Thoughts of a funeral-goer

Charles Cowling


I’m back. From the brink of death. And Lyme Regis.

It sounds dramatic but I really did think I was a goner. And Charles tells me that so too did many readers of this blog. He had several emails asking him not to kill me off. I’d like to reassure those people that Charles doesn’t have my address in East Sheen, so the chances of him being able to kill me are remote.

To the gentleman who begged him not to ‘blog-snuff Lyra’: thank you. This is a worrying thought. However, Charles says that I’m safe from being blog-snuffed as long as I keep my posts interesting.

So let’s test his mettle by considering some statistics.

The Office for National Statistics recently published their first annual ‘Subjective Well-being Results.’ Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I am in most of the categories for the highest levels of happiness!

The happiest people are female, married, live in their own properties and are between the ages of 75 and 79. I would need only to move to the Shetland Islands and be Indian to score higher! There is a downside: women are more likely to be anxious. Which is true – I’m a worrier.

The other downside wasn’t mentioned. If you’re over 75, statistically you’re more likely to be dead next week than those people who are under 75. I made that up but it must be true. On the same day that the happiness statistics were released, the ONS published the Monthly Provisional Figures on Deaths. Which did nothing to help my anxiety levels.

But I was greatly uplifted by last week’s opening ceremony for the Olympic Games. It made me proud to be British – even if we are bonkers. Indeed, because we are bonkers. I gasped and smiled when Her Majesty the Queen appeared alongside James Bond. Which lady of a certain age wouldn’t die happy if she’d experienced a few moments with Daniel Craig?

Next week, if I’m still alive and I haven’t been blog-snuffed, I hope to report on a funeral – ideally the funeral of a complete stranger who has lived a long and happy life. Daisy and Barry insist on coming too so that they can look after me and make sure I don’t over-do it. They’re not keen for me to visit a natural burial ground just yet. But I’m working on it.

They’re worriers too.

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Mesa Cremation Service

That’s an interesting study that married women over 75 living in their own home are happiest. I sure hope to buck this stat and be part of the happy camp way before that time – today. Funerals sure can reinforce this – don’t wait to do/say what you need – just do it – have NO REGRETS!


Thank you for your comment Mesa Cremation Service. I had a peek at your website – funerals seem to be done very differently in the USA. Well done for winning the women’s football final on Thursday evening! And good luck for the men’s basketball final tomorrow. Would you recommend Arizona as a holiday destination? Mr M is worried that it’s too hot. However, he’s tempted by the bright lights of Las Vegas.


Lyra, Friday just wasn’t Friday without you.


Only a lady would notice the fine fine quality of the gloves.

gloria mundi

Smart gloves Lyra! Welcome back, how nice to have your weekly thoughts again.


Thank you Evelyn. Yes indeed – the present Mr M! Sadly not looking quite like Daniel Craig these days.
Quite right not to trust statistics. Have you ever read Freakonomics or Superfreakonomics? Fascinating.


Lyra! So glad to see you back and feeling on good form once more, we missed you. What a wonderful photo of you – and the present Mr M I presume? I can see why you are so happy – your very own Daniel Craig!
Statistics – what do they know? I never believe them – not since all that fuss and bother around Popeye’s spinach.