Charles Cowling
Here’s a highly recommended post over at the Exit blog: Heartache of a death not shared — a helium suicide fails. It discusses this story as reported by the Times: Early one morning in September, William Stanton heard footsteps coming up the stairs of his cottage in Somerset. He knew
Charles Cowling
You saw the news that Christopher Hitchens has cancer? I suppose we all wonder how we would feel and conduct ourselves were the news to be broken to us, so there is something compelling about listening to and observing someone else for whom the dread summons has come. Here are
Charles Cowling
Looking after someone who is dying can be a disempowering experience. You can find yourself always being sidelined and denied participation by people who know better. Disconnected. When someone dies, however, you assume complete control. In spite of this, most funerals are conspicuously unjoined-up. Because people outsource the lot –
Charles Cowling
The Movement for Reform Judaism has just published its new funeral service. It contains material – readings, poems – recommended by, among others, the devotedly atheist Claire Rayner. The purpose is, according to Rabbi Jonathan Magonet, to “allow more options to make it easier for rabbis taking the service to
Charles Cowling
I don’t want to have a cheap pop at atheists. But I do like this – because it makes me chuckle. It’s the way it’s written. So I just back from my great uncles funeral. I never knew him as a faithful or church going type of guy, but I
Charles Cowling
The question Can you have a funeral without a body? is not as useful as the question Why would you have a dead body at a funeral? Yes, yes, you can’t have a wedding or a civil partnership without the happy couple, and you can’t have a baby naming without
Charles Cowling
All faith groups have sects to be ashamed of, the ones who want to string up gays, stone women taken in adultery, that sort of nonsense. Let’s not get into one of those complacent debates about how it could be that faiths based in love can spawn such hatred. We
Charles Cowling
Just once in a while things, if they are little enough and come in a cluster, can subvert the sunny disposition for which I am justly famous. This morning I was at Sutton Coldfield crematorium, my first time. I had already got the measure of the place. A telephone enquiry