Posted by Lyra Mollington
Daisy is one of those people who pretends she hasn’t a care in the world when really she is a quivering heap of insecurity and doubt. Ask her how old she is and she will cheerily reply, ‘21 and holding!’ (She’s 71 and slowly slipping like the rest of us.)
She’s been particularly unsettled since a dead body was discovered just a few doors from where she lives. As I reported last week, a young stowaway had fallen from a plane.
We needed to talk so I invited her round for a coffee. It was Mr M’s birthday a few days ago and I gave him one of those espresso coffee machines. I had wanted one for ages. Over a café latte and some Seriously Chocolate Tiffin from Waitrose, Daisy revealed that she had made some ‘life-changing’ decisions.
Firstly, she decided to get rid of her urns. You may remember that she had several of these displayed on her mantelpiece. Not all the contents are of human origin – most are from her pet dogs. Barry refers to them as ‘clutter’. By ‘get rid of’ she means she’s put them up in the loft. This is a splendid idea – a modern sky burial.
Secondly, she’s invited Barry to move in with her. I have no idea what they’ve been waiting for – although Barry was probably waiting for those urns to go. She explained, as though it had never occurred to her before, ‘Life’s too short to care what the neighbours think.’ I didn’t like to say but the neighbours are probably thinking the same as me, ‘About time too!’
Thirdly, she’s written a will. When I asked her why she hadn’t done this years ago, she replied, ‘You’ll think I’m being silly but I’ve always thought it would be the kiss of death.’ I don’t think she’s silly at all (well not in this instance). For Daisy, and many others I’m sure, writing a will is like saying, ‘I’m ready – take me now.’
As it turned out, it WAS the kiss of death – but not for Daisy. One of her neighbours, whose opinions she had been so concerned about, died the following day. Her husband John has asked Daisy if she will help him with all the arrangements. He’s at a loss to know where to begin, not least because for the past fifty years his wife made all the decisions.
We’re going round to John’s this afternoon armed with a laptop and the Natural Death Handbook.