Saturday, 12 January 2013

Doing Things Well


Some visuals linger long in the mind and in the emotions. Uk readers might well have seen the co-op tv advert which promotes their long serving funeral business.
In it we see a widow on the way to her husband's funeral. The hearse takes a "scheduled" detour ( organised thoughtfully by the undertakers) to a favourite fishing spot of the deceased where a whole line of fishing pals stand in a dignified line in way of tribute.
It's a powerful and moving manipulation of the viewing audience, which cleverly never fails to pack the appropriate emotional punch.


As I "enjoyed" this emotional romp, I was reminded of a very real funeral which provided a similar, and if not more emotive example of respect and tribute.
In 2004, a much loved landowner Andrew Cavendish, the 11th Duke of Devonshire died. When his funeral car left the family's ancestral home of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, the entire estate staff ( some 600,cooks,butlers,gamekeepers,farmers, secretaries and gardening staff) lined the route to Edensor Village Church.
At the time, I remember thinking just how wonderful this "staff salute" actually was.

42 comments:

  1. Very clever marketing on Co-Op's part. When I go want it a plain and simple affair no pomp and ceremony.

    Gill in Canada

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    1. Oh gill I want people to be flinging themselves at my coffin, amid much wailing and ripping of clothes

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    2. Especially one Russell Crowe, eh John? :)

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    3. John, don't forget the mournful howling of dogs and crowing of roosters. The sheep won't care, of course.

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    4. I have visions of hens pecking their way around the. Pews

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  2. Why on earth would a funeral home need to advertise? How many choices do we have?

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  3. This is what we used to do in the Navy when we had an establishment (shore ship) funeral...all line the main drag, and salute as the cortege passed by. My honour guard would be rehabbers throwing wild animal poop at the cortege/tractor.
    Jane x

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  4. Loving your blog. I've been reading for about a year but have just become a proper follower. Your posts are just lovely! keep going for the next 500 followers

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  5. Miss Moogan
    Nice to have you aboard x

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  6. Told my wife to cremate me after I die and pour my ashes into the sand of my favorite beach.

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    1. I like that but I would prefer a headstone

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  7. Second photo confused me to no end! Seeing the orange items behind the people looking like firemen's hats (the items, not the people), I thought they were fire fighter personnel paying tribute to a fallen comrade. Then I noticed all the white clothing!!??? I'm awake now.

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  8. Every funeral I've been to in our, admittedly small, family has been 'hosted' by the Co-op. They're great, if you know what I mean.

    You're at 502 now!

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  9. We accidentally got integrated into a (maybe?) Hell's Angel motorcycle funeral send-off once. I thought there might be another funeral in the works before we got out of that line of traffic! Some folks know how to live... and die.

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  10. Congrats on 502, John! You went over the top, just as I've lost a follower today! :-)

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    1. I have lost loads over the years

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  11. something like what you described above would never happen here. such a memorable act of respect!

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    1. Oh I don't know Anne Marie of philly

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  12. I remember when my grandma passed away, the entire police force turned out to line the streets and escorted her remains to her final resting place.
    Her bakery was the local watering hole, for all those bobbies on the foot beat for many years, it was a very touching sight to see.
    ~Jo

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  13. Greetings John,

    I noticed your comment on my apparently 'well kept secret' site. Thus, thanks and I hope you shall grace me with another eagerly anticipated comment.

    And 'followers', oh I wish we could find another word for that. I see you have reached a milestone and congrats.

    I'm with the Co-op and I have a dividend card. I wonder if I could get a bunch of extra points to use at my funeral. Then again, never mind funeral processions, for me, I will be taken away in a black bag and unceremoniously dumped at the local tip.

    And John, I'm not a "Drive-by" blogger :)

    Have a peaceful rest of the weekend.

    In kindness and some silly blogfests, your way,

    Gary

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    1. No blog is secret Gary
      And those green friendly bin bags are shit when a corpse has to be transported.....lwhoops

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  14. EARLIE - I may have mentioned this before...Did you know that JF Kennedy's sister Kathleen is also buried at Edensor? If you pass away soon I hope you'll be buried in Trelawnyd churchyard so that we bloggers can line the huge route from your cottage to the churchyard. And we'll sing "When You're Smiling" in unison. Can't be long now.

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    1. That would bea lovely touch.... You and perhaps hippo Tom could do a morecome and wise dance as I did so

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  15. Wow. I would just like to have my ashes sprinkled at our farm. Perhaps I could get the chickens to line up for me!!!

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  16. I'd like to think that the arrival of where ever we go afterwards is just as welcoming ;)...

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    1. As long as someone says " you're late"

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  17. When in the UK, and a hearse goes by, I always stand still and remove my hat. I seem to be the only person around who still does so, but often receive a little 'nod' from the front seats.

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    1. If I had a hat on so do I cro

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  18. Thank you. I am always glad to have my understanding of the family improved. I wonder what they will do when Deborah dies? I know she has said that she doesn't want a memorial, but the funeral is a different thing entirely. If you get the chance you might like to check out my reply to your comment on my blog about the Mitford book I am reading. Her new home sounds amazing.

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  19. Congrats on clearing 500 ! but I still can't join ! it appears Google doesn't want me on your site ! I've tried many times but still keep getting 'Google is not responding' when I click on the icon.
    Sorry about that, but rest assured I'll be a regular (daily) visitor now I have found you.
    kind regards

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    1. Lovely wean
      Is wean your name by the way?

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    2. No - it's Jeannie - but don't tell anyone will you ?
      Wean is a nickname - because of my love of all things green and 'living green' I got called Green Wean and it stuck !

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  20. My 'adorable sons' say they will just throw me in a hole in the backyard. Cheap and easy. Oh and they say they will concrete over me just to make sure!

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    1. Well at least they are practical .....and having a patio will increase the price of your house when they come to sell it

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  21. It was a sad day for Derbyshire when the old Duke died. I actually met him twice - he took what a genuine interest in all sorts of things going on in the county and I happened to be involved with a couple of them.
    I also once went to a lecture given by the Duchess about life at Chatsworth. There were no slides, just two hours of anecdotes that had an audience of 200 people absolutely enthralled. Just a middle aged lady on stage talking about how many toilets they have and how long it takes to clean them. Marvellous stuff.
    If you ever go to the farm shop at Chatsworth I can recommend the Duke's sausages and the ham and egg pie.

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    1. Jean
      Chris and I used to got to the farm shop most weekends
      Mind you I would have loved to have seen the shop when it used to house the estate shire horses!
      I have never heard a bad word said against the duchess

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  22. I keep telling Marcia that when I pop my clogs she should get the local fishermen to take me out to sea and dump me over the side. Apparently that is illegal. So I will settle for the bare breasted virgins rolling in the sand and wailing about lost opportunities for conversion.

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    1. Good you weren't to be buried in Wales
      No virgins left here

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  23. When my daughter in laws Grandad died this past August, he was the longest standing member of the Royal Montreal golf course. The night after he died the immediate family met at the gold course for supper. The flag was at half mast and all the staff present came out to greet the family as they entered the ding room. A wonderful show of respect for a man who always treated people kindly and had served his country in politics.

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    1. That's how things are done properly chania x

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  24. Years ago, one of our sons thought that I should be stuffed when I die. Then I could serve as the resident couch potato. (I tell ya; I get no respect!)

    But respect is what it's all about isn't, it? It's always touching to see a group pay heartfelt respects like you've described.

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