funerals, Joanna Lumley and the individual

Joanna Lumley is leaving nothing to chance.

The 68-year-old is already planning her funeral and knows exactly what she’ll bring in her “cardboard coffin” to keep her entertained during the “journey to the next bit”.

“I’m going to have put in all kinds of things for the journey,” she said. “I think we could jam a bit more in our coffins than we do.

“I’m going to have some books, some I haven’t finished or haven’t read, some feathers and nice bits and pieces, the odd note. Just on the journey for the next bit.”

The actress was inspired to start thinking about what to take with her after visiting the Malaysian state of Sarawak in Borneo.

“When I was out in Sarawak staying in a long house, one of the old grannies died, and she was buried in lovely bamboo-y leaves, and inside they put a bit of food, money for the journey, cigarettes because I think old granny smoked a bit,” she told Saga magazine.

“I’m going to have some books, some I haven’t finished or haven’t read, some feathers and nice bits and pieces, the odd note. Just on the journey for the next bit.”

She thinks it’s important to think about such provisions before she is “too gaga” to do so.

“Look, when you’re young you think life is forever, but it’s finite,” she said. “I’m 68, so even by the maddest measurements, I’m in the last bit of life.

“All the trouble you will cause by not leaving a will. All the heartache!

“Family feuds are going to happen anyway, so be as clear as you can. And even if it’s only to leave it to the cat’s home, make a will.”

But far from being morbid about the idea of death, Lumley approaches the subject with a hearty dose of realism

“Learn from nature. Stuff lives and stuff dies all the time, you know,” she said.

“Animals and birds and flowers. Trees come and go, and we come and go. That’s it. So we should all seize life and make the most of what we have, while we can.

“You can’t just expect life to do it for you. You have to do life. You’ve just got to keep doing it up till the last minute.”

I read this interesting article many months ago in the Independent, the UK newspaper, and I thought I would share it here. I agree with Joanna Lumley, who is one of my favorite British celebrities by the way, on the interesting idea of planning ahead  and organising your funeral with an emphasis on practicalities!.Then you have a good chance of getting things right!

ERSIE, Furious Curious Cancer Survivor

Planning your funeral beforehand! Wow! Even before the need for a funeral arises! PACKING AN UNFINISHED BOOK AND SOME CIGS! Why didn’t I think of that?

The truth is I DO have some ideas about my future funeral and I am pretty sure I don’t want to be cremated as the Greek Orthodox way is burial. However,  I may change my mind about this if the priests charge an exorbitant sum for the service when I am older. And then there is the rising cost of family graves. I hope I am still married and share Nicos’ family grave! He was an only child and the grave is 2 minutes walk from here and fairly roomy. Besides we are best friends and soul mates!

Ideally I would like to be buried in an orchard like my dad’s cats! I might suggest this to my husband, even though I think it’s illegal not to be buried in a cemetery here in Cyprus.

I may send invites to my funeral and. if my finances allow it,  put a present- ( an aeroplane ticket to  –HERMITnesterov321



a popular destination would be an idea) to somewhere exotic for the people who attend! And, since you asked. why, yes !Isn’t it obvious? I am a LONER! AND a bit of a strange cat lady!

Another thing I might do is to write my own obituary and brief quote for the gravestone. I have seen what happens when you copy an obituary and everybody knows!

Mrs Phillips, who was 69, wrote the tongue-in-cheek piece in the first person before she died.

The first part read: ‘It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away. Everyone told me it would happen one day but that’s simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience.’

The same phrase appeared in Mrs McElhaney’s obituary. Many other passages were also similar, but uses ‘she’ instead of ‘them’ in some jokey apologies.

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a BACK TO NATURE anarchist


I share a birthday with Bobby Fischer and want to tell you I am also fiery and quarrelsome, experiencing the March 9 energy in full elemental force. Also, i AM A HEALTH ANARCHIST WHO WANTS TO GO BACK TO THE IDEAS AND LIFE OF ANOTHER GENIUS, MY GREEK ANCESTOR, HIPPOCRATES. THANKS FOR THE MANY VISITS and over 300 blog views today spilling from the blog of outgoing Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis! I know that he will go on to achieve a lot of interesting things and enjoy phenomenally influential economic escapades. Happy week of the Unconventional 3-10 July!