Charles Cowling
Eighteen months ago Tony Judt was, by his own description, “a 61-year-old, very healthy, very fit, very independent, travelling sports-playing guy”. He had a slight shortness of breath walking up hills and found himself hitting the wrong keys when he typed, nothing more. Then in September 2008 he was diagnosed
Charles Cowling
Here in the UK we are all following, intently or wearily, the furore created by the declaration of intent by Anjem Choudary and Islam4UK to hold a procession through the streets of Wootton Basset “not in memory of the occupying and merciless British military, but rather the real war dead
Charles Cowling
Far and away the most powerful image of 1979’s Winter of Discontent, when one and a half million public sector workers went on strike, was that of the dead lying unburied. There’s a peculiar horror in that; it blends dishonour with decomposition most potently. Bloated rubbish bags, bloated corpses. Bluebottles.
Charles Cowling
“America,” said Oscar Wilde, “has been discovered before, but it has always been hushed up.” I don’t want to give offence to any of my many US readers. But for people in the UK who sometimes get frustrated with the way we do funerals over here, it’s worth reflecting that
Charles Cowling
A cheerful email arrives from Sue Kruskopf, telling me that I ought to know about her do-it-yourself funeral planning website My Wonderful Life, of which she is the co-founder. It was “created after the death of my co-founder’s husband. It is free and you can not only plan your own
Charles Cowling
I’ve never been able to get the connection between sex and death. I once met an academic at a conference who was heavily into it, but in a visceral rather than a cerebral way, so it seemed. That there’s a whole psychopathology here is not in doubt. It’s passed me
Charles Cowling
Here’s a wonderful funeral picture taken at the obsequies in Canada of Mafia boss Nick Rizzuto, gunned down last Monday. Click it to make it bigger. And here’s his gangster-chic gold coffin:
Charles Cowling
As the new year comes storming out of the blocks, so does the Good Funeral Guide, cheeks flushed by a few days in its rocky, island holiday home. So too does Reaper G, of course, for this is his busy time of the year. No seasonal best wishes for you,