This is by way of a plea. Think about the kind of funeral you want - yes, I know that's not a comfortable thing to dwell on, but think about it - and then leave clear instructions. That way it's your funeral, not people trying to second-guess what you might like. I've been left with knowing that my mother wanted to be cremated. That's it. For even when I knew that I might be googling such topics in the near future, it seemed indecent (to me) to be doing pre-mortem research. So the last couple of days has involved some frenzied internet activity on my part. I was so glad to hit upon Poppy's Funerals, a woman-started and run, friendly, completely laid-back, eco-friendly joint run out of the neo-Gothic gatehouse of Lambeth Cemetery - believe me, these are people I'd want to run my funeral. So a lot is now planned, including the touch that makes me super-happy: that my mother's coffin will be (honoring the fact of her being a proud Yorkshirewoman to the last) made of dark grey wool from Swaledale sheep who safely graze in the Yorkshire Dales. Yes - of course it's unbearable. But it makes so much difference being able to talk to people who speak one's own language, as it were - non-sentimental; non-sanctimonious; cheerful and respectful. And that's Lambeth Cemetery, above - at the end of a miraculously beautiful sunny day.
For those who are interested: the funeral will be at 2.30 p.m. on Friday December 14th, in the West Chapel of Putney Vale Crematorium (that's the C of E chapel), followed by refreshments (let's call it a party) back home. Family flowers only: donations in Joy's memory to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. https://www.battersea.org.uk/