The weekend yielded three newspaper articles about funerals.
The Indy’s is a way-to-go survey. It begins by reflecting the current morbid fascination with the demise of enormous people and the consequent indignities of going out big, making play of wardrobe-size coffins and cranes used to lower them. Health is the new morality, of course, so going to your grave in a JCB amounts to judgement. For the rest, we’re not at all sure that the article tells anyone anything they didn’t already know. The writers talk of caskets, not coffins. They quote the average funeral cost as £7,248. They display the customary media attraction to wackiness — Crazy Coffins, for example. Oh and promession, in development since 1999 and yet, as far as we know, to render anyone to biodegrable powder. Verdict: dull. Score: 3/10. Find it here.
There’s a much better piece in the Guardian by Amanda Mitchison and Caleb Parkin about ashes and what people do with them. Richard Martin over at Scattering Ashes was thrilled that his Viking longship got a mention, though no name-check for him. Or for the GFG, which begat the concept. 8/10 for this and, at the time of typing, we are waiting for Ms Mitchison to take to the air on R4 and talk to us about ashes. Listen-again link later. Find the Guardian article here.
Finally, the Daily Mail plays to the zeitgeist with a shamelessly sensational piece about a man too large to fit into a mortuary refrigerator and ‘left to rot’… ‘Plans for an open casket funeral have been scrapped because his body is too decayed.’ What’s all this casket talk we’re getting these days? Score for this piece 0/10 or 10/10 depending on the altitude of your brow. Find it here.