Thought for the day

“I wonder if, 

working with funerals 

and the bereaved, 

one can also be

too attached

to the idea of death, 

taking refuge in it.”

Clarissa Tan

The British way of death

The composer Benjamin Britten’s last words to his sister, Barbara:

“Sorry, old thing.”

Quote of the day

“I suppose it’s a cliché to say you’re glad to be alive, that life is short, but to say you’re glad to be not dead requires a specific intimacy with loss that comes only with age or deep experience. One has to know not simply what dying is like, but to know death itself, in all its absoluteness.”


Dead against it

“Families that live and purchased their homes there never once thought there would be a funeral home and the reminder of death on a daily basis.”

Mayor Dennis Michael speaks for the townspeople of Rancho Cucamonga, California, in opposition to plans to open a funeral home.

Quote of the day

“The end of life can be big drama, that’s for sure. In nearly a decade of doing this work, I’ve witnessed momentous final decisions; conversations carried on with mysterious, unseen figures; visions of the afterlife; and eleventh-hour forgiveness. We release each other–one back to the seen, known world and one into the unseen, unknown–and are ourselves released.”


Quote of the Day

“Military funerals have become pagan orgies of idolatrous blasphemy, where they pray to the dunghill gods of Sodom & play taps to a fallen fool.”

Statement issued by the never knowingly understated Westboro Baptist Church. More here

The British way of death

“You don’t mind if I go, do you?”

“No, Granny, it’s been nice having you.”

Libby Purves’ daughter to her grandmother on her last day. 

Quote of the day

I didn’t (mention it)? That’s terrible… Oh Christ Almighty, what an oversight. Oh man, me big brother’s gonna kill me… Do you know I forgot to mention me mum’s passing? I can’t believe it…

Rod Stewart, after an an interviewer had pointed out the omission from his autobiography of any reference to his mother’s death. 

Quote of the day



“If, as we get on each day living in the present, we spend some time seriously thinking about [death]; if we talk about it now and then – here, perhaps, and with friends and relatives; if we seek out and read what others have written about it; if we ponder it quietly from time to time –

Then one day we will realize it has come to pass that we understand; that leaving this world is the completion of the circle of life and that we will welcome it, in its time, as the next great adventure.

And we will realize then, too, that we will have arrived at our equanimity each in our own time as necessity presents itself.

At least, that’s how I hope it happens.”