Quite Beautiful

4 May 2011

A strange topic for a blog post but my mother’s funeral was really lovely, though I say so myself!  I think my sister and I did a good job.

My mother was tiny – just over 4’11” at her tallest and under 4’10” when she died – so we put her in a wicker casket, with flowers woven through the basketwork.  When we arrived at the Crematorium, all her friends were outside waiting for us and they were fascinated by the coffin.  The doors to the chapel were open as we pulled up, and the sound of music drifted out into the courtyard.

If you’ve been to a service in a Crematorium, you’ll know that they’re rather impersonal places with electronic music etc.  But we had the real thing and it was stunning.  Judith and I played in brass bands and when we were in our teens, we were with the Woburn Sands Band.  I met my first serious boyfriend there and he’s now the Bandmaster, with 4 bands and about 120 players.  I haven’t seen Len since I was 18 but had the cheek to ask if he would play the Last Post.  He went further than that and offered us some of his musicians to play for the whole service.  The 8 of them produced a beautiful sound and it made this a really beautiful service.  His playing of the Last Post was incredibly good and produced lumps in throats all round, I think. 

We then went to a local pub for tea (the house was being cleared and not really suitable for visitors) where we’d made a display of photos of my mother, from a few days old until her 90th birthday. 

Everyone told us that we’d got it just right and that our mother would have loved it.  I do hope so.



  1. Sally,
    Please accept my deepest sympathy on the passing of your mother. I am sure she was a lovely lady. We miss hearing you on Davids’ Podcast, but we understand. Please take care of yourself.


  2. I’m glad it went so well for you. It does make a difference if you can organise the funeral you really want – there is sad-and frustrated and there is sad-but-satisfied, and sounds like you achieved the latter. The wicker casket sounds lovely. See you soon.

  3. Sally – I was so sorry to hear about your loss. The funeral sounds amazing – a wicker casket and the brass band

  4. The wicker casket and the brass band sound awesome!A good send off is important for everyone, I think. My dad planned his and it was very comforting at the time and has become more so as the years pass.

    And welcome back from me, too.

  5. My deepest condolences Sally, the casket sounds just beautiful.

  6. Sounds like a wonderful send-off Sally, the sort I would love. The wicker casket and flowers is an inspired idea.

  7. Welcome back Sally! Glad to hear the service went well. I’ve been to two funerals at crematoriums and they were both ok as they let you basically do what you need to do (both were budhist funerals).

  8. It sounds like a wonderful service Sally- all the right touches to make it beautiful.

  9. Greetings and Welcome back!
    It sounds as though your Mother’s funeral and tea at the local pub afterwards was truly “just right”. And so many people there to honor your mother with music and memories! It does sound lovely and heartful.
    My best to you and yours.

  10. I’m so glad the funeral went as well as possible. I’ve never heard of a wicker casket before, fascinating. It must have been so beautiful with the flowers woven in.

  11. Lovely Sally – thanks for posting. My father-in-law’s funeral last week was just right for him too so I can definitely relate to what you are saying.

  12. Sorry to hear about your mother Sally and sounds like the she had a lovely funeral 🙂

  13. Sounds like a lovely service 🙂 I think it is perfectly acceptable to talk but a funeral being beautiful. If only every funeral was as thoughtful and as personal.


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