‘Applause’ for the dead?

I have probably made my own opinions known before, in my usually shy and inhibited manner: on funerals, memorials and on remembrance. If a family, and I do mean a family, wants to spend their cash on a showy funeral, service and marble gravestones: so be it, after all, it was their money which funded the exhibition, and therefore their choice. From the truly dreadful burial processions (you’ll have to find the links yourselves, as I do not wish to use bandwidth on a waste such as they were) of either dead gangsters or IRA/SinnFein murderers, to the splurge which was the funeral of Jade Goody. At least the latter was a testament to the singular strength which she showed in her final weeks, as she strived to make her children financially independent by her interviews. Not many funerals show a genuine liking for a genuine ‘gentleman’ such as the city-stopping funeral for Jackie Milburn, who would, I believe, have been genuinely embarrassed by all the pageantry.


But, I ask, why the clapping; why the crowds around the cortege; why the overwhelming outbursts for a small boy who is now dead? He cannot show gratitude for all the flowers. He cannot state that he is very happy that lots of people showed up for his funeral, even if there were horses pulling the hearse. Why the outpourings of alleged ‘grief’; when he was really known to be terminal for a long time? Why the ‘mourners’ dressed as so-called superheroes following the coffin’s progress through Blackhall’s street? Does all the hoo-hah make them feel better? Why the cancer charity’s collecting buckets in Tesco labelled ‘showing our respects to Bradley’?


I never decry genuine emotion. I sympathise with loss. My sister’s death shattered our family; a sixteen-year-old girl dying of leukaemia, in the days when that dread disease was so rare it was in the newspapers: and even at sixty years from when her death occurred, it still hurts. But the ‘Dianafication’ of anyone who has been in even the ‘personal’ columns in regard to the their death? No, I reckon its simply a headline too far! The extension of the old adage ‘If It bleeds; It Leads’ has emerged into an area of life which used to be, and; in my own very humble opinion; should still be: strictly and totally private.

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