Views & Reviews Between the Lines

A lesson before dying

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 03 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:777
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

My study in the last house in which I lived overlooked a rather splendid church. From time to time as I sat at my desk I would watch a funeral procession arrive and depart from it.

The funerals were all of well-off people, to judge by the cars that the mourners drove. When the funeral service was over, the mourners would emerge from the church and at once answer the messages on their mobile phones, or look with anxiety at their watches. The funeral of the departed had obviously come at a most inconvenient moment: really, with a little effort, he could have timed his death better. But when is a convenient moment for death?

In reaction …

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