In memory of Alasdair Knox

I’ve only just come across this post, which dates from September 2014. I didn’t share it at the time because I thought it might be insensitive, but I’m doing so now not so much because time has passed, but because it reminds me so acutely why it’s so important to honour those we love. Appropriately […]

Remembrance Day 101

Yesterday was the hundredth anniversary of the very first ceremony of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London, and while we have long since lost all direct connection to the Great War, we still need to take the time to stop and think about what we’ve learned, and failed to learn, from one of the most […]

Solace for a child that has not lived

Devika Bhat wrote an incredibly moving article in The Guardian a few days ago about dealing with the loss of her baby daughter in pregnancy. You can read it here. As she wrote, ‘I almost came unstuck when confronted with the task of choosing a reading: there is no established narrative around grieving for a […]

How to Prepare for Your Digital Death

We live many lives, and for most of us, we increasingly live online: not just through social media, but for our banking and utilities as well. Thankfully there are now quite a few useful guides available,  and while you can read them online, what they will all tell you is that you need to create an […]

Margaret’s Final Curtain

A singer and entertainer all her life, Margaret was 89 when she died. A member of ‘The Russell Sisters’, she performed a cabaret mime act for many years in the many social clubs around Easter Road, Leith and Abbeyhill, and her sons, Rikki and Raymond, made sure that her last appearance was a hard act to follow! […]

Rites of Passage

Can you imagine attending your own funeral? The old joke is that it’s the best party you’ll never go to, but that may no longer be true.Last year, in his Channel 4 series Grayson Perry helped to create a ‘living funeral’ for Roch, a man who’d been living with Motor Neurone disease, and it was […]

Will you have a cup of tea, father?

I was a big fan of Father Ted – and not just because Father Dougal and I share a surname. A bit further down the billing but no less important to the show’s success was Mrs. Doyle, housekeeper of Craggy Island Parochial House, played by the brilliant Pauline McLynn. Her catch phrase invariably comes to my mind when someone offers […]