Tuesday, June 11

Planning Ahead

Earlier this week a friend posted some plans on her Facebook timeline:

After attending roughly one funeral per month for the past 15 months, I've decided to share what I want as a send-off. I don't plan on going gentle into any good night, and hopefully not any time soon, but just for the record, here are my wishes:

I would like a Viking funeral. Any body of water will do but I think the lake at Sweet Briar would be poetic. The program for the service should be letterpressed onto an elegant, yet heavy, pearl or ivory stock. Use Mrs Eaves for the font.

Crying is encouraged. Extra points will be awarded to those who flail about and collapse to the ground under the weight of their grief. Door prizes should be awarded for farthest travel, best mascara face, cutest shoes, etc. Instead of a band, I would like the entertainment to be Jeff Sigler performing the Cask of Amontillado. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, and since I'll be watching, I'd like to see it again.

I love flowers, so none of this "donations in lieu of" business. The bigger the arrangement, the more you loved me, I say. Ideally, large boxwood topiaries would be carved into things I would find lovely and/or amusing.

Since I'm not a beer drinker, pouring out some of your 40 in my memory doesn't really fit. I'd like to suggest squeezing out the filling of Krispy Kreme raspberry doughnuts as an alternative.

Speaking of food, someone should make sure the refreshments include Chik-fil-a nuggets, orange tic tacs and my grandmother's cheesecake, as they represent things I loved in live and never once turned down.

Other than that, I'm not picky.

I loved it. Loved all of it. In fact, I love her even a little bit more because now I know I'm not alone in trying to instruct the people left behind how I would like for them to behave. I think it is only proper to leave specific directions. There are a few comments I would make on her choices.

The Viking funeral does not surprise me, nor does the idea that you have chosen a font for your service program...I personally plan to be cremated. In fact, everyone in my family has indicated a preference for cremation. Except my brother who "wants the box" and Dad who wants to donate his body to science. We are not sure what we'll have to pay UVA to take that old thing off our hands - but we'll do our best. We are also considering sticking him in a canoe and pointing him down the James River toward Richmond. It is not certain if we will wait until he expires or if that will be the cause of death. And yes, as my sister Susan pointed out to my friend (and her friends), I do wish to have my ashes put in snack size baggies and distributed at the funeral so that people can sprinkle me wherever they feel closest to me. Maybe that is creepy - I obviously think it is a delightful idea. Even if Susan flushes me.

"Crying is encouraged." Absolutely! And I promised Ms. A that I will win the prize for flailing about on the sanctuary floor until I have to be restrained and/or sedated. I shall weep and gasp for breath and create the most incredible scene. I will quote scripture and sing gospel songs. I will not be wearing cute shoes. Sorry.

Who the heck is Jeff Sigler and what, pray tell, is the Cask of Amontillado? I shall go forth and Google it: OH! Poe!! I do love a good Edgar Allen Poe tale. I should have some recollection of that...but I admit I do not. It is more likely at my funeral that there will be a DVD of Jeff Dunham and clips of Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Clearly not as highbrow as Ms. A...but still amusing. And still a guy named Jeff.

That brings us to flowers. I'm with her, I like flowers. Well, most flowers. When I first wrote down my "to be opened upon the event of my death" directions I actually instructed my Dad to remove any of those fluffy mums and any lillies. Both of which creep me the hell out. I'm also okay if people make donations in lieu of flowers - make it something good though!! Or creative! So...something between a donation to the Red Cross or a small non-profit that helps people removed neck tattoos of dragons.

Who pours beer out? That doesn't honor me! My family knows that my biggest wish is for one kick ass wake. I want even the preacher to call for a cab home. You should weep and drink and eat and mourn and drink and laugh. Read passages of The Beaten Hamster like they were poems of Lord Byron. Perform the dream about lime green alligators as though Shakespeare wrote it. Party like it's 1999. And if you're going to squeeze any doughnuts - I prefer lemon.

Respect for the CFA Hate Nuggets (I do visit Chickfila sometimes, but then I make a donation to the Human Rights Campaign) and the orange TicTacs. Had a dream once that I was at K-mart trying to return a box of orange TicTacs. Not a very helpful help desk in that dream.

Like Ms. A - I'm not planning on departing any time soon. But I also don't shy away from letting people know what I want after I'm gone. #1 - give every useful part to someone who can use it. Skin, corneas, heart, liver, whatever. Organ donors rock. I fully believe that in heaven it will be like the DisneyWorld Fastpass...Organ Donors get to go everywhere first. Don't forget to tell your family!!

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