Turkmen practice Islam and follow Islamic law regarding specific rituals surrounding death and dying. When a person has died, the body is washed by someone of the same gender.
Traditionally there are three washings of the corpse, and the last typically contains some kind of perfume. Afterwards, the body is wrapped in a white shroud.
Women normally do not attend funerals, although they may visit the gravesites. But they do participate in the ritual feasts commemorating the death. These feasts are held on the 7th day after, the 40th day, and at 1 year later.
A janazah, or funeral prayer, is recited at the grave site; the body is removed from the wooden coffin and placed in the tomb with the head pointing in the direction of Mecca. Turkmen prefer to say that someone has “passed on” rather than “died.”
Turkmen do not leave the home for 7 days following the death of a loved one. They believe that it takes that long for the spirit to depart the house. Family members do not shower or change clothes during the week. Women cover themselves fully with a long scarf and men wear traditional skullcaps.