Blog Archives: April 2012

Of Mice and Men

Monday, 30 April 2012

 

From the soundtrack to the film. Perfect for a committal. Big hat tip to Phoebe Hoare

Quote of the day

Monday, 30 April 2012

Gianni Agnelli’s funeral

 

As scion of the Fiat family, Gianni Agnelli was both a multi-millionaire and one of Italy’s most influential figures, and among the men least likely to accept being relegated to the sidelines. His best friend was Stavros Niarchos, the shipping tycoon known as “the Golden Greek”.

When he died in 1996, his grieving widow rang Agnelli, who insisted on seeing the body before it was buried. She took it as a sign of the men’s great friendship, but was taken aback when the Fiat magnate, faced with the corpse, took the cold hand in his and proceeded to take its pulse; he repeated the gesture with the other hand. Agnelli went on to press his fingers on Niarchos’s temple: he couldn’t accept his loss, the widow concluded. She was taken aback when Agnelli, instead, burst out: “This is crazy! Men like us don’t die!”

 

 

What about those Interfaithers?

Monday, 30 April 2012

 

Another controversial post by Richard Rawlinson

 

When religion is broached here in relation to secular funerals, I observe a few commentators opining the fact religion in this context tends to be referring to Judeo-Christian monotheism rather than wider discussion of faiths from New Age sects to Buddhism and Hinduism. I’d also welcome informed bloggers across the spectrum, but today I’d like to revisit the Interfaith niche in the hope of soliciting your opinions about it.

For example, the OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation seems to be forging a niche for itself that sits firmly on the fence between civil and religious, claiming to design funeral ceremonies where everyone attending, regardless of faith or views, will feel included.

Acknowledging that a funeral today often includes people attending from different faiths or none, the foundation supplies male and female ministers who have followed a two-year training programme with the Interfaith Seminary. It claims this training allows for the recognition of ‘the inner spiritual truths of the individual [which are also] at the heart of the world’s great faith traditions’. It adds: ‘There are countless paths leading to the One God / Truth / Great Spirit / Source-of-All’.

This is clearly not just another Protestant sect as it’s aiming to be as inclusive of agnostics and non-Christians as it is those uncomfortable with the organised Church. In fact, the reference to One God / Truth / Great Spirit / Source-of-All above is the only one I could find on its website. What a considerate use of forward slashes, which could be joined by AA’s Higher Power and Wicca’s Mother Nature.

Of its ministry, it says: ‘We aim to be of service to people of all faiths or none’, citing as an example ‘those who are seeking spiritual connection and expression, yet feel uncomfortable with conventional religion’.

It continues: ‘We are not creating a new religion, but filling a growing spiritual gap in modern society. It’s not our aim to convert anyone away from their faith, but to support people who wish to enquire more deeply into their own spiritual tradition and their own soul’.

Whether agnostic or religious, might this approach be comforting to some in the context of funerals? Or does it leave a sickly taste?

No Depression – Uncle Tupelo

Friday, 27 April 2012

 

 A good sendoff song in a bad economy. 

 

Fear the hearts of men are failing
These our latter days we know
The great depression now is spreading
God’s word declared it would be so

I’m going where there’s no depression
To a better land that’s free from care
I’ll leave this world of toil and trouble
My home’s in heaven
I’m going there

In this dark hour, midnight nearing
The tribulation time will come
The storms will hurl the midnight fear
And sweep lost millions to their doom

I’m going where there’s no depression
To a better land that’s free from care
I’ll leave this world of toil and trouble
My home’s in heaven
I’m going there

I’m going where there’s no depression
To a better land that’s free from care
I’ll leave this world of toil and trouble
My home’s in heaven
I’m going there

Quote of the day

Friday, 27 April 2012

 

For many, working with corpses is a job reserved for the very brave, or very desperate, as a last resort when there are no other jobs available.

 

Source

 

 

 

Disney funeral

Friday, 27 April 2012

 

The family of Bailey Massey, who died aged nine months, accompanies his body to his funeral dressed as his favourite cartoon characters. 

 

Source

Thoughts of a funeral-goer

Friday, 27 April 2012

 

 

Posted by Lyra Mollington

 

Not long after I had decided on a burial shroud made of wool, lo and behold, up pops a woollen coffin – at the funeral of an elderly lady who loved knitting!  I have to confess that, yet again, I did not know the deceased.  I happened to be in the graveyard when I saw the cortege coming through the gates towards the crematorium chapel.  Daisy was with me and we both slipped in at the back.  Well, I slipped in and Daisy reluctantly followed knowing it was her best chance of a lift home.

Not only was it a woollen coffin, balls of wool and knitting needles had been cleverly incorporated into the floral display.  Luckily the curtains weren’t closed so, when everyone had left, I got my digital camera out whilst Daisy stood anxiously by the door.  She really shouldn’t have worried.  As I pointed out to her later, there are some advantages to being a smartly dressed lady of a certain age.  Never am I asked questions such as, ‘What are you doing?’ Or, ‘Who said you were allowed in here?’ Or even, ‘Why are you taking photographs of the coffin of a complete stranger?’ In any case, by the time the funeral director returned to retrieve the flowers, the camera was back in my handbag and I had taken three photos.  And (hurrah!) one was in focus.  Seb tells me that I’m too impatient – apparently my auto setting is automatic not instant – but in the heat of the moment it’s difficult not to get carried away. 

 

 

Imagine my surprise when only three days later, I attended another funeral with an equally imaginative yet tasteful floral tribute.  This time, it was for a gentleman who was passionate about gardening.  He spent as much time as possible in his allotment where he grew all manner of vegetables.  Yes, you’ve guessed it – the florists (such creative people) had incorporated veg into the floral arrangement!  There was a lovely assortment including curly kale and purple sprouting broccoli.  Sadly, I was unable to take a photograph.  Even I draw the line at sneaking behind the curtains. 

It’s fairly common for people to place objects on top of the coffin.  I’ve seen flat caps, medals, teddy bears, hip flasks and a tea pot, but recently I’ve noticed that more people are thinking outside the catalogue when it comes to ordering flowers.  However, I’m not so keen on those displays where the flowers are cut and stuck together to resemble an object.  Or, even worse, when they have been sprayed with paint to achieve the desired effect.  Nevertheless, I do admire the skill of the person who can make Paddington Bear out of a giant block of oasis and an assortment of flower heads.

Which brings me on to flowers in the shape of letters spelling out MUM, DAD and NAN.  I’ll admit that when I first started seeing flower-names I was dreadfully stuck-up about it.  Saying it with flowers was being taken too literally.  But rather like digital television and the internet, I have warmed to the idea.  There was no doubting their impact when, on my recent tour of the crematorium, I saw GRANDDAUGHTER sitting on the flower terrace. 

Then, two days ago, I saw flowers spelling out a rude word in the back of a passing hearse.  I am sure that such things are unremarkable to the broad-minded readers of the GFG blog.  However, I was taken aback – not what Mr Chunky and I were expecting to see on our way to Barnes Common!

And then I realised I was smiling.  Just as I had smiled when I saw Pat’s balls of wool and Victor’s turnips.  And isn’t that how we want to remember the people we love – with a smile?  

 

Howlin’ Wolf – Baby How Long?

Thursday, 26 April 2012


 
Another great farewell song from Phoebe Hoare. Thanks, Phoebe. 

 
When you left me this mornin’,
you taken my heart away,
When you left me this mornin’,
you taken my heart away,
That’s allright baby,
you will come back home someday
How long, baby, how long, how long
How long, baby, how long, how long
You know I love you
you started doin’ me wrong
Well when you leave home,
you can call me on your phone
Well when you leave home,
you can call me on your phone
I’ll sent you you’re money
darlin’ you come back home
Oh come back
How long, have you gone do me wrong
How long, have you gone do me wrong
Ain’t nobody never lived that,
gettin’ do somebody wrong

Dying of hunger?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

 

Dead Dog, Don’t Bit Me Ltd is a hot dog stand in San Jose, California. Yes, it’s a converted coffin. 

And it travels around in an old hearse. 

 

 

 

Source

Page 1 of 912345...Last »