Joe’s Toes

There are emails you don’t want to get, and this one from Marie and Keith is one of them.  On 8th February 2014 you married myself and my husband at Dundas Castle. It was a beautiful ceremony and we were thankful we chose you to conduct it. This is a really difficult email to write … Continue Reading


I was pleased to see that Cariad Lloyd’s podcast on death won three prizes at the British Podcast Awards last week. Griefcast first came to my attention in 2016, thanks to this article in The Guardian, and it’s since notched up more than 30 episodes. Lloyd is a 35-year-old actress, comedian and writer from London whose father died of pancreatic … Continue Reading

No day shall erase you from the memory of time

It’s almost exactly a year ago to the day since my wife Susie and I visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York, where we saw this mural. The phrase is a quotation from Book IX of Virgil’s Aeneid, and it struck me then and now that immortality exists as long as there is memory. It’s … Continue Reading

Are we mourning or celebrating?

I’ve been a celebrant for a dozen years now, and over that time, the character of funerals has undoubtedly changed.  Two years ago, the BBC ran this story based on an ICM survey, in which it found that 54% of people wanted a ceremony that was ‘a celebration of life’. Almost as many wanted to … Continue Reading

Grieving: it’s time for Option B

I was very moved by this interview with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in The Observer, where she talks about how she coped with going to sleep beside her 47 year old husband, and waking up to discover that he was dead.Journalist Decca Aitkenhead is one of our best writers, and while she wasn’t entirely won … Continue Reading