The Fun in Funeral

When people attend funerals, I think it’s natural for them to think about their own mortality and how they would like people to mourn or celebrate, as the case may be. Okay, maybe it isn’t natural. Maybe it’s morbid. And maybe I’m the only one. But these are some thoughts I had during my great-grandmother’s visitation at the funeral home last week.

Really, I shared these thoughts with my cousins as they asked how I would like my funeral to be. I assume they were just curious and not actually planning my demise. But it got me thinking about what I’d like people to do when my time comes. And this is an evolving thing, so it will likely be different by the time that time comes. Which I assume is several centuries away.

I’ve always said that I would like to be cremated. I just don’t see the point of taking up a small plot of land that no one’s going to visit anyway. This could also eliminate the uncomfortable viewing of the body during that already uncomfortable visitation time.

This might offend some folks, but I really don’t like the viewing. I get that, for some, seeing the body is a part of their grieving process. Some people are genuinely impressed with how the body looks and comment on how well the funeral directors or undertakers or morticians did to make them look normal. To me, they don’t look normal. No matter what is done to the body, I never think they look good. To me, they always look like a creepy wax sculpture version of themselves. When people say, “Doesn’t she look good?” the most I can come back with is a nod or maybe, “mmhmm…”

So I don’t particularly want that for myself. But I did tell my sister that, if my family wants the viewing/visitation, I’ll allow it. As I said, for some it’s a part of their grieving process.

But if my corpse is going to be on display, there will be conditions. First, I want a cell phone in my pocket. I want someone to call it every so often, specifically when someone is leaning over the casket commenting on how good I look. Second, I’d like the casket to be spring loaded, so my body would sit up randomly. Finally, if possible, I would like my face to look non-traditional. They usually go for a look that says, “I’m at peace.” But I’d like to either look like I died in hysterical laughter or with a face frozen in terror. To all my mortuarian readers, can we make either of those happen?

For the funeral service itself, I would like a Viking funeral. I want my body to be placed on a wooden raft or barge of some kind and floated out on a lake or in the ocean. As my corpse floats away, people can speak and share their memories of me. Try to limit this to a few dozen or so, if possible, okay? A choir of whistlers will whistle “It Is Well With My Soul” in harmony. Once my body is roughly 100 yards off shore, a trained archer will fire a flaming arrow at the barge, allowing me to finally be cremated. Which will make the face frozen in terror all the more appropriate.

Darth Vader Funeral Pyre

These are my wishes. Please respect them, should I go first. But if I do go first, know that you are a suspect.

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5 thoughts on “The Fun in Funeral

  1. I love it. For the record, I want a keg party/open bar. And a pig roast. No body viewing. No exceptions. Cremation. You can view the ashes — they are actually really heavy (an interesting fun fact). And anyone who wants to take a bit of my ashes — maybe fill a small Rx bottles worth — and scatter them somewhere fun is welcome to do so. That is all.

    Oh, and can I be the one who shoots the flaming arrow for your deal? 😉

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  2. 1. Thinking of/planning one’s own funeral is entirely morbid. I should know- I think on it quite often. My own funeral, not others’, just to clarify. Well, mostly.
    2. I really like the spring loaded coffin idea. Beautiful. There may be a tear in my eye at present.
    3. I got a bow and arrow for Christmas. If I train really, really hard, will you consider letting me be the one to fire the flaming arrow? Cause that’d be really cool. Not “Olympics’ torch lighting” cool, but still pretty spectacular.
    4. My apologies if you feel I am too excited about these funeral plans. (And now you know another reason why I don’t have many friends.)

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  3. You are just tooooo funny! So with that said, It may appear morbid to make plans ahead of time, but I can tell you from past experience, it is bad enough for close family members who just lost someone they loved to go and make all the plans necessary.A fact you know first hand). With the passing of my grandmother, your great grandmother, it was WONDERFUL that she had already taken care of everything and already paid for it except for the flowers, obituary and taxes on what she’d paid for in advance. It was so much easier on my mom, my sister and myself when we went to make final arrangements, etc. Soooo, to help you and your sister out, I’m currently paying for the opening of the grave (which was paid for years ago), and the grave marker. Soon, if I don’t kick the bucket first, I will have your sister (and you if you want) go with me to the funeral home and pick out the casket and vault and get it paid for. As for what I will want to wear? anything teal. I hear that’s my color whenever I wear that color. It is my favorite color. With you being the writer in the family, I would love for you to write my obituary and feel free to start on it now. Any necessary changes (like the survive by or proceeded in death by) can be made at the appropriate time. The funny side to all this is that IF I hadn’t already paid for the grave site and IF I weren’t already paying for the other things, I’d just donate my body to science and then there would be NO expense. The only downside to that would be that when you and your sister are driving by the cemetery I wouldn’t be there for you to wave at (like you and April said when you helped your dad and I pick out our plots).

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  4. el pardon me o, i can not get past thinking how many graves are unforgiven during these times. not to be mean, but the personalities ive encountered, in last decade or so, reflect absolute zero. ALWAYSBEANICEPERSON.

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