Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"....Shuffle off this Mortal Coil."

I went to my aunt’s viewing last Wednesday night….. I am not a fan of the viewing, I don’t want to stand there looking at a dead body. The thing that makes a person who they are is gone; the body is just a shell. And let’s face it—undertakers make folks look weird. Aunt Ruth tended to always sort of purse her lips—but her mouth had been flattened out into some sort of bad Mona Lisa-like thing.
“Doesn’t she look good, Marge?”
“No—she looks dead.”

Call me weird, but I so don’t get our whole death ritual thing….. The expensive coffins with the silk lining—I’m dead, I’m not gonna feel what I’m lying on. The fancy woods and gold trims on the coffins—it’s getting stuck in dirt, who needs all that? And it’s not like the deceased can see it….. The viewing—I do not want to have to stand next to the body of my dead loved one for 4 hours listening to people’s uncomfortable platitudes. The funeral service—many times presided over by a member of the clergy who didn’t even know the person who has died. It all seems too over-the-top to me.

Just cremate me and have a party. Put the FUN in funeral.

# # # # #
My daughter has a deal with a friend of hers:

Should said friend die first, my daughter promises to keep her all lip glossed up til they close the lid on her coffin. If my daughter is the one to check out first, her friend must find someone willing to spray tan a corpse.

I did not know how to react to this little tidbit of information when she shared it. But then I started thinking, what do I want someone to do for me to preserve my dignity—and cool—when I have left this earth.

· If I am found in front of the TV, please make sure it’s on something intellectual and classy.
· Get rid of any junk food and put lots of fruits and veggies in the fridge.
· Clean, make the bed, do the dishes. I live alone and I sometimes get a little lazy about that stuff.
· If I am naked, please put clothes on me—preferably black ‘cause it’s slimming.
· If I’m naked with a guy—tell everyone I know. I mean, what a way to go.


  1. I hear ya! Put me in a cardboard box and cremate me. And don't be lookin' at me when I'm dead. I always wear colorful clothes when I go to a funeral. When my dad died, the nurse came out and asked if I wanted a few moments alone with him, they had him in a room (massive stroke, dead when he got to the hospital). No, I told her. She looked like she thought I was the coldest uncaring daughter ever. But...had I done so, it would have been enough to bring him back from the dead and it wouldn't have been a pretty picture. He hated death and made us all swear we would not look at his dead body because it was the only way he remembered his own father...dead in the casket.

  2. I know--who wants to take that memory with you forever...

    People need to learn to accept that each of us grieves in our own way. For my family, it's humor. My kids made jokes about their dad's suicide--but it got them through the hell of those first few weeks. People really judged them for it too. I said screw 'em--they have no idea til they walk a mile in your shoes right now.

  3. As for me and my plans?? Light the match and be done with it. No silk linings for me!!! Party time!!

  4. I agree, turn me to ash and have a party. Thankfully the only time I think of how I saw my grandparents in their caskets is when someone talks about funerals. It was mega creepy how my dad's parents both looked like they were going to sit up and tell us all to "shut up and stop blubberin" at each of their respective funerals.

  5. I just had to comment that my word verification for the last comment was dednall. Cracked me up, sick sense of humor I have.

  6. I have to attend a lot of funerals lately. It seems that my family members seem to be at that age of dropping all at once. Anyways, I have come to think that the funeral ritual is for the loved ones. They need those days or day to say goodbye. It is their closure and all the fancy schmancy stuff is their send off to their loved one. Odd, yes? But, it is their way of dealing with their grief,closure and goodbye to their loved one.