Dying Man’s Daily Journal – R & R

Taking a few days for R & R. Gone for our new long weekend. Be back on Sunday or Monday.
Be good to your self and others.


8 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – R & R

  1. jel says:

    Have a Good R&R! 🙂

  2. Fun in the sun I hope!

  3. Mel says:


    You GO, Bill!

    Safe journey!!

  4. Jo Hart says:

    Enjoy the R&R Bill.

  5. Mel says:

    Yup……checkin’ in cuz I was thinkin’ about ya.


    It’s just how I’m made, sir!


  6. Anonymous says:

    roy Says:

    February 17, 2009 at 10:44 am
    Hi Bill. Good to catch up with you the other day. The telephone can erase thousands of miles in a heartbeat.
    We covered a lot of ground but still have a lot of catching up to do.
    I am going to take up your challenge of trying to contribute to the blog, not as your younger, devilishly handsome cousin with the disarming smile and rapier wit, but as the funeral director/embalmer with over 25 years experience dealing with families at a pretty interesting time of their life.
    First point is this is not intended in any way to be a sales pitch! You guys are on your own if you have to activate my advise. The advise is free (unless you think its valuable, then I’ll find a way to invoice you for it!!)
    A retired United Church minister, Reverend Bill Burgess, once told me a fantastic piece of advice, “Those who are prepared to die can get on with the fine art of living”. Please re-read this about a hundred times.. it’s applied in a practical sense, a theological sense and in a even romantic sense.
    We as Judea-Christians get so caught up with avoiding our own mortality, we tend to forget how easy it is to live. We all tend to avoid talking about death…especially our own.
    Old saying: ‘two thing in life are for certain – death and taxes.” Try telling a cashier in a mall you are trying to avoid talking about taxes. She will give you “the look” and then add the obligatory 5% gst and & 7% Pst. ***By the way G.S.T usually stands for Goods & Services Tax, but to a funeral director , it stands for Grave Side Tax!!***
    It does no good to avoid tax talk, but lets get realistic about death. It makes life really fun.
    I recently did a funeral for a 27 year old girl. No warning. I am doing a funeral for a 14 day old baby. No chance given. I can site hundreds of examples.
    (truth is I have an incredible memory for facts unless I owe you money or I dated your sister.)
    Everybody should sit down with their family and have a very serious talk about their own funeral. Really.. That should happen. How do I broach this sensitive topic with my own loved ones? (Note.. the term “loved ones” is term that is over-used and it tends to piss me off when I hear it, but I was compelled to use it once for all of you. from this point on I will be saying “family” or a reasonable facsimile thereof)
    You can start with relating an experience of a funeral/memorial service you attended. “I really agreed with Uncle Walter’s choice of cremation after the service.” or “I would rather be buried in my home town next to Mom & Dad than in one the large city cemeteries” Baby steps. Probably not a topic to discuss over Christmas dinner or a your grandson’s baptism/bris.
    Here’s the really really cool thing…once you have this discussion, you NEVER have to have it again. They understand and they can follow your lead. Better yet, make your own funeral arrangements. Write them down and leave them with somebody you trust. It takes about 1/2 hour. Pick your music, pick your eulogist, pick your final disposition. Then move on. Enjoy each and every day without the worry of “what will happen when I die?”
    Crazy thing is we can spend countless hours planning our retirement, but there is no guarantee that we will ever get there. I am fairly certain we will all reach our demise. Plan it, then move past it.
    “Those who are prepared to die can get on with the fine art of living”. Make your peace with anyone you need to.. God, family, friends, whomever. This is not the huge event of asking for eternal forgiveness, blah, blah, blah. This is taking the time to reach out to those who are important to you and say “hello”. They will reciprocate in kind. Stay in touch always, and they will always stay in touch.
    Oh yeah!..God knows you are there. He knows what you are up to, how you feel and where you are headed. He just stays out of your business. He doesn’t just pick up the phone when you are calling (usually collect) at the last minute asking for eternal salvation. He loves to hear from you on a regular basis, even when things are not so good. And He is awake to do business when your ready (24/7, 365 days/year..yes Jo Hart, even in Queensland!!)
    The rule of thumb is this….shed the burdens, tackle the tasks and enjoy life (and only drink good scotch)
    Bill, you have been given an amazing gift (as we all have. Its called TOMORROW!! I am glad you are sharing it with all of us. Hope you had a great weekend of R&R.
    BTW.. I can guarantee three things (this is for Mel)
    1. death
    2. taxes
    3. and that my beloved Maple Leafs will bring a Stanley Cup home to Toronto before the Jets bring one back to Portage & Main!!

    Hi Roy, it really was nice chatting with you the other day. It is sad how we can some how let so much time past between contacts. Let’s both vow to keep in closer contact going forward.
    I thank you so very much for taking me up on my request for you to share here on the blog. You have provided us all with such a wealth of information and so very much to both think about and then I hope act on.
    You have delivered such a powerful message and in the way and with the rapier wit that could only be delivered by Roy Howdle. I thank you so much, as I am sure do many.
    I can’t begin to imagine how difficult your profession must be at times and I have heard many speak of the professional, loving, caring manner in which you conduct yourself. I am proud of you cousin.
    As difficult as I know it has to be at so many times, I would imagine it could be a blessing. That blessing being that it would give you an entirely different perspective on life. You see how fragile life can be and of how it can end so very unexpectedly. This knowledge clearly enables you to see and appreciate the preciousness of it. Accept each day for what it is, a precious gift from God. It is indeed a precious gift never to be taken for granted or squandered away. I do love that quote: “Those who are prepared to die can get on with the fine art of living”. It is so very true.
    You have the wisdom and life perspective granted to very few, thank you for sharing it and please continue to do so.
    Now a few points for the official record. Firstly, It is good to see the some of the “wisdom” of your slightly older cousin has rubbed off on you. Secondly, I have always maintained I am in fact the devilishly handsome one in the family. To keep that illusion going, it will cost you money to ever get your picture on the blog.
    Roy, it is nice to hear from you and I do thank you for sharing as you have and hope you will continue to do so.
    PS. As to the Leafs and the Jets, well as it sits today you are right. But don’t count on that totally, we still hear occasional talk of bringing them back to Winnipeg. So you just never know

  7. Mel says:


    Roy–I’m of the opinion that you’re right as rain about a whole LOT of stuff you shared with us……including the Stanley Cup. ;-P

  8. Jo Hart says:

    Out of the mouths of babes……
    I have a good one here for you all, which has come out of my 6 year old mouths.
    When my grandmother died, I explained to the girls that great grandma didn’t want to be buried, she wanted to be cremated and her ashes spread along the river where my pa’s ashes were spread. A special place they shared together that was important to them. In a gentle way I explained that Grandma’s body was turned to ashes and we spread them along the river. All was good…….. Until today. I recieved a phone call at 7am asking if I could go and look after a friends children this morning and get them to school as she had to go to a funeral. Her sisters mother in-law past away. No problems. However my lovely well mannered 6 year old, walked in and asked, so is she going to be buried, or thrown in the river like they did to my great grandma !!!!!! Oh only children can be so blunt in there innocence. I know though that Great Grandma would be having a good old chuckle at the thought we just threw her in the river……

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