Dear Mary: how to leave a boring book club

Q. I am organising a funeral for a close relative and am puzzled that some people wish to attend the wake but not the service of committal at the crematorium. My view is that if you want to enjoy the wake, which will be a good party in a perfect country pub, then you should be willing to pay your respects first. Should I simply not inform these people in advance of the wake venue, since it is usual for this to be revealed only at the funeral on the order of service sheet? – Name and address withheld A. You could reply: ‘We haven’t quite sorted out the wake

A death, live-streamed: my husband’s Skype funeral

When my husband died last month, I was as prepared as a person can be. Howard had been afflicted for many years by early-onset dementia and that, as we all know, is a one-way street. What I was totally unprepared for was the lockdown factor. Could we even have a funeral? Yes, we could, as long as we adhered to some rules. And would I like the ceremony live-streamed to those unable to attend? Well yes, I suppose I would. The offer of live-streaming solved my biggest problem. Howard was an American who had lived for many years in Europe. He had family and friends who couldn’t possibly travel to