March, 2014

Funeral Blues (Stop All The Clocks) Poem

This Poem, ‘Funeral Blues,’ often better known by it’s first line, ‘Stop All The Clocks,’ by WH Auden, was famous before it appeared in the film, ‘Four Weddings And A Funeral,’ being read by actor John  Hannah, playing the part of Matthew. Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead, Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun; Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood. For nothing now can ever come to any good. Wikipedia, says about the writer: Wystan Hugh Auden  21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973), who published as W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet, born in England, later an American citizen, and is regarded by many critics as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Funeral Blues (Stop all the clocks) is copyright W H Auden, 1937 and if often requested as part of an individual’s funeral...

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Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

This is possibly one of the most famous funeral poems. Here it is performed and sung by Katherine Jenkins. ‘Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep’ is a poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye. Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there; I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die. This poem, copyright 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye, is often requested, in advance, as individuals prepare their own Pre-Paid Funeral...

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Why Accept A Traditional Coffin?

You don’t have to accept the standard, traditional coffin that your funeral director offers to you. After all, while a coffin does serve an important role as part of the funeral process, with around 75% of people choosing a cremation over a burial across the UK, is the use of the most expensive wood the best use of your money? For the environmentally conscious, choosing a 100% recycled cardboard coffin or making a preference for bamboo and willow coffins at least provides you with a range of choice, whether you have arranged a pre-paid funeral, or not. Print a design onto your coffin An Oxford company, Colourful Coffins  can print for you, on recycled paper, picture coffin designs so that you can choose to be buried or cremated in the national flag of your choice or your favourite football team’s stadium and colours. If you don’t wish to choose one of their hundreds of existing designs you can invent your own and they will print directly on to the coffin of your choice. When you have chosen to use the cremation route, you can select from the same range of designs to complete your ashes casket. You can’t buy direct from the Colourful Coffin Company, but you can liaise with your own funeral director to arrange for your designer send off. While you are arranging a prepaid funeral plan, you can ask your preferred choice of funeral director to order your coffin, complete with your favourite design and all of this can form part of your funeral plan. Related articles How To Go Green With Your...

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How Eco-Friendly is Your Cremation?

The UK newspaper, The Guardian, has published a story about eco-friendly funerals. Listed among their ten top tips is an alternative to a cremation, with a view to reducing the carbon footprint during the process and chemical based gases into the atmosphere. Here’s what they have to say about this subject called Resomation   Dealing with ashes aside, an alternative to cremation comes in the form of resomation, which uses alkaline hydrolysis instead of fire to break down the body chemically, reducing a funeral’s greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 35%, according to Sustain. The sterile, DNA-free liquid that results, is returned to the water cycle while the accompanying bone ash remains go in an urn to give to loved ones. The process needs to be regulated before it can take place, it is currently available in some US states and the company is awaiting the outcome of an approach to the UK government. The company involved,  Resomation Ltd, are based in Scotland. Once you read this explanation, you can’t help but think of those gangster films where, after a murder, the cleanup crew use acid in a bath to disintegrate a body so the hotel employees won’t find anything untoward during housekeeping. Of course, this is nothing like that scenario, but it will be interesting to see how many people choose this method when they consider their funeral plan arrangements.  The lack of Ashes apart from the ashes from the bones, may be a problem for some cultures, but it is an interesting subject to follow and to see if it catches on. It’s encouraging that people are trying to consider alternatives for funerals and to encourage a more green attitude about death and the funeral plan. Turn Into a Tree When You...

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Will They Remember to Collect Your Ashes?

Many people wonder what they should do with the ashes of a deceased loved one, following a cremation. There are no hard and fast rules to adhere to. Nevertheless, it is better that something is decided for a person’s ashes, rather than leaving them, forever, at the crematorium. One decision involves having the ashes buried in a cemetery or in another location, while others will take the ashes away and have them scattered in a particularly important place which meant something to the person who has died. To a football supporter, this might be across the football pitch of their favourite team, while a golfer might choose the 18th green. A fishing enthusiast might prefer their ashes to be scattered at sea or where a couple regularly visited a favourite park, that would become the obvious place for the ashes to finish their journey. Sometimes, family members cannot decide what is to happen to the ashes. Where siblings disagree about where ashes should be scattered, it might be a good idea to split the ashes between the relevant brothers and sisters so that each can have their last moment with the deceased. A New Zealand newspaper has recently printed an article which describes the high numbers of people that simply leave the ashes at the crematorium because individuals either cannot make a decision about where the ashes are to be scattered or interned, or they simply forget because of age, frailty or death amongst the people who were going to make the decisions. The best way to decide where your ashes are going to be scattered is to decide in advance and by organising your own funeral plan, you are effectively organising your own funeral and will remove the worry for those that you leave behind when they have to consider where your ashes are to be scattered. Related articles What Can You Do With the Ashes of a Cremated Loved...

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