Don’t miss the bus

Charles Cowling

This from Charles Moore in the Spectator, 11 August 2011:

Have you noticed how people’s funerals now take place longer and longer after their death? Such delay is not permitted in Judaism or Islam, religions which developed under hot suns, but it is now quite common for Christian or godless crem funerals to be held even a month or more after decease. I suppose this is the result of efficient refrigeration. It does, it is true, make it easier for friends and family to get to the funeral if there is more notice. Even so, it seems a bad trend. Death is absolute, and breaks in upon life without consideration of timing (unless you are poor King George V with your life ‘drawing peacefully to its close’ in order to coincide with the first edition of the Times). The reality of its awful fact should not be postponed. 


3 thoughts on “Don’t miss the bus

  1. Charles Cowling

    Goodness. So much opinion and so little evidence as to how (or indeed why) it was formed. I’m glad we’ve all been told how to grieve, though. Good to have Charles Moore – clearly a man of subtle light and shade – to impart such good common sense.

    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling

    …and the funeral’s delay may be permitted by but is not the result of efficient refrigeration. More likely it’s to fit in with Wimbledon, relatives arriving from distant continents, or finding the money up front before the undertaker can afford to commit herself.

    Or just occasionally because the undertaker has the wisdom to help the family go through the essential process of preparation to make good use of the funeral.

    Charles Cowling
  3. Charles Cowling

    I hope, for Charles Moore’s sake, he is one day treated to ‘the reality of death’s awful fact’ in a way that acknowledges his own need to acquiesce to it, just a little, before rushing to the crem to try and banish its awfulness with a hurried ritual. Death doesn’t get burned off with the corpse, Mr Moore, it follows you for the rest of your days, so better to make at least an agreement with it before ordering it away from your door. It will be back.

    Charles Cowling

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