Charles Cowling
  Posted by Vale “So a few weeks before Bob died, my 15-year-old son, Harper, and I made a coffin out of plywood and deck screws from Home Depot…We routed rabbet joints for a tight construction. “I guess we wouldn’t want him falling out the bottom,” Harper said. “That would
Charles Cowling
  Posted by Sweetpea   In the light of our recent discussions about the merits of secular, civil and religious funerals, one interesting thread started to appear.  Namely, what should a funeral not fail to include?  Can a funeral ever really be meaningful to anyone?  Does any funeral do the
Charles Cowling
Regular readers of this blog will know of Teresa Evans and her campaigning work. If you don’t know Teresa, have a look at her website. I’ve always admired Teresa. She is an ordinary person possessed of extraordinary singlemindedness, tenacity and passion. She is also very nice. Teresa campaigns for better,
Charles Cowling
There’s a fine row brewing in Cork. The County Council has forbidden the public to dig graves themselves, something they have been doing since the dawn of time. Yes, it’s a health and safety thing. From now on graves may only be dug by those who have done the course.
Charles Cowling
Penny Rhodes of A Natural Undertaking, “a collaborative partnership that teaches families how to be in attendance at the passing of a loved one, and the time afterwards, in the setting of one’s own home,” has just posted this slideshow account of her father’s home funeral. Penny says of her
Charles Cowling
The words that follow are by Thomas Lynch, a hero to so many of us in the UK. (In the US there are those who reckon him paternalistic, but we don’t need to go into that. It’s complicated.) Funerals are about the living and the dead — the talk and
Charles Cowling
There’s interesting work going on over in Boston, Massachusetts. Two women, Ruth Faas and Sue Cross, offer a range of services to the bereaved. They have a reading room where people can sit in comfort and find out about death and dying. They offer advice and contacts to those wanting
Charles Cowling
The following is taken from Ben Heald’s blog and so much speaks for itself that I don’t need to add another word: Nothing can prepare you for losing close family suddenly; and I don’t want to dwell on the personal loss.  What I’d like to talk about is the learning
Charles Cowling
Nobody I can think of would dispute the assertion that it’s good for the bereaved to spend time with their dead, contemplating their absence – what I like to call their very present absence. There is a debate about how dead a person should look. Some people want to spend
Charles Cowling
Here’s an intelligent, beautifully written piece from Salon magazine in which the writer describes the consequences of his father’s final request No. 5: “My body is to be placed in a plain pine box. I would like my children to make the box.” In his last years my father, the