Earlier this year, I attended a lecture held by Louise Winter, the director and founder of Poetic Endings, a funeral home in London.

Held in a low-lighted chapel, the talk covered a multitude of topics. Winter explained the complex processes of directing not only a funeral, but a business. She also spoke on how she went about writing her novel, ‘We All Know How This Ends’, which weaves sympathetic compassion with more practical information. 

Having travelled all the way from Forest Hill to Horsham, Winter said how proud she is to work  with such a diverse array of clients. One anecdote that really stuck with me was about one funeral she did for a 19 year old Iranian girl, where she worked in tandem in the Imam from her Mosque. Together, they blended Islamic traditions with secular, as to not isolate the different members of both her friends and family that came together for her funeral.

Before the talk, I had the opportunity to talk with her over dinner. She spoke strongly on the commercialisation of funeral homes; many take advantage of one’s grief and up-charging commodities. I also found it interesting when she spoke on the importance of using the word ‘dead’ as opposed to phrases such as ‘moved on’ or ‘lost’. ‘By using these expressions,’ Winter said, ‘it can minimise the impact of the event, as well as spreading confusion’.

Overall, the talk was a extremely captivating and thought provoking. It was made fully clear the passion that Winter has for her work. All I can say is that I hope to not have to use her services any time soon.