Thursday, 16 September 2010

Thoughts at a funeral


Like all big happy families
We have rules.

One drawer for undies,
Two pairs of shoes.

Three books, one radio
Two pictures, not big.

Monday, sing-along with Ted,
Excursion Wednesday.

Bingo Friday, Communion Sunday
Both Catholic. Har har!

Even days, spaghetti on toast,
Cheese sandwich, chop three veg.

Odd number days, porridge,
ham salad, sausage and mash.

Doc Tuesdays, teeth first Thursday
Hairdresser last Monday.

Shower at five, inspection at six
Lights out by ten.

That’s about it. Questions?
Yes. When can I die?


Note: My own experience of nursing homes is of overworked and caring people, dedicated to the welfare of their clients. But some clients might have a different point of view. Picture from however, is typical.


  1. Gosh, this is sad. I don't know which I would hate in a nursing home, or being a burden to my children. Old age sucks, no matter how you look at it.

  2. Yes, God didn't give a lot of thought to His exit strategy!

  3. Good, bad, ugly, sad.... it so depends on the people, place and various 'things.' Bottom line? Basically, you are right.

    During my holiday youngest Sis shared she has her own exit strategy ~~~ it was a heavy conversation.

    OK, I just wrote a little green hip-hop ditty for The Poetry Bus! Now it's your turn, get with it!

  4. Funny.....I liked what you said. End of life seems to be end of choices. We don't have to go there, you know. I was wondering when I read the title, did you really write it at the funeral? Does one have pen in hand and make notes.....? I always wondered what one is to do at a furneral? But then where else can you do so much reflection? For some reason I thought it was wonderful!

  5. Being childless you would think I'd worry about what lies ahead. Instead, I block that fear by ignoring it. Until I read something like this, that is! (Your reply to Willow's comment is classic!)

  6. Funeral's are great for contemplation - I came up with a few ideas at the memorial I went to last week ;) I find the idea of a nursing home strangely appealing to me - having someone do everything for you (almost kidding - haha) - it's the things you don't mention which bother me - the bathroom issues, the pain, the patronising tones of some in charge, the feeling useless to society. Great poem Stafford - waiting for one about the actual funeral (I remember that story of yours about the ashes)

  7. my grandmother lived in a nursing home due to Alzheimer's Disease. And THANKFULLY she as very well taken care of by the staff. And, my grandfather went to see her every single day. But it was still devastating for me to see her in there.

  8. Very funny :) It's a bit like that, isn't it. I hate routine so I think I'd be asking the last question too.

  9. It makes you realise that you have to grab what you can whilst you can.

  10. For The ' Moment ' - 'All One Can Do '
    ( All Those Who *WANT* TO DO *SOMETHING* i.e.)
    * THINK 50 Kisses Per Day For *THOSE* In Nursing Homes .
    * THINK 50 Kisses Per Day For The ' CARERS '
    * Better Still
    Tis for sure ' EVERYONE WHO CARES ' will feel a whole lot ' BETTER 'for it....

    Poignant, Pertinent Poem Stafford...

  11. Butterfly, I know you get a lot of pleasure visiting old people and they love you for it! Others could take the hint. (including me).

  12. I can relate to this. I've issued the same pleas that came from much loved relatives before me. 'Please don't put me in a home'. They really are Heartbreak Hotels.

  13. Just read this and had to share how my father-in-law lived the last 6 years of his life:
    He had a stroke and lived with one of his son's just down the street from us. He had a full life to the end-even tho' he would have preferred being in his own home. Here's a pic of him in my brother-in-laws home while they were remodeling their house. It says it all:

  14. O
    that was strong
    and surprising by the last lines...
    a really good one..
    thank you for that


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