“I cannot stress this enough. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being interested in mortality and death. Don’t let anyone ever tell you you are “sick” or “morbid” or “deviant.” It is patently untrue. Death is where every single one of us will end up. To feign disinterest in such a fundamental thing is denial, plain and simple. Read everything you can about death. Read the philosophers, read the scientists. Figure out what you (not your culture or your religion) believe happens to a body after death and what rituals make sense to you. In this case, ignorance is not bliss. With death, ignorance is fear.”
From ‘On the Fear of Death’ by Caitlin Doughty. Read it all; it’s brilliant — here.
The late, very great and much lamented Jake Thackray with his Last Will and Testament. By the way, isn’t You Tube a marvel? This version is awfully close to the black and white On the Braden Beat Saturday night image that flickers in my memory. Astonishing to find it preserved here:
I, the under-mentioned, by this document
Do declare my true intentions, my last will, my testament.
When I turn up my toes, when I rattle my clack, when I agonise,
I want no great wet weepings, no tearing of hair, no wringing of hands,
No sighs, no lack-a-days, no woe-is-me’s and none of your sad adieus.
Go, go, go and get the priest and then go get the booze, boys.
Death, where is thy victory? Grave, where is thy sting?
When I snuff it bury me quickly, then let carousels begin –
But not a do with a few ham sandwiches, a sausage roll or two and “A small port wine, please”.
Roll the carpet right back, get cracking with your old Gay Gordons
And your knees up, shake it up, live it up, sup it up, hell of a kind of a time.
And if the coppers come around, well, tell them the party’s mine, boys.
Let best beef be eaten, fill every empty glass,
Let no breast be beaten, let no tooth be gnashed.
Don’t bother with a fancy tombstone or a big-deal angel or a little copper flower pot:
Grow a dog-rose in my eyes or a pussy-willow
But no forget-me-nots, no epitaphs, no keepsakes; you can let my memory slip.
You can say a prayer or two for me soul then, but – make it quick, boys.
Lady, if your bosom is heaving don’t waste your bosom on me.
Let it heave for a man who’s breathing, a man who can feel, a man who can see.
And to my cronies: you can read my books, you can drive around in my motor car.
And you can fish your trout with my fly and tackle, you can play on my guitar,
And sing my songs, wear my shirts. You can even settle my debts.
You can kiss my little missus if she’s willing then, but – no regrets, boys.
Your rosebuds are numbered;
Gather them now for rosebuds’ sake.
And if your hands aren’t too encumbered
Gather a bud or two for Jake.
If you want to find out more about Jake, there’s lots here.
Proof positive that most Twitter users need to get a life is evidenced by the present fad for tweeting rumours of celeb deaths.
When, last December, Jon Bon Jovi became aware that the twittersphere was chirruping news of his death he posted a link on @BonJovi to a TwitPic. The photo showed him smiling and holding up a sheet of paper on which he had written: “Heaven looks a lot like New Jersey.”
California economist Glen Whitman’s preoccupation with ‘Two Things’ is such fun that it’s no wonder it gets whirled around the papers every now and again, most recently in Saturday’s Guardian. Its premiss – laid out by a man whom Professor Whitman met in a bar – is this: for every subject, there are only two things you really need to know. “Everything else is the application of these two things, or just not important.”
“Oh,” said the professor. “OK, here are the Two Things about economics. One: Incentives matter. Two: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
Not content to limit the analysis to his own game, Whitman has quizzed those from other worlds to discover the lie of their lands. Theseare some of the perspectives he’s been collecting:
The Two Things about Medicine:
1. Do no harm.
2. To do any good, you must risk doing harm.
The Two Things about being an Executive Assistant:
1. The boss is always right.
2. The boss is always wrong.
The Two Things about Marketing:
1. Find out who is buying your product.
2. Find more buyers like them.
The Two Things about Writing:
1. Include what’s necessary.
2. Leave everything else out.
The Two Things about Civil Engineering:
1. Dirt + Water = Mud.
2. You can’t push a rope.
You can see where my thinking’s going: can we usefully hitch a ride?
Okay, over to you.
What are the Two Things about Arranging a Funeral?
Answers in a comment box below, please. A cigar will be awarded for the best.
You know I’ve been enjoyin’ things that kings and queens will never have!
In fact kings and queens can never get ‘m.
And they don’t even know about it!
And good times? Mmmmmmmmm-mmh!!
I have had my fun, if I never get well no more (x 2)
Oh my health is fadin’ on me, oh yes I’m goin’ down slow
Now looka here…
I did not say I was a millionaire…
But I said I have spent more money than a millionaire!
Cause if I had kept all my money that I’d already spent,
I would’ve been a millionaire a looong time ago…
And women? Great Googlie-Mooglie!!
Please write my mother, tell her the shape I’m in (x 2)
Tell her to pray for me, forgive me for my sin
yesterday was my mum’s heavenly birthday i light candles every day for my friends angels and wish them heavenly birthdays and put a pic in there garden yes she had a couple of verses put on but not one heavenly birthday wish or pic i know people dont have to do this but i feel hurt when i think what i do for my angel friend i have also notice although i light every day my angels are getting less and less candles can someone tell me why i know i dont light candle to get candles back for my angels but on special days it would be nice .
Message posted at online memorial site GoneTooSoon