Saturday, 28 February 2009

the next generation funeral

A friend pass this on to me today - I loved it!

check out the vids on this.

The Facebook invite, the dancing on tables... I love it - Obviously they couldn't have said goodbye to Mo in any better way.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

“It isn’t wrong, but we just don’t do it”

"Can we not agree just to suspend our critical faculties and let others do their thing"

(fab quote taken from Tuesdays blog update from the Good Funeral Guide)

My 2 years old daughter's favourite Thomas the Tank Engine book is ‘Gordon’ (we have read it every night for 3 weeks and I feel it’s speaking to me personally!!)

Gordon is a stereotypical English Engine, pompous, grumpy and jealous and always thinks his way is the right way! In the book he tells Henry off (my favourite engine) for whistling too much (Henry is a chirpy little engine)

Gordon moans “
Henry whistles too much. No respectable engine whistles loudly at stations. It isn't wrong, but you just don't do it”
After that, Henry is upset. Percy (the cute little green engine) tells him that he likes Henry's whistle,
Then Gordon saunters past telling Henry to remember what he said!
Later on in the story Gordon learns his lesson when his whistle valve blocks and his whistles all day long! When he gets back to the sheds all the other Engines take the piss out of him” it isn’t wrong but we just don’t do it!! (woh ha ha that’ll teach you Gordon)

In the
Good Funeral Guide blog it talks about British snobbery when it comes to tributes (such as flowers, letters, teddy’s at roadside memorials and great big plastic smiley faces and wind chimes on children’s graves) and why people like to complain about them. Here in England we like a good old moan and negative twist on everything we see that we don't necessarily agree with, especially when it comes to how we deal with death in an open hearted manner. As Gordon say’s (and the rest of the miserable UK) .... “it isn’t wrong but we just don’t do it”

Sound familiar? Like the old school English pompous funeral directors and their views on anything modern and outside of tradition!?

I like the fact that we are more open with our grief. The fact that so many people make such an effort to show their affections and display their grief by publicly placing letters, teddy’s, flowers etc. Its a comfort and I like it.

When Diana died seas of flowers were laid, yet there was so many people moaning that it was disguising and a waste. People couldn't understand why you would lay flowers for someone you didn’t know. “it isn’t wrong but we just don’t do it”. I liked it, I thought it was wonderful everyone came together and indulged in a bit of public grief!

I also like roadside memorials. It gives people driving past a moment to remember that they are not indestructible in fact they are themselves the possible destroyers - Albeit, it may only sit with them for a wee second as they drive by, but the thought is still implanted on their mind.

Public displays of grief and emotion show that we are human. Generations are becoming more and more open with their feelings and I like it! Down with the old English way and in with the all America heart and cheese – before we know it here in Great Britain we’ll all be standing at bereaved family’s front doors with candles singing ‘Calling All Angles’ ;o)

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

I wasn't go to write about this... but!

Its half term this week so I’ve been hanging out with lots of mums - Hot topic in the mummy world? You guessed it... ‘Jade Goody’!

To be fair I’ve not seen much of the Jade thing as I’m not one for the media – I don’t buy the papers, I rarely watch the news and I certainly don’t buy magazines due to the wise words of a Baz luhrmann’s song ‘Sunscreen’ - “don’t buy beauty magazines they only make you feel ugly”

So I did a bit of investigating into the media and my reaction was – wow, it’s everywhere! Also, where people can have an opinion they do! There are some beautiful messages to her, but also on a few blogs and social networking sites people seem to be up in arms about the media coverage she has encouraged... why? Because they all like a good chance to criticise and think they are so much better!

I like to think that Jade is saying...“ f*** you I’m dying! I can do what the hell I like and dam well do what I feel is right in my own death... I don’t give too hoots to what you or your dog has to say about it, come share the same opinions with me when you’re in my life position and I’ll kick you with your own sodding insults and see if you’re as strong as me”

My message to Jade Goody is ‘Good on you girl... good on you! Get as much money as you can! In the process you raise awareness of how critical cancer can be and how it can affect anyone one at any age. Show the UK that they are dam lucky to be alive and well, hopefully in the process they will face the reality that people die and maybe just maybe it could happen to them –Yes it’s like looking at a car crash, but doesn’t looking at a car crash make you more aware to drive carefully?

I am saddened for her, no matter what the media has to say about her, no matter how she is perceived ... she is human and until you are in her boots I don’t think anyone can judge.
The fact of the matter is, it is tragic! For her and of course for anyone else in the same position as she is.

My love and thoughts go out to Jade and everyone else that is going through the same suffering.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The best thing in simply living.

When you are aware of, hear, see and feel the pain and sadness in the lives of others, it can only make you appreciate what you have – not what you don’t have, haven’t had in the past or won’t have in the future.

So many people who have really lovely lives love to moan; about their job being crap, they want a new car, the kids are getting on their nerves, they’ve no money to go on holiday, the're husband doesn't do the washing up right, life's not fair, I hate.. I want... Yarda yarda yarda (You know what I mean?)... and yes, we all fall into the poor me trap sometimes, but we get out before we get bogged down with poor me syndrome. So how is it that so many people do not jump out of that hole before it becomes a deep dark and sulky life, losing the capability to look up to see how beautiful the sky is, or appreciate that they can pick up the phone and talk to the person they love or even appreciate that they have a working body?

I think maybe society today wants so much that they just can’t see what they have – the simplest things is what makes up your life, your everyday tasks; for me washing up with my music blaring and shaking my bum in time to the beat, tidying up the incessant mess my 2 year old makes, picking up my daughter from school and hearing her babble on about what she has done, working until the small hours in the office with my husband beside me on his computer tapping away, the snuggle and kiss goodnight before we fall asleep... and most importantly waking up to radio 6 (they always have a great song on at 6am!) getting up and getting out of bed is bloody hard work when it’s cold outside and you’ve only had 4 hours sleep, but it’s a new day and it’s another day in your life to carry on doing those simple things that one day will be taken away from you.

Living life ... It’s great. It’s so simple, good God, I would miss it if I couldn't do it!

How do I tell these grumpy folks to wake up to life?

"Because terminal illness robs its victims of so much. Of all the ordinary days which drift past without you noticing — the days of simply sharing a life as it goes by" Roads -the price of love blog

Monday, 2 February 2009

Chiltern Woodland Burial Park

I have been waiting to visit the new Chiltern Woodland burial Park since it opened up in November. In fact when I heard there was one opening up I just wanted to burst with excitement! Our area was crying out for a good woodland burial park and when I found out it was the same organisation as Epping forest then I knew it was going to be great!

I decided to take my daughter along to see it, she’s only 2 and a half and I thought she could run around and get some fresh air while we wondered round the woodland chatting to Fran Hall the site manager. The development is still very new, none of the buildings are finished, there’s some construction work going on and the office is a portacabin! However, you instantly see right through the imperfections. The woodland is just breath taking, it’s beautiful, its perfect and its development is Unanimous. I don’t want to seem as all hippy dippy about it, but I can’t help but be overwhelmed at how wonderful the woodland is. Its energy and its beauty is consuming .

The buildings are beautifully designed – still unfinished but judging by the photos of Epping forest buildings then they will be nothing but harmonious with the woodland surroundings. Fran gave me an insight into creativity and spiritualism reflected in the architecture of the wooden buildings. (it’s something I feel is impossible for interpret back to you but will seek out more info about it to pass on)

Fran is lovely, she was a funeral directors for 6 years and understands how hard it is to prove yourself as a young woman in the male dominated funeral industry so naturally we got on well and connect over our vision and the drive for the future of the funeral industry . You can instantly see why Fran and her team will make the woodlands a home for everyone who comes to visit. She is open and accommodating to all ideas as long as it respectful to the woodland.

I can’t wait to see the park complete in the spring. I just want to take people, clients, friends and family to see it. Show them that it’s not such a dark, morbid and scary place as their mind sees! I’ve spoken to friends and mums & dads at the pre-school gates about this fantastic place and they look at me as if I am some crazy weird woman – I mean who the hell gets over excited about a burial ground? I just want to say, hey come and see for yourself, it’s amazing, It’s beautiful, its tranquil and it’s the way forward.

In truth, walking into the woodland last week gave made me realise why I was so excited about this place – the woodland makes death more acceptable, even beautiful. It lifts a layer of taboo, peels back the shade hiding the reality of death and tackles the stigma attached to the processes.

Maybe this is the first step to cracking the great British way of ‘not wanting to think about or deal with death’