When I retired as a humanist celebrant I thought I'd stop writing this blog, but my fascination with all things death-related prompted more posts. They're just written from a slightly different perspective, that's all. Oh, and I still do the odd one, by special request.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stories from the day hospice

The Wellcome Collection currently has a post on its website about a creative writing group at the Princess Alice Hospice, Esher, where the patients don't seem to have lost their sense of humour.
An ambulance siren went off in the distance. Margaret said, “Oh, I don’t like that sound, go away.” She tells us how she was waiting outside the hospital for her taxi the other day. Being a self-confessed chatterbox, she got talking to the man next to her. Just then, a hearse pulled up in front of them. “Is that mine or yours?” she asked.
This reminded me of one of my funeral director friends and his dry sense of humour. For the past few years I've struggled to manage graveside ceremonies due to poor mobility. The funeral directors knew this, and did what they could to help. When a grave was a long way from the  car park, a funeral director offered me a lift in the hearse. Afterwards, he asked if I'd like a lift back to my car. I said yes please. "Horizontally or vertically?" he enquired.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Customer feedback

On a grey day, after several cold callers got fleas in their ears, the phone rang again. I was all set to slam the phone down when the caller asked if I was the person who'd conducted several funerals for her family. The names she mentioned were familiar but as I've done so many since 1991, I can't remember the details. A close relative was in a hospice, she said, and the family wanted to know if I'd be available when the time came. I wish I could, I said, but my bad back won't let me; a colleague will help instead. It seems that the funerals I did for her family are still talked about, they all thought they were lovely, and that they helped them through some sad times. It's strange to be cheered up by funeral talk, but I was. Nice to know you're appreciated.