Perhaps ironic, perhaps morbid, perhaps downright depressing, but this time of year makes me think of, ponder, and otherwise potificate the many facets and faces of death. No no, not the movie, just good ol’ fashioned say-no-more fare-thee-well.
In truth, I don’t really think too terribly much about death. But just as weddings make me consider my ideal marriage ceremony, so too do funerals give me pause and reason to consider my own send off.
It seems to me, that for various and sundry reasons a party would be most certainly in order. Something grand, with a few kegs of Shiner and a couple good bones tables; maybe a live band playing a selection of Texas country favorites. But I would definitely say a party is most certainly in order.
I’m very confident too that I shouldn’t be buried. I don’t want to have a place where my friends and family can go to look at a rock in the ground to remember me. If it takes some random rock in the ground proudly displaying my name for you to remember me, then I’d really rather you wouldn’t bother remembering me at all.
But I am aware that most people need some sort of closure, some closing of the book, an end to the last act. This is the sort of thing I do spend quite a bit of time considering, and is the focus of my thoughts tonight.
If I pass on a proper burial, that really only leaves cremation. As urns and ashes make for rather disturbing table decoration, I’d like to have my ashes dispersed somehow.
Perhaps I could have my family install a solid gold commode and be flushed out to sea, the long way. Maybe I could be mixed into the two kegs of Shiner for my send off celebration and be flushed out to sea, the really long way. Then again, it would be somewhat amusing to be formed into something about the same shape and consistency as a potato and launched from a PVC cannon.
Maybe instead of being dispersed I could find some more practical use for my ashes. I think I would make a wonderful serving platter. Just think, at the next thanksgiving meal, “Could you please pass Uncle Fuwjax?” Or perhaps I could be turned into a chia pet, “Hey kids, did you remember to water Fuwjax?”
While all of these ideas are inspired, my current favorite is to have my ashes put into fireworks, and at the close of my send off, to truly go out with a bang.
I would like to have a gravestone, buried or not. Have decided recently that it is sort of like having a special place you pray (“go into your closet, close the door, etc…”) and (psychologically speaking) kind of like using your bed only for sleep or your desk only for studying as a way of protecting that space against contamination of unwanted things (e.g., insomnia). Would love to be remembered when my daughter is at the ballet with her daughters, or upon the clatter of dominoes, or in the perfect heat of summer that everyone else dreads, or in any other sort of every-day, active way. But would also like, on occasion, things to be all about me, unspoiled - a place where I can be remembered without any distraction. So there you have it, it’s pure selfishness and narcissism to want a gravestone. I admit it, and want one. And, though I would sacrifice my all-important needs to you if you did not want one, I would personally like you to have one. Would I remember you at Yesterdays? Anywhere there’s Shiner? The role-playing world? The moments that something long-archaic from the Bible becomes strikingly obvious? Absolutely. That’s when I remember you now. But when you die, I would like to go and just think about you. In April, when the bluebonnets are around. And not have my remebrance interuptted by some drunk jackass hitting on me, or some other drunk jackass stabbing whatever winged, bikini-armor-clad character I have at the time. :) Love you. Am entirely too honest and emotional after midnight. Steph
There’s a good book by Thomas Lynch called “The Undertaking.” Lynch was a poet and also part owner of a mortuary. He said when people found out what he did for a living, they’d often say things like, “Well, when I go, I don’t need anything special. Just stick me in a box and dump some dirt on top.” And he’d say back, “Well, that’s pretty much what we do with everyone.” His point being that it’s hard to die humbly on purpose – everyone is humbled in death, there’s no avoiding it.
Anyway, your post got me thinking about cremation. From what I’ve heard, cremation was pretty much unheard of for Christians until the last century or so. Until recently, people who had themselves cremated often did so as a way to utterly renounce Christ and the resurrection. Of course, plenty of Christians are cremated now, and I believe they will somehow be raised with the rest.
In “The Undertaking,” the refrain is “the dead don’t care.” Once you’re dead, you won’t really care if people scatter your ashes or feed your body to sea turtles. So in making funeral plans for yourself, I think your foremost thought should be: how can I help these people who are grieving?
Maybe scattering ashes is more helpful, or maybe bearing a coffin to a grave and watching it lower would help them say goodbye. As for having a gravestone, on the one hand, it’s very powerful for me to see gravestones in Oklahoma and Kansas and know that my ancestors are buried there; on the other hand, a gravestone might just be something you’d hit your head on when coming up at the resurrection!
Made it to level 9 on notpr0n. Looking forward to getting past level 40 so I can read the rest of your post about it :-)
Posted with : Bare with Me