“My Father’s Wake” by Kevin Toolis

By | November 14th, 2018|Talking about Death|

Have you even been to an Irish Wake?  I have just read “My Father’s Wake” by Kevin Toolis.  The book is subtitled “How the Irish Teach Us to Love, Live and Die”.  It is a powerful book written by someone who has engaged head-on with the harsh reality of death in many of the most [...]

“A Year to Live”

By | July 28th, 2018|Talking about Death|

Coming to Terms with Our Mortality Meretta Hart writes in response to our blog on Talking about Death and Dying, the greatest challenge for me has been to accept that one day I will not exist or be here in this body.  Here she reflects on her experience of coming to terms with her [...]

Facing Our Mortality

By | May 29th, 2018|Talking about Death|

  Talking about Death and Dying Most of us wish to avoid talking about death and dying.  Usually it is circumstance in the form of illness, an accident or a close encounter with death that forces us to face up to the reality of death.  Until then, facing our mortality is not high on our [...]

Funeral Directors Serving the Community

By | May 29th, 2018|Arranging a Funeral|

  Doing Things Differently as a Funeral Director Until recently, funeral directors were local family owned businesses serving the community.  Although their names may carry on, many formerly independent funeral directors have now been taken over by the big players in the funeral industry like Co-op Funeralcare and Dignity.  Arranging funerals has ceased to be [...]

Non-Religious Funerals

By | May 29th, 2018|The Funeral Service|

  Creating the Right Funeral for Friends and Family In the funeral world, everyone tends to assume that we can have either religious funerals or humanist, non-religious funerals.  Why?  I think it's because as a society we love simple choices between one thing or another when often the reality is more nuanced and complex.  Strictly, [...]

Good Funerals – Bad Funerals

By | May 10th, 2018|The Funeral Service|

Why Do Good Funerals Matter? When I meet people who I don’t know for the first time in a social setting and I say what what I do for a living as a funeral director and celebrant, they often tell me about a funeral which they remember. Usually it’s a family member like a parent [...]

Funeral Poems

By | May 10th, 2018|The Funeral Service|

How to Choose the Best Funeral Poems The poet Brian Patten makes the observation that a lot of people say they don’t like poetry but at times of stress end up going to poetry. What poetry does best, he adds, is to remind us of things that are important when the world emotionally overtakes [...]

DIY Funerals

By | May 10th, 2018|Arranging a Funeral|

Taking Charge of the Funeral From time to time when I have a few minutes to spare I think about my own funeral and DIY funerals in general. Often it’s on a car journey when I am by myself or in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. I am still not a [...]