Getting to the bottom of things

I wrote to friends in Canada yesterday, whom I hadn’t contacted for several months – though nor had they written to me – and I haven’t heard back yet,  I hope they’re all right.  I’ve also written today to an old friend and distant cousin of Russell’s in Atlanta.  She sent a card and letter, so I’ve reciprocated – not posted yet, I’ll do that tomorrow.  I’m making valiant efforts to keep in touch with people, I’m really not very good at it and still owe a lot of letters.  It’d be easier if everyone read my blog, really.

That court case I mentioned back in the summer, I’ve finally settled out of court for, frankly, a derisory sum but the man is beyond the pale and I won’t waste more thought on him.  I called him a rude word at the end, having kept polite throughout, which achieves nothing but slightly relieves my feelings.

In today’s post, I received a testing kit.  Yes, it’s good old bowel cancer testing time again.  I remember the last time – you get cardboard spatulas with which to do smears on card.  Yes, it’s that horrid.  And it’s not nearly as simple to do as the instructions suggest.  Mind you, they start by recommending *either* toilet paper *or* gloves, which doesn’t quite install confidence.

I called on a friend, whose father died last week.  Her husband had been going to come and look at various plumbing jobs in the annexe, but had been overtaken by the event, and then by a request to construct a cardboard coffin.  M’s mother died a few years ago and she wanted a cardboard coffin, but it turned out not to be as eco-friendly as they expected, as it was lined with MDF and really rather expensive to boot.  So this time, V jokingly suggested he could make it – and then was taken up on the suggestion, to his horror.  He’s done it, and the splendid local independent undertaker was accommodating, which many such establishments wouldn’t have been, I’m sure.  But if you want to go down the bio-degradable route, I’d recommend doing some research first.

8 comments on “Getting to the bottom of things

  1. dinahmow

    I am also falling behind with letters…
    How lovely that an undertaker didn’t make a negative fuss about the coffin! I certainly don’t want anyone spending money and wasting good timber when I go. There is some new system being touted which allows your remains to be seeded with compost and tree seeds.But I think you have to be cremated for that!

    Reply
    1. Z Post author

      I know, I would be happy to be composted but I understand it puts rather a blight on the value of one’s property if there’s a corpse in the garden.

      Reply
  2. Helen

    I had no idea cardboard coffins were lined with MDF, I shall have to rethink my last wishes. I think I will start saving boxes now and have a do it yourself one.

    Reply
    1. Z Post author

      I’m not saying they all are because I don’t know. But it’s worth checking on. Cardboard has to be the right quality, of course, for reasons I don’t have to spell out.

      Reply
  3. Chairwoman Ros

    As you know, I’m Jewish. We are all buried in identical coffins. Absolutely plain, unpainted, pine coffins. Sometimes with wooden handles, sometimes, rope.

    My late husband , who was not Jewish, was so taken by this, that when he died, we asked our undertaker to supply one. He said he thought it a jolly good idea. Apparently people frequently impoverish themselves and their families for the sake of a lavish funeral. The reason we have the plain coffin is symbolic of equality before the Lord, and returning with nothing, as we arrived.

    Reply
    1. Z Post author

      That’s a fine way of doing things. We had the basic wooden coffin that was on offer for Russell, but it was real wood because he loved it. He made rough-hewn oak coffins for our last two dogs when they died, which I thought was a bit OTT but didn’t say – they were rather lovely in their simplicity. I’d like a wicker one, though, because they are quick to degrade and look lovely with flowers woven through them. My unfortunate children will have to do the weaving. I must remember to tell them one day.

      Reply

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