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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Ashes to ashes

When I tell people that one of the best bits of being a vicar was taking funerals they look at me as though I am totally mad.  But it’s true, taking a funeral is really satisfying. The day we have to go to the funeral of someone we have loved is one of the worst days we ever have to go through and if I can make it a less horrible day I’ve done a good days work.

A few weeks ago I took a funeral for which I was booked about fifteen years ago, which sounds very peculiar but let me explain.  Rob’s wife Dottie was a good friend of my late mother and I took her funeral and afterwards Rob asked me if when the time came I would do the same for him.  The time came in June when Rob died on his 97th birthday.  He had outlived most of his friends, he and Dottie hadn’t had any children and his only brother had died at El Alamein so there were no relatives, just a couple of ladies who had been his friends and had organised his life when he became incapable of caring for himself.  However he had been a very good golfer in his time and had been Captain and President of his golf club so there were quite a few fellow golfers who came to pay their respects at the crematorium.

Today several of us went to the golf club and we scattered his ashes.   As is so often the case it was quite a jolly affair.  About a dozen of us went out to a pretty hole near a pond and the captain did the honours while I said a prayer.  The ladies laid flowers and someone threw a golf ball into the pond in Rob’s memory to the sound of everyone cheering then it was back to the nineteenth hole. 

All in all it was a lovely memorial of a life well lived.  I think Rob would have approved.


  1. We went this week to a service of thanksgiving for a dear friend. It was organised by the family, children and grandchildren, and was beautifully done. He had apparently planned the whole thing beforehand, which must have made it easier.

  2. You're right Elizabeth.We often think of a funeral as the last thing we can do for thr person who has died but it can be planned in advance by a person as his/her gift to those left behind.