Charles Cowling
A diamond made from cremated remains I’m on holiday. I don’t want to court controversy for a couple of weeks (the weather will stop me getting hot under the collar.) But it never did any harm to be a little provocative in the interest of animated debate. So, I say,
Charles Cowling
The trees are coming into leaf Like something almost being said I read those lines of Philip Larkin at the funeral of a 16 year old boy who’d died of cancer. They were just right for all sorts of reasons. It was May. Sam, a good artist, had a thing
Charles Cowling
The Guardian ran a short piece on Saturday about those who work in the death industry. One of the themes was humour as a coping mechanism. One of the interviewees was Andrew Leverton of Leverton’s, by appointment undertaker to HRH the Queen. Asked if he found aspects of his work
Charles Cowling
What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason!how infinite in faculty! in form and moving howexpress and admirable! in action how like an angel!in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of theworld! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,what is this quintessence of dust?
Charles Cowling
How To Watch Your Brother Die For Carl Morse When the call comes, be calm. Say to your wife, “My brother is dying. I have to fly to California.” try not to be shocked that he already looks like a cadaver. Say to the young man sitting by your brother’s
Charles Cowling
Here’s an interesting photograph taken by Maeve Berry of a body burning in a cremator (for US readers, a retort). It is one of a series which tracks the process from start to finish. What do you think? Hellish? Or clean, purifying and beautiful? See the rest of the series
Charles Cowling
There’s a new collection of poems out from Roger McGough. I like him. I’ve always thought him admirable for his craftsmanship (there’s a lot that doesn’t meet the eye) and his humanity. And his accessibility, of course. He’s a great poet. Many of the new poems are imbued with his
Charles Cowling
Jeremy Bentham “I regard this body of mine as being mine in life and it is for me to say in what way it should be disposed of after my death. I regard that as an absolute … For example, I would have the gravest reservations about any organs from
Charles Cowling
Everyone’s got a book in them. Best place for it. Throw away the key, I say, you’ll embalm the illusion that way. Illusion? Almost certainly. You think you’ve got something precious and important to impart? You think there’s a lot of tosh coming off the presses, surely someone’ll print mine?