Posted by: okathleen | January 14, 2009

Is that it?

What sort of send off would you like?

Balloons? Gospel Choir? All wear red?

How about burial at sea, fireworks off a cliff, or maybe a spot under the pear tree in the garden.

I know it doesn’t matter as you won’t be there, and it’s the last thing you’ll be worrying about, looking down from that soft, downy cloud. But, actually, as sure as there are rats in my garage, it matters hugely. If you have any love/feelings/empathy for the cluster of beings that you leave behind you must think about your final adieu.


Otherwise this is what happens to them:

The mourner squeezes into a wannabe vintage dress/suit/jacket/coat that she has kept to one side for twenty years, just in case she has to attend a funeral or court hearing. The male mourner searches everywhere for his black tie which will inevitably be creased/stained/lost. Looking a little like Charlie Chaplin and Mortitia on a good day they set off.

They arrive at some hideous 1970’s monolith masquerading as a church, and hover outside wondering whether they are at the right funeral, as they don’t recognise any of the other poor sods also hovering looking bemused.

They enter the church and are handed a folded leaflet with a photograph of the deceased on the front, and probably not a photograph that the deceased would have chosen – ever. The leaflet or Order of Service will contain these hymns, Amazing Grace, Praise My Soul, Abide with Me, and possibly a Robbie Williams song thrown in. The Order of Service reveals there will be a full requiem mass, despite the fact that the deceased fell out with God decades ago.

The mass begins, the funeral procession enters, it’s very very maudlin, there are two readings, about love or hope, or love and hope, a eulogy from a scared and devastated relative, then a priest lists the qualities and deeds of the deceased as if the deceased had been their best and oldest buddy.

The mass ends, mourners exit, it’s cold or raining outside as grotesque flowers, which the deceased would not have given house room to are piled into a shiny hearse.

And so on, I think you get my drift… What an ordeal. Why does it have to be so formulaic and stilted? What torture for the family and friends left behind. Is this the last laugh for the deceased. Of course not. Death is the only thing in life we can be certain will happen,

‘the goal of all life is death’

and what a hash we make of it. Make a list, do it now, I fancy a steel band and pina coladas on arrival, relax the posse a little.  And not not not in a church. Ever.

Kay, I think Kay might have liked a bit of Bill Haley and The Comets. RIP.

And just to change the subject ever so slightly, my worst fears in the whole wide world were realised this afternoon.

No, nothing to do with Cream Eggs or Nuclear Power.

There are two rats using my garage as a starter home. Yep, starter home, because I know that ultimately they have their sights set on moving in here. Norman, the gardener/window cleaner/log chopper was attacked and savagely bitten by them earlier today.

Ok, he wasn’t attacked or bitten, but he did jump 16 feet in the air as they fled past him towards the field.

Pants, what if they’ve had babies, and now it’s rats, 2 to the power of 10. My inner urbanite is calling me.

Well actually my inner academic is calling me. It’s only a very small academic, about the size of shrivelled frozen pea. There are so many distractions, how can I ever get close to being intellectual or scholarly.

Don’t answer that.


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