Monday, December 29, 2008

Funeral Rights


Funerals are odd things, really. I go to many of them as a professional courtesy (sometimes accompanying the deceased if they haven’t moved on) and I’m always struck by the sheer morbidity of it. England is so dreary when it comes to funerals. Other cultures make a day of it with jazz music and wailings women but the English, somber in their black suits and dresses, are content with a handkerchief to dab at the tears and a few heavily scented lilies to cover the smell of the embalming fluid.

I understand well enough that the grieving is for those left behind. It’s hard to come to terms with never again seeing someone you loved but why grieve in such a cheerless place as a crematorium or a church? What better way to remember the deceased than to celebrate their life? Plant a tree in their honour, gift a book to a child, send a bunch of flowers to a random stranger. Say farewell by all means, but grieve for your own loss and find comfort in the world around you. He is not gone, that lives forever in the hearts of those he touched. Or she, obviously.

The world changed because that person was in it. Find comfort in that.

Harold would have won the game of Monopoly yesterday but for the ‘Random Hellgate’ house rule which wiped out his hotel on Bond Street.

4 comments:

stephanie said...

Quite well said.

miserymemoir said...

Having had the two funerals of my daughters, and then the funeral of my husband, I can totally agree. I tried to lighten things up by having all of the flowers that people had sent, put into the open grave on the top of the coffin each time. This meant, at least, that my loved one was not covered in soil straight away for the flowers had to die first.

http://miserymemoir.blogspot.com/

Leatherdykeuk said...

Surviving one's children must be the worst of all. I'm so sorry for your losses.

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