Charles Cowling
Most people think of a memorial as a sole-purpose ‘something’, there to do exactly what the shot-blast lettering says it’s there to do. A headstone, for example. Headstones are self-absorbed, stand-alone symbols. They add nothing to their surrounding headstones, neither do they detract from them. They do not beautify the
Charles Cowling
Here are some latest extracts from my favourite obituary pages, in the Times Colonist, Canada. What I admire about the best of these is their lapidary nature, their restraint, their decorum. Above all, I admire the careful thought that has gone into epitomising the person who has died. In just a few words a
Charles Cowling
A very good programme on BBC Radio 4 about online memorialisation on Facebook, dedicated memorial websites and YouTube. Features MuchLoved‘s Jon Davies, a GFG Hero. Well worth half an hour of your time. Catch it on Listen Again — but be sure to do so within the next seven days. Click!
Charles Cowling
The Moonies, followers of that well-known oxymoron Sun Moon, want to create a one-acre natural burial ground in the village of Stanton Fitzwarren, near Swindon.  It’s not just for Moonies; the villagers are welcome, too. The villagers aren’t happy, of course. The English are not natural-born embracers of change (or
Charles Cowling
A good funeral song in its own right, especially poignant when it was played at Jennyfer Spencer’s funeral last Tuesday. Find the lyric here.
Charles Cowling
The Good Funeral Guide is published today! Available from all good bookshops, one or two very bad ones and all the usual online suspects.
Charles Cowling
Here’s the news I’ve been dreading and, if you’ve been following Carla’s blog, you will have been, too. In her own words: Carla Zilbersmith, born December 15, 1962, died today, May 17th, 2010. Carla Zilbersmith died in her  home this afternoon of Lou Gherig’s disease, also known as ALS.  Carla Zilbersmith
Charles Cowling
Photo stolen from the Sentiment blog The GFG motored purposefully south yesterday afternoon to Chiltern Woodland Burial Park. It was a three-birds-with-one-stone mission: to have a look at this well-heeled natural burial ground; to hear the great Dr Bill Webster talk about grief; and to meet up with Louise from
Charles Cowling
I received this interesting insight into Dignity’s profitability the other day from a good friend of the GFG, Andrew Plume. I was mulling over some Dignity stats the other day. Much is made of 65,000 funerals having been carried out for year ending December 2009. Given that they merrily declare having
Charles Cowling
“The woman seated next to me on the plane told me her name was Stefanie but that she went by Adventure Girl … Then Adventure Girl asked me what my brand was. No one had ever asked me that before.” Thus begins a quest by Joel Stein to find his