Monday, September 22, 2014

When I die . . . . keep the 'fun' in funeral

When my father died it was the day before Thanksgiving. He wanted to be cremated and then we choose to have his service a month later, the day after Christmas, because that is when the whole family could be together. When my mother passed she wanted to be cremated and then we choose to have her service three weeks later for the same reason - so family could get together without frantic last minute flights and hysteria. When my brother-in-law's sister died suddenly and his family rushed to do everything in the typical two day craziness things were missed. Family outside the country could not travel in time, everything was haphazard because of the rush to find clothes for her burial, flowers arranged over a major holiday weekend, family members in the hospital . . . it was crazy. Afterwards my brother in law said to me "Your family does this better. Your way was more peaceful. People were more mentally present and there was time to think.

Joan Rivers left some funny and outrageous requests for her funeral. I hope she got every single one. It got me to thinking about my own funeral. I won't be very talkative that day so let me share my post bucket list items with you here. . . .

I want to be cremated. I want my ashes spread over the water between the islands of Hawaii. If it  is not in the cards then I ask my family to take a cruise to the Caribbean and spread me on the water off the private island of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. It is my favorite of the private islands. Yes, even more than Disney's Castaway Cay.

I want my husband and children to have whatever spiritual service gives solace to them on a date (post-death, please) that fills their needs. Hopefully our friends and family members who live at a great distance but choose to come to the service will find this a destination-vacation-location-post-cremation and find some joy in the trip. I hope after the service you will all go together and enjoy a day at Hogwarts and Diagon Alley. Raise a magic wand for me and make some magic.

What if I planned a really fun funeral and misjudged my audience? What if the circumstances of my death turned out to be something tragic and no one was in the mood to laugh - wouldn't that really be the tragedy? Death happens - unexpected or not, it happens all the time. Don't let a death change the LIFE that precedes it. It would be very sad if people didn't have funny stories that they could share and maybe laugh and be silly. Tell the funny stories.

We gave away owls and afghans at my mothers funeral.  Departing gifts!  Give away my gazillion scarfs, my many books, and my Halloween potion jars and bottles. Bring them where you gather and look each person in the eyes and choose what item(s) will bring them a smile or guffaw. 

How do we plan for these things? How do you know how many people will be there? Wouldn't it be embarrassing if I over planned and they have way too many of something and no one to give it to? Of course who would it be embarrassing for? I'd be dead but I think I'd still care so in someway that makes me codependent.

Now my family has something to refer back to when the time comes. I'm done with the subject now.


1 comment:

Jack Sh*t, Gettin Fit said...

What I'd like heard at my funeral: "LOOK, HE'S MOVING! JACK'S NOT REALLY DEAD!"