act of mating; when this happens, a new one should be carved for him from amber. A similar facsimile head is created when laying a female mantis to rest, but rather than serving a prosthetic function, it should be placed between her blades as a trophy. Despite the violence of their past, mates prefer to be buried alongside each other. This is because, in death, they can at last enjoy a love made impossible by their biology.
The common cricket is not particular about the manner of their burial, but often desires to hear their own song one last time. A single note played on the violin at sundown, repeated more and more softly until only silence remains, is often all it takes. Human intervention is not necessary, however, for crickets are among the few insects which mourn their own; whenever they make music, they are doing so for both the living and the dead.
Though their spirits can only grant small favors, they should not be overlooked; for many forces in the universe, human ghosts seem just as insignificant.