A while back my mom was jokingly planning her funeral and handing out assignments. I’m in charge of making sure all the gladiolas at her funeral are crocked. Long-time inside family joke there.
Brett and I joke and talk about it too. It would really suck if one of us were to die any time soon, but we aren’t terribly afraid of it. As we’ve talked I’ve expressed a few firm opinions about a few things, subject to change of course as my life progresses. Because Brett says when I’m dead I don’t get a say in anything, I thought I’d share my opinions with the internet and see if you can’t hold him to a few of them (most particularly how I am to be referenced after I’m dead).
At my funeral drape a quilt over my coffin. Use the spool quilt if I’ve managed to finish it. But don’t bury the quilt. Before putting me in the ground take the quilt off. Use it. That’s what quilts are for.
Sing “Be Still, My Soul,” because that is the hymn that touches my heart more than any others. And while I know that there is still work going on after death, I’d like to think that my soul will have finally managed to be still. Also play “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” I’ve decided I really like the piano version of that as played by Chris Rice on “The Living Room Sessions.” So you don’t have to sing it, but it at least needs to be played.
In lieu of flowers, donate to the American Cancer Society (because with the family history I have, it just might be cancer that does me in), March of Dimes, the LDS Church humanitarian fund or perpetual education fund, or the scholarship I’m going to be setting up at some point. If you really want to do flowers, do potted perennials. I’ve never been a fan of annuals (except pansies) because it seems like such a waste to have to plant them over and over again every year, get something that will last and then make it last.
After I’m gone nobody ever better refer to me as “the late” Lisa. Because I promise you I will be more on time after I’m dead than I ever have been in this life. Call me deceased. Call me passed on. Call me dead. But don’t call me late. And hold Brett to this. This is the one he and I “argue” over the most. Although we’ve said he gets to go first because he really gets creeped out by cemeteries and I don’t want him to either get creeped out coming to visit my grave or feel guilty that he isn’t, so it might not even be an issue.
I’ve convinced Brett that if you’re going to put an image on our headstone, it should be clasped hands. You don’t see that on many headstones any more. It’s an old symbol and I really like what it stands for, and what it means to us. So put clasped hands between our names. And put the same stylized binary we had on our wedding invites along the bottom of the headstone, don’t forget to leave off the null terminator.
And definitely make sure there is a large variety of “funeral” potatoes for everyone to taste test after the funeral. I always laugh when I remember my uncle giving his critique of all the different types we had at Grandmother’s funeral.
What would you like to happen at your funeral? Any strong opinions people should know about?
Looks like kidney stones turn your thoughts to death. 😉
Eh. I’ve been sitting on that draft since March, just never got around to publishing it. Wanted to get something up today but didn’t want to write anything, so I pulled out a draft.
You CAN print up programs early and just leave the names blank.
My parents knew a guy who filled out the program, with names. And then all of them died before he did.
Isn’t that ironic. I heard about a woman who had a list of female pallbearers because “Not one man in town ever took me out, and I’m not going to give them the pleasure after I die!” I don’t think it was a true story though.
All I have is a small list of don’ts. Don’t sing “The Old Rugged Cross” and no twinkies. 🙂
Funeral planning is discussed more than weddings in our family.
In the case of my death, my family and friends know these things:
Wendy’s Chili and Pie are to be served. Paper plates. No ham. No funeral potatoes. NO cooking. I don’t want any sisters to cook or do dishes just because I died.
Two songs will be played: “Because I have been given much” and “Come Thou Fount”.
And that’s it for me.
One of my daughters wants us to eat Oreos and milk in honor of her. Another wants us to enjoy graham crackers and chocolate milk…and on and on it goes.
It is somewhat comforting to plan these things, so that no matter the cause of death–expected or not–we will have some control in how we celebrate this part of mortality.
I would “like” this post, but it might be misconstrued. Let’s be clear, babe, you owe me at least 30 more years.
The “passed on” Lisa? I’m not sure that sounds any better than the “late” Lisa. What does it imply exactly? You’re the Lisa who passed on the chance to go on living? :brett:
It implies passing on to the other side, to the better life, to eternal rest. It’s a much better euphemism than “late.” “Passed on” actually relates to what has actually happened. “Late” has no meaning whatsoever. And in this case the adjective phrase would come after the noun, not before – Lisa, who has passed on, would’ve preferred it that way.
Yes dear. And don’t you forget about those 30 years you owe me too. :lisa:
Lisa, who passed on the shoulder in a construction zone one too many times… :brett:
…is REALLY late now! :brett:
If people merged properly in construction zones, I would’ve been on time. :lisa:
😉 Good Grief. I think you owe each other at least 50 more years. Dad and I just celbrated 35 years last week. I think another 35 would be nice. :love:
A few years ago I decided to go sky diving. Sensibly I wrote a Will before I hurtled my body out of a plane with only a flimsy parachute to slow my descent. In my Will I actually laid out all of my preferred funeral plans. I even specified flowers and that I want a closed casket funeral. I wrote my Will online using Legacywriter.com.
Just think instead of hoping people follow your afterlife directives…you can make sure they actually follow through. Oh the power! =) I’m kidding. Mostly.
I’ve told him I’m going to put all this in my will but he says nobody’s going to follow up to make sure I’m never called “late” regardless of what I put there. So I’m trying to make sure as many people as possible know.
1. Donate my organs. Donate everything possible. I won’t be using ’em anymore.
2. Have people sing “In Hymns of Praise” and “I’ll Fly Away”. Happy songs.
3. If possible (and it might not be, which is fine) donate my body to the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility (the original “body farm”). Any help I can give to those who study crime–if my body can save someone good or help convict someone bad, I would be really happy.
4. If it’s not possible to donate my body, either due to family wishes or general squeamishness, I would like a pink casket like my aunt Deanna had. I want my little relatives to be able to see my whole body and not just part of it so they don’t wonder what happened to my legs (like I wondered, at the age of 3, at Deanna’s funeral).
5. I like Lisa’s idea of the clasped hands, and I also really like the idea of the winged skull, because it is a very old symbol of the resurrection.
6. Plant a pink rose bush by my grave. That would be nice.
7. Donations to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Humane Society, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the Paget’s Disease Foundation, the Perpetual Education and temple funds, the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, and the Syd Riggs scholarship.
8. Lots of good food. Get Indian take-out. Watch “Three Amigos”.
Also! Donate to any organization that provides service/therapy animals for veterans.
This made me teary-eyed. Unlike you, I don’t give much thought to my funeral planning. I don’t think it will matter much what the specifics of the celebration are. I expect to be cremated and have my ashes scattered. It would be nice if someone would hike me down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and scatter them by Ribbon Falls. I imagine that I’ve got a lot of travels ahead of me, but already, I wonder if I will ever visit a more spectacular place…
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