Incidentally... The power of praise is wasted on the dead

Sue de Groot - Deputy features editor: Sunday Times

Yes, we are all going to die — and that means you. So spread some love while you can

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has attended funerals and memorial services and wished the deceased could be present to hear all the lovely things said about him or her.

You’d think more people would be proactive about planning their own funeral services while they are alive. (I shudder at the thought that my send-off might include a Taylor Swift song rather than Springsteen’s Thunder Road, although of course I won’t be there to stick my fingers in my ears.) But most people do not like to contemplate death. 


We are allegedly the only species aware of our own mortality, yet still we are remarkably shy about facing up to this fact. The social media generation, however, seems to be progressing in this area, seeking to frame their own funerals as carefully as they pose for daily selfies.


Vox magazine calls this “curating the afterlife”. In an article about the ability of millennials to face the grim reaper, Eleanor Cummins writes that “younger people are leading this black-bannered parade of cultural change”.

20 Feb 2022