Opinion

Opinion
People queued to see James Bond's Live and Let Die at the Curzon SUS-191031-124539001

OUT IN THE FIELD: Let’s try and save Curzon Cinema from closure

Lots of people have been whispering in my ear this week. It started with my swimming pal Joan who whispered, “Mine’s the 1812 Overture” as we crossed paths in the Sovereign Centre. “Mine’s Flying without Wings,” said another friend. “Who wants to Live Forever?,” said my cousin while another of the rellies opted for Robbie Williams’ Angels. My favourite though was the tune chosen by Himself: “I’m Going Underground, you can get them to play that one.” They were all of course referring to the songs they want played at their funeral following on from last week’s column when I spoke about how important it is to let your loved ones know what you want in the event of your death – in addition to making a will obviously. I had a great response from people from all over. Some called me morbid, others said they couldn’t give a flying fig about what happened to them once they were dead. Gerald Shepherd from Milfoil Drive suggested donating my body to science (what a wonderful idea to know you might be able to give the gift of life to somebody or help with research). One lovely lady, Joanne Allerston, went further however and sent me a copy of a booklet available from Age UK called a LifeBook. The booklet lets you record the practical details of your life, your funeral wishes, people to contact and where important documents are stored etc. It has sections for finances, possessions and your final wishes and also where people can record their thoughts about love ones. It is no substitute for a will but it’s an easy to use and safe method of recording information which can be updated. I think it’s a wonderful idea and people can order it free of charge on 0345 685 1061 and quote ALL025 to get a copy.

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Memorial roundabout roadsign Eastbourne SUS-191024-130504001

OUT IN THE FIELD: Another wrong roadsign in Eastbourne and I want Pink Floyd played at my funeral

Earlier this year I wrote a letter. It was a difficult letter to write but I had been prompted to do so after the sudden death of a friend of mine. He had written a similar letter – to be opened only in the event of his death – to his wife and grown up children pointing out what he wanted and didn’t want. The untimely passing of such a wonderful man and friend to many at a relatively young age without warning made me think about what would happen to me. I often tell the Little Treasures to put me in a black bin liner and take me to the tip but we all know that’s not going to happen. So I put pen to paper and started to write. Firstly I pointed out that if they were reading it then something had gone wrong and I had shuffled off my mortal perch far earlier than anticipated. I urged them not to be sad because I what a great ride I had experienced along the way, travelled round the world twice, lived life to the full and most importantly how they were the best thing ever and made my time on planet Earth such a joy. I wrote they shouldn’t spend a fortune on a coffin and I want to be cremated and the urn containing my ashes could spend half the year in a prominent position on the Little Princess’s mantlepiece and the other six months on a shelf in my son and heir’s house. I want to be dressed in my favourite red frock, hair and make up done, a copy of the Herald in my hands and naturally I want them to have a party afterwards to celebrate a life well lived. And everyone should wear something pink please while Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here plays out. I was recounting my wishes when I visited the new crematorium at Horam this week to write a feature. A state of the art purpose built facility in the middle of the Wealden countryside and a 20 minute drive up the road. We all agreed how important it is to let your loved ones know what you want when your time is up and not in a “make a stuffy will filled with legal jargon” way either. Be honest and don’t be afraid. It’s the one thing we can be sure of: we are all going to die, some earlier than others or in more unexpected circumstances. Have that conversation, write that letter. Encourage your relatives. Or you could end up saying farewell to your 90-year-old grandfather at his funeral with music chosen by his teenage niece. And rap artist Stormzy blaring out.

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