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Monday 7 October 2013

Radio waves

I have taken to sleeping with Radio 4 on, very quietly, all night.  The old eyes are not up to reading much these days and I do need something to concentrate the brain on rather than meandering off into the dark side, last thing at night.

So I tend to fall asleep listening to one thing and wake to something completely off topic.  Last night, I think I was hearing something about the editor of the Daily Mail, who is currently embroiled in a bit of a ding-dong with the Leader of the Labour party (and, yes, the DM behaved disgracefully and are completely nuts!) and woke up to a programme about funerals and Jewish cleansing rituals.

My first (and rather self-absorbed) thought was "Really?  Don't they know I really don't want to discuss this right now?" before the realisation that this was the World Service and right now, they are broadcasting hope and education to people all over the world, who are in a lot worse situation than me.

So I carried on listening and was struck by the compassion and respect of the woman on the radio,  who does the special Jewish ritual cleaning - (chevra kaddisha) and I was so struck by this sentence.

This work holds great merit since those they serve can never repay them.

I was also struck by another conversation about being buried vs being cremated.  One man said he wanted to buried, have a headstone and somewhere for his family to gather to talk to him.  Another said he wanted to be cremated and scattered at sea, as he had connections all over the world and didn't want to be pinned down in one place (that's me!).  I am not a great one for headstones and monuments.  I carry people in my heart.

Therefore, I have absolutely no intention of being buried and have made this quite clear. (I have nightmares of being in HWISO's family plot.)  I want to be scattered on my beloved Southwold beach.  However, through this programme, I began to understand the whole dust to dust thing and being returned to the earth to start the cycle again and began to see why Mum chose to be buried, with a headstone.

So a somewhat gloomy topic for a Monday morning but, in my bossy way, I want you all to think about it and, if  you can't discuss it with your nearest and dearest, I want you to Write Down somewhere what you want to happen.  After all, the thought of eternity buried next door to someone you didn't like particularly, rather than scattered to the four corners of the earth, should galvanise you into some kind of action....

As you were...


  1. I'm also sleeping with R4/World Service at the moment. It seems to be the only way I can turn off All The Thoughts sufficiently to drop off to sleep.

  2. Dear Charlotte...I'm a friend of Marcella's & have been reading for a also a parish priest in the C of E and wanted to say a huge thank you for this particular post. So often families are left in confusion & anxiety about "What X would have wanted" - so you are once again a star - for making it so very clear for your own nearests and dearests but also for enabling others to launch into what seems to be an almost unmanageable conversation. Bless you :)