Charles Cowling
The Movement for Reform Judaism has just published its new funeral service. It contains material – readings, poems – recommended by, among others, the devotedly atheist Claire Rayner. The purpose is, according to Rabbi Jonathan Magonet, to “allow more options to make it easier for rabbis taking the service to
Charles Cowling
When someone asks, “Read any good books recently?” I often reply, “Yes. Read any good graveyards?” Graveyards comprise a compelling variety of distilled biography. The lives they describe may be humdrum, but that only makes them easier to relate to. Just to read the names on the headstones and monuments
Charles Cowling
Here’s a situation familiar to all funeral directors and celebrants and to an increasing number of bereaved people. A reader writes to Virginia Ironside at the Independent: Dear Virginia, I had been married to my husband for 30 years when he suddenly seemed to have a brainstorm – he left
Charles Cowling
There are those who make a distinction between traditional and alternative funerals and suppose alternative funeral directors to be, like their clients, boho, treehugger, oddball shroomers who live in La-La Land towns like Totnes or Stroud “where they’re all like that”. The label doesn’t fit. It’s not one they use.
Charles Cowling
I know this blog has around 3,000 readers (and rising). I have no idea who any but a tiny fraction actually are. Google Analytics tells me that most of them are in the UK, and around 500 live in the US. The rest are scattered around the globe, and it’s
Charles Cowling
I don’t want to have a cheap pop at atheists. But I do like this – because it makes me chuckle. It’s the way it’s written. So I just back from my great uncles funeral. I never knew him as a faithful or church going type of guy, but I
Charles Cowling
I like this. It’s a report of a funeral in Arkansas: Friends bid farewell to Jim Powell at a memorial service this afternoon at Second Baptist Church. The retired Gazette editorial page editor died Wednesday at 90. Glenn Beck would have hated it. Ray Higgins and Matt Cook eulogized Jim
Charles Cowling
Jonathan posted an interesting thought the other day: “if no-one had portrayed the pseudovictoriana we associate with funerals, can you think of anyone who would have invented it for themselves?.” It raises the question: if we were to start again with a clean sheet, how would we do them? It’s
Charles Cowling
Sherwin Nuland: The reason there’s interest in people like Aubrey de Grey and the other life extenders has to do with the temper of our age, which I think of as narcissistic… Aubrey de Grey: It’s not a question of living to a thousand or living to two hundred, even
Charles Cowling
I was going to wait for a major distracting event – a natural disaster, a royal wedding, the execution of Lord Ashcroft – but I figure this afternoon’s as good as any for burying good news, so here goes: the results of the research conducted by Ipos Mori on behalf