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