Yesterday I had the rather depressing task of addressing my mind to choosing a tombstone for my late parents. It was something I had put off but the deadline was approaching, so I looked at the various options of headstone.
The lady at the marble mason proved helpful. In previous conversations we had discussed wording. The Jewish burial society control burials for those that belong to the United Synagogue. Those in paying their synagogue dues make a further contribution for their burial. It means that, come the burial, all is paid for which is one less thing to worry about at a time when you are not up to worrying about anything. The lady told me though that the United Synagogue employ a censor to reject inappropriate wording. I asked for an example of rejection. One family wanted the deceased’s devotion to Arsenal recorded on the stone and another described the person as a “brilliant tax advisor” ( I thought he might also include his firm’s website for enquiries), both of which were refused. She did say though that in another case, where the was no rejection in operation, the family inscribed “miserable old git”. Who was it who wanted on his tombstone ” I demand a second opinion” ?
Perhaps I am treating a solemn duty with too much levity except I know the two people who would have found this the most comic were my own dear parents.