Blog Archives: 2012


Thursday, 8 November 2012



Please do not ask

If I am now recovering

Or if I see the light

At the tunnel’s end.

Nor speak about relief — or burdens lifted.

And, worst of all, new starts.

Please, please don’t ask

If I am getting through —

Have come to terms

Or find my life is back on track.

Of course I live each day to each

And gladly smile

My coping, to “prepare a face

To meet the faces that you meet”.

What else is there to do?

In any case, you would not want to know

The daily loss that lasts eternally.

Just, please, don’t ask.


Written by Frances Gibb  after the death of her husband. Quoted by Matthew Parris in today’s Times (£)



Coffin wars

Thursday, 8 November 2012


Above, the January page of the 2013 Lindner calendar. Lindner make coffins in Poland. Their calendars traditionally vie with those of Conafunebri, originators of the genre, for shock value. Below, Confunebri’s take on November 2013. 


Remembrance Day window

Thursday, 8 November 2012


Remembrance Day window at Sussex Funeral Service sent in by the proprietor, Philip Evans. Thank you, Philip!

Any more good windows out there? Do, please, send your pics in. 

Show us you car

Thursday, 8 November 2012



A small selection of memorial decals as worn by US cars — a custom which has yet to cross the Atlantic.

Diagonal Daze in St Mary’s Churchyard, Twyford

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Posted by Eleanor Whitby

I was wandering around a churchyard on that one sunny  summer’s day, as you do, and came upon a few really lovely headstones.

The first was surrounded by a burst of colour in a green area of flat memorials in the council owned section – I loved the smooth, pebble like surface and the little indentation which created a bird bath.

I moved round to the church owned section and was taken aback because all the graves were at an angle to the path – obviously positioned to face East, but it created a diagonal vista across the cemetery which I’d never seen before. There must have been a fashion for rough hewn stones as there were several – but I liked this one’s inscription:

” Oh! Call it not death – ‘Tis a holy sleep”

Then I came across the only wooden memorial – cleft from a huge piece of oak. The owner’s name long lost in the ravages of wind and weather – but just look at how  it has dried and stretched and shrunk and cracked, yet still stands tall and proud.


Hiding amongst holly trees,  a prickly barrier against would be intruders to the peace of this long lost grave.

This next one then made me stop still for quite a long while – hand hewn by a loving father? husband? brother? So poignant in its home-madeness – I had to touch it and run my fingers over the clumsy lettering that had been chiselled with such love.


As I made my way out, my eye was drawn to this small headstone set back from the path, almost lost by all the cremation plot markers. The angled words completing my diagonal day. What a wonderful inscription, I resolved to make an effort to be more of a light!

RIP Clive Dunn

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Clive Dunn died today aged 92. He survived the recording above (a UK No. 1) by a mere 40 years.

The Undertaker

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Undertaker Intro from Promineo Studios on Vimeo.


An amusing little drama here describing an undertaker besieged by the spirits of people he has buried and condemned to a lightless existence. You will observe the auteurial influence of early Ingmar Bergman, Pedro Aldomovar, the Coen brothers and Jacques Cousteau. You’ll have to be quick, though, it only lasts 30 secs. 


You could just get away with it

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


What’s bad news for undertakers is good news for the rest of us. And the good news for the rest of us is that, in the words of the Guardian

Less of us are dying than at any time since mortality data was collected.

Good news for the rest of us, but rotten news for grammarians, whose binoculars are trained on this blog. ‘Less’ should read ‘fewer’.

Or more optimistically still:

More of us are not dying than at any time since records began. 

That aside, last year’s mortality figures, now out, reveal that  a mere 484,367 deaths were registered in England and Wales, 1.8% down on 2010. In a nation with an oversupply of undertakers, that spells hard times for the Dismal Trade, which is likely to experience a climbing mortality rate as the weakest go to the wall. 

More to the point, it shows that a lot of people are getting clean away with it, and I hope that puts a hopeful spring in your step. 

So, what are other people dying of? 

Apart from the usual suspects, 5 died from falling off a cliff and no one died from rat bite. 51 men and just 1 woman died from falling off a ladder. 

Get the full stats here.

And remember: it needn’t be you!




Window dressing

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Linda Blakelock, of the recently-opened Divine Departures in Gateshead, has decorated the shop windows for Remembrance Day. 

Do, please, send in photos of a funeral director near you who has done the same. 


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