Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

MATURE TIMES should have a section ‘oh bit from obits’

Posted in Funeral Anecdotes, Uncategorized by sheelanagigcomedienne on August 16, 2011

HomeI have sent a letter to Mature Times asking them to provide a forum for people to share some funeral anecdotes/ snippets of interesting biography to a section that scould be called ‘oh bits from obits’

Dear Editor,
As a humanist celebrant I have conducted hundreds of funerals. As many of your readers know we represnt those who do not have religious beliefs and our funerals contain no religious content but consists mainly of recounting the persons lifestory, their interests and hearing tributes/memories/thoughts from their family and ftriends. So, I have heard some fascinating and wonderful accounts and anecdotes. Given the many, many letters/cards/emails that  I, and my colleagues receive, it is evident that people attending our funerals have also enjoyed our approach and have learned more about the person who died. Of course, I also believe that our approach to funerals about celebrating a person’s life helps people at this time of bereavement. I also encourage our clients to invite contributions about the deceased for a memorial book for them to appreciate over time and to share with other family members and friends.
For my own interest I have compiled some snippets from funeral scripts which I have filed as ‘Oh bits from obits’. ( I had the great privilege of conducting the funeral service for the wonderful Dave Allen, a fellow compatriot). I wondered if you would be prepared to facilitate a similar section for your readers. whereby short anecdotes/interesting snippets of biography etc that they heard at a funeral could be encouraged and shared. As you know attending funerals becomes much more part of our life as we get older but we have little public expression of our experience of funerals as we still live in a death denying culture. Unfortunately, we find that carers who are dealing with the elderly are not trained, able or encouraged to engage with their older clients who often want to talk about their own funeral or a funeral that they have attended and there is often relucatance from family members, too, to dicuss ‘last things’.

It seems to me that such a section in Mature Times would be an obvious place to start to help people being more open about death and funerals, otherwise it will always be the ‘elephant  in the room’.

Yours sincerely,


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