The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Two o’clock in the morning

Monday, 13 December 2010

Seventy per cent of us want to die at home, surveys tell us.

Probably ninety-eight percent of us, having cared like mad for a dying person, want the corpse out of the house as soon as possible no matter what time of day or night.

I don’t get it. Why the hurry?

5 comments on “Two o’clock in the morning

  1. Wednesday 15th December 2010 at 10:32 am

    What a valuable perspective from Sonya. How often, in our culture, do we find a specialist activity costed, marketed and then defended to the hilt against “amateurs?”

    Sometimes we need specialists (dentists…)sometimes the specialists would be open to a challenge from the rest of us, in a way that would destroy their ring-fenced incomes.

    E.g. celebrants like me. If people marshalled their resources well in advance – such as family members, books and the internet, the flowers in their gardens and hedgerows, their own music collections, their amateur musician friends – many more people could, I believe, run family funerals themselves, even if they needed undertakers to “deal with” the body. (I think I’m fairly mainstream too, in this area, Sonya!)

    That’s not, of course, just about saving a few bob, it’s about ownership and creative identity, it’s about a fulfilling ritual that enables grieving people to move forward with new meanings for their grief.

  2. Sonya

    Tuesday 14th December 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Mainstream folk just arent used to corpses -and how they behave. Corpses are ‘alien’ to most.
    (I am such mainstream folk)

    It’s challenging to take resonsibility. It’s like health and going to the doctors: somehow we assume’they’know best. As if your health is something ‘they’ take better care of than oneself.

    Thanks to reading this blog I have gained such an insite to dying, death ritual and how we dipose of human bodies. Why is this knowledge not part of mainstream education?
    Ah, I guess that would give too much power to individuals, how dare we re-connect so powerfully with this sacred prosess -nature- ouselves?

  3. Jonathan

    Monday 13th December 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Rupert, as your and Claire’s website suggests, you are the exception rather than the rule in that you actively encourage families to participate in everything involved in a funeral; so I’d suggest your clients are exceptional too.

  4. Monday 13th December 2010 at 3:59 pm

    That’s interesting, Rupert. I guess you’d hope doctors would proffer advice to turn off the radiator. Difficult for you and potentially distressing for families otherwise.

    I was prompted to put the question about this after chatting to a local funeral director. The 2am call is quite common hereabouts (the bed still warm).

  5. Monday 13th December 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Not our experience Charles. We have collected more people from home than ever this year, and most folk have been quite happy to have us collect them at least twelve hours after. This brings with it its own headaches for those of us who will not embalm. Centrally heated houses with upstairs bedrooms are warm, and an unembalmed body needs to be cooled down as quickly as possible.

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