Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I went to a funeral yesterday. It wasn’t someone I was close to – just a long-time acquaintance. I attended more out of respect for his wife and family. I dislike funerals and usually try to avoid them if at all possible. I don’t view bodies because it creeps me out. Irrational, I know, but that’s me. However, this was only a memorial service. He was cremated a couple of weeks ago so the major mourning was done.

It was a wonderful opportunity to observe people. He was a good person and hard worker and there were probably 200 people at the service. He had been ill for quite a while before he died, so there was plenty of time to prepare and therefore no weeping.

At the last few memorial services I attended they asked for people to share their memories of the deceased. Thankfully, they didn’t do that. A man spoke about his life, a couple of groups performed funeral services and then it was over. Simple and short.

Everyone stood around talking for a while, although none of the people I observed talked about him. It was just another social event. Ho hum and we’re done. Now on to the next thing.

When I die, I will be cremated (got that Kid). I have ashes from my past dogs and want my dogs and I to be thrown into some beautiful spot. I want a memorial service with a ritual funeral service from my cult, then I want everyone to tell only funny stories about me – and there are plenty of those because I’ve done some pretty silly things. I may even prepare a PowerPoint presentation of some of my crazier moments complete with pictures before I die. No seriousness, no crying, and no testimonials – just happiness and laughter. That’s how I want to go out. Then everyone can socialize and head home. Ho hum and I’m done. Back to the living.

How do you want to go out?


Anonymous said...

No way. I have your mahogany coffin all picked out, complete with satin pillows. Your spot in the family cemetary is all picked out, and will be tended by the local chapter of the DAR. We will drag our children and grandchildren out to visit you, get chiggers from the weeds, and reminisce about our perfect childhoods back in the old days....


Anonymous Sister of Anti-Wife

SzélsőFa said...

I liked that idea...the master of ceremony's looking at the computer for a file called 'antiwife_flashback.ppt', but all s/he finds is something else. all the people gathered are forced to look at the projector's picture, but all they see is a series of nervous mis-clicking.

I wish to be cremated, too, btw.

mcewen said...

Just now I'd be up for anything that's a quick escape route!


Church Lady said...

My youngest sister had the full-out Catholic service in Latin (melanoma--use your sunscreen)

My husband wants to be placed in a cotton bag.

I would very much like to have time for a pre-funeral party. I want to see the people gushing and crying and in agony that I will no longer be in their lives. Then, they can do what they like as far as a service goes. ;-)

The Anti-Wife said...

Anti-Wife quietly changing her will to read, "Members of cult to cremate me and spread my ashes and those of my dogs in beautiful place prior to notifiying crazed relatives that I am dead."

I'm hiring a pro to run the thing before I die. Don't want any of my inept friends messing up my presentation.

Quick, yes. Permanent, no! Besides, your kiddos would miss you.

My family cried in agony over me for years. Having a happy memorial service would be a just revenge. They would hate it - except for the Kid.

Stephen Parrish said...

The idea of being in a box underground creeps me out, so I want to be cremated too and have my ashes spread in a favorite place (one I've already picked out). I don't want to burden people with a memorial, but Church Lady's idea of a pre-funeral party sounds like fun. I'd raffle off my estate to ensure a good turnout.

ERiCA said...

I'm an organ donor, so as long as that stuff gets taken care of first, I don't care if I'm cremated or not. After all, I'll be dead!

I think funerals are more for the living than the dead, but I also know I'll eventually have to figure out what I want to do about mine so I don't stick anyone with the bill and a bunch of impromptu planning. Cremations seems simplest...

The Anti-Wife said...

No boxes underground. Ick, Ick, Ick! I'm starting to think both pre and post parties could be good!

Box me and burn me then throw me in the woods or some flower patch somewhere.

Bernita said...

Cremation for me.
Erica is right, funeral rites are for the living, rituals developed to recognize change and ending and comfort grief.
Unfortunately they have become an expensive rip-off and an exercise in emotional blackmail

The Anti-Wife said...

So do you think having the Chippendales perform at my party would be overkill?

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I always wanted to be cremated, but then I found Grand Lake Cemetary, which is a spectacularly special place in the woods, filled with memorabilia and notes written in twigs and old worn tombstones rubbed down by the weather, so I don't know.

Really, it's for the living, so whatever they think they want is fine.

The Anti-Wife said...

I agree, but I somehow want input in this. Stephen suggested we also do a wine tasting, but I'm a beer drinker so here's the agenda so far:
Cult ceremony
Powerpoint presentation
Funny stories
Wine and Beer tasting.

That should be a good start and put everyone in a fairly decent mood.

Stephen Parrish said...

Cool. But can I suggest Rockettes instead of Chippendales?

wordtryst said...

I don't ever view bodies either.

Funerals have changed over my lifetime. They've become quieter and more controlled, except in cases where the death was sudden and/or tragic, or when children are involved. I like how you've got yours all worked out. I try not to think of mine, even though I'm way past the youthful assumption of immortality. At least I've gotten as far as working on my will.

Cult? Heh, heh. Now my imagination is running wild.

Your plan reminds me of a really neat funeral I heard of while I was in FL. I'd met the guy, a wonderful Greek in his 50s, shortly before his heart gave out. He planned it all with his sister, even putting aside the money for everything. Short service, followed by a BIG party with balloons and the works. Everyone was to have a good time and talk about old G. I like the spirit of that.

Chippendales! Woo-hoo!

The Anti-Wife said...

You can have Rockettes at your funeral. I want Chippendales at mine.

Now that's the kind of bash I'm talking about!