On Saturday November 24th Greenwood Funerals played a key role in staging an unusual funeral. Around two hundred people walked slowly through Frome behind a coffin symbolising a Funeral for Extinct Species. Traffic was diverted and many curious onlookers were riveted as we walked past. It was both a moment of pure theatre and something way outside the work of most funeral directors.
Over the last five years Greenwood Funerals have conducted many funerals of all shapes and sizes. Some have been simple. Others whether carefully staged or spontaneous have been more theatrical . Two in particular come to mind. Both were a moving expression of the life of the two people who had died.
At the first, the coffin was carried at the head of a procession of mourners through the woods to a marquee where the funeral service was held. At the end, champagne was served and the dead man toasted. Then the coffin which was now piled high with flowers was carried away whilst the mourners sang a powerful sea shanty as a final farewell.
At the second, the mourners processed behind jugglers and fire-breathers from the chapel to the crematorium.
Will We Survive?
Incredibly humankind has managed to preside over the extinction of around 60% of our fellow living creatures in the last 50 years. We have done this with very little opportunity to mourn that passing or to recognise that so much has gone forever.
The eulogy focused on a long list of species which are endangered and whose continued existence is hanging by a thread. For many of these species, it is probably already too late. But humankind still has the option of taking decisions which may enable other species to share the planet with us for longer. Even more to the point, which side of the line will humankind find itself? Will we survive as a species?
Saving the Planet
There is an increasing body of thought and work emerging which looks at the possibility, even probability, that humankind’s stay on the planet is nearing its end.
At Greenwood Funerals, we often meet with people nearing the end of their lives and with their families to help enrich a journey which we will all undertake. For individual humans, this is simply how it is. We are born, we live, we die.
Does this have to be the collective journey taken by the human species? Or can we take enough strong and effective actions now to save other species and ourselves?