Usually I conduct funerals indoors at Putney Crematorium, but this week I was asked if I could conduct a whole ceremony at the grave-side. Normally this would be impractical due to the English weather and the cramped conditions created by the close packed nature of graves.
But with Mediterranean weather and the fortunate circumstance that the lady I was burying was to be interred in the newest part of the cemetery the unusual way to do things worked well. I also was delighted to work with Poppy’s funeral directors for the first time, and appreciated their competent compassion.
Being independent, which is now very rare in London, they are able to share in the granting of priority to pastoral care over business efficiency. Sylvia Lardner, who I was burying, was a brave and strong-minded lady who had lived in Nigeria for many decades with her Nigerian husband. So it reminded me too of my child-hood spent with my Nigerian foster sisters whose departure gave me the greatest heartbreak of my early years.