Thoughts of a funeral-goer

Charles Cowling

 

Posted by Lyra Mollington

After last week’s trials and tribulations, I was looking forward to a week of rest and reflection.  Mr M suggested a short break.  Unfortunately, at our age, the stress of packing and travelling cancels out any benefits of getting away from it all.  In any case, ‘it all’ is a centrally-heated home with all mod cons, a reclining chair and a bed with a memory foam mattress.  Holiday cottages play havoc with my sciatica. 

What I really needed was a week without death.  However, this is easier said than done at my age.  A few weeks ago, Daisy and I sat down to watch ‘Bargain Hunt’ only to discover that this was a tribute episode, shown in loving memory of one of the experts – our favourite, David Barby.  We were distraught.  We had no idea that he had died.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I watch rather a lot of TV.  Would it be possible to watch television AND avoid death-related topics?  Forward planning was the key.  I decided that the programmes I could safely watch included ‘Hairy Bikers’; ‘Grand Designs’ and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.  I also decided that there were going to be a lot of programmes I’d have to avoid, like ‘Homeland’; ‘999: What’s Your Emergency?’ and ‘Emmerdale’.

For two days, my television diet was dull but death-free.  Until I was tripped up by Mr M.  We were watching ‘Dad’s Army’ because  I was fairly certain no-one ever dies in that, although I was trying not to dwell on how many of the actors are no longer with us.  As the credits rolled, Mr M began fiddling absent-mindedly with the remote control.  We were now watching a show called ‘The X Factor’.  It seemed harmless enough until one of the contestants buy cialis online safely burst into tears.  Her nan had died.   

On Monday evening, with the remote carefully hidden, I settled down to watch a BBC2 documentary called ‘Wonderland: Walking with Dogs’.  I have a soft spot for dogs, especially my canine companion Colin.  I named him after a certain good-looking and talented young actor. Farrell of course, not Firth.

As the remarkable ‘Walking with Dogs’ stories unfolded, I wondered if Colin (the dog, not the actor) and I might have had a tale worth telling.  Not that we would ever have been in the running:  Vanessa Engle filmed her documentary on Hampstead Heath, which isn’t our local park.  This is just as well because, judging from the experiences of one set of dog-walking ladies, Colin and I have had a lucky escape.  Apparently dog-walkers were often stumbling across dead bodies on the Heath.  Indeed, whilst the camera crew were there, a dead body was discovered.  Although to everyone’s disappointment, it turned out to be someone fast asleep in a bush. 

At the mention of ‘dead bodies’ I should have changed channels but I was gripped.  The most poignant story of all was about a couple whose son had died a few months previously.  They referred to their pet as a ‘rescue dog’ because he had rescued them.  Their advice to anyone who had suffered an unbearably painful bereavement?  Get a dog.  Whilst a dog can never replace the person you have lost, he or she is a wonderful distraction. 

I held Colin a little tighter.  It was at this point that I heard a snuffling noise.  I looked across at Mr M who was dabbing his eyes with a handkerchief.  After a minute or two he regained his composure and said, ‘Have you seen the remote?’

  

2 thoughts on “Thoughts of a funeral-goer

  1. Charles Cowling
    Quokkagirl

    It was an enchanting programme – quirky and interesting and we too had a lot of gulping going on in our house. Wonderful observation as always Lyra.


    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    Jed

    In the midst of life we are in death…. There’s just no getting away from it Mrs Mollington – especially on television. I wonder how many tv deaths we see in a lifetime?


    Charles Cowling

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>