Charles Cowling
  “If we want the deaths our lives deserve, we need to start talking about it,” advises a Times leader today. Yes, it’s Dying Matters Awareness week and all Funeralworld is a-flutter with wheezes to “start the conversation” and encourage people to make a will, jot down their end-of-life wishes
Charles Cowling
  A letter in last Thursday’s Times tells us something, perhaps, about the evolution of society’s thinking about dying, death, the competition for NHS resources, futile care and the declining value life holds for the ageing and the elderly both in the eyes of society and in their own eyes:
Charles Cowling
  “Psychoanalysts believe that emotional trauma in human life is because man is not really a god and is something more than just an animal. He is a demi-god and being a demi-god is hard.  He can create and appreciate goodness, enjoy the wonder and awe of each day; teach,
Charles Cowling
  Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country … Charlie was uninterested. He went home the next
Charles Cowling
  Michael Wolff describes caring for his eldery, dementing mother in New York magazine. It’s a long piece and it will concentrate your mind. You’ll brood on it.  Warning: once you start, you won’t be able to put it down.  …what I feel most intensely when I sit by my
Charles Cowling
  Dying Matters is surveying its members to see what they think about how well it’s doing. The GFG was one of the first 100 orgs to sign up to Dying Matters. Statements on the survey (5 possible responses from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree) include:  The Dying Matters Coalition
Charles Cowling
Guido Reni’s David with the Head of Goliath   There’s a good death piece over at the New York Times that you might like. It’s by Bess Lovejoy, author of the about-to-be-published Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses. Here are some taster extracts:  Over the last century, as Europeans
Charles Cowling
  Image I am filming with Bernard Underdown, Gravedigger of the Year, at Deerton Natural Burial Ground. We are standing beside one of Bernard’s freshly-dug graves talking with ever-so over-egged animation about graveyard myths and superstitions. We exhaust the topic, look over to the camera, and the cameraman says, “Lovely.
Charles Cowling
Posted by Vale At the Southbank Deathfest in January one of the best features was the wall that invited people to write down what it was that they wanted to do before they died. The idea began in New Orleans when artist Candy Chang pasted the first ‘Before I Die’
Charles Cowling
Posted by Vale When I was at school there was a short lived craze for making yourself faint. If I recall, you hyperventilated and then got a friend to squeeze you round the chest, at which point you passed out. It’s now claimed that this is equivalent to a near