Being dead is not usually a favored topic for blogs. OR anywhere else, for that matter. In fact, there are very few times death pops up in daily conversation, which seems like an awfully surprising thing, since EVERYONE DIES. It’s one of those topics that just doesn’t come up much. I guess this blogpost is sort of like Taro Gomi’s reason for writing the book Everybody Poops. I mean, let’s face it. We’re all headed in the same direction, mortality-wise, so we might as well have some dialogue over the whole experience.
Why so taboo, death?
Now, that said, please, DO NOT think that this is going to be a proselytizing tirade or a morbid rant. I’m quite capable of both, but they are NOT my purpose in writing. I’m writing because I would like to go on permanent (internet) record to declare my funerary wishes. I have three.
1st: Mourning Garb
Black for funerals is passé, folks.
Black is depressing at funerals, which is just illogical, because everybody is already depressed at funerals. It’s not like we need to darken the day. It’s like a sick joke. At my funeral, WEAR COLORS! Bright ones. We’re talking Yellow, Pink, Red, Orange, Peach. . . You get the idea. Even if you find an adorable little black dress (or a snazzy suit, for that matter), I want you to forego the privilege. I mean, people wear black in an attempt to be slimming. You try to look slim for (A) pictures or (B) the opposite sex. And, let’s face it; you probably won’t snap tons of photos at the funeral because it seems pretty morbid and disrespectful, right? And if you are trying to pick up guys at a funeral, you’re more desperate than anyone should be and you need to rethink your priorities.
As if death doesn’t have enough sucky elements all by itself, an average funeral costs almost 7 grand (according to the National Funeral Director’s Association) I guess grave-robbers do still exist. Please, get rid of me as cheaply as possible? PLEASE. Wrap me in a sheet. Find a potato sack. Tarp would do the trick. Just don’t buy a fancy casket. Like I really need a plush upholstered box to protect my body AFTER I’m dead! I might’ve found a use for one before death, but spending about 3 grand to protect my dead body is just idiotic. Plus, your average bone-box is beyond extravagant. So, if you do buy a casket, use it for the service if you want, but don’t bury me in it. You should repurpose it or something.
All this talk of Caskets actually leads me to clause 2B of these funerary wishes which addresses a crucial sub-issue.
THE OPEN CASKET. Yeesh.
Seriously? If you have bypassed my instructions from wish-number-two-part-A and purchased a caskety eternity seat for my mortal flesh, then hear me now. I am putting my foot down. DO NOT have my casket open. Don’t you dare. Seriously. I wouldn’t want all my loved ones parading in front of me, staring at me while I was ALIVE, much less while I am a mere carcass. It’s not like I’m going to look my best after being dead and tricked out by a mortician (double-yeesh). So maybe it IS the only time someone would pay to have my makeup done, but I still think I’d look pretty frightful. If, for some God-Awful, unknown reason, you MUST have my casket open, I expressly request to be wearing a costume and have my face painted. Make it interesting, people.
3rd: Flowers, Bowers and Tears
I love flowers. In fact, I have scads of excellent memories associated with flowers. So WHY, on God’s green earth you would EVER put flowers out when I won’t be able to smell them is BEYOND me. It seems awfully pointless and wasteful. Cut flowers just cost money (see point number 2) and then die. Nobody would even be able to keep them and enjoy them because funeral flowers are just a depressing reminder. Even potted plants is an awful lot of something for an occasion that benefits VERY LITTLE in the long run. In fact, if you’ve ever been to a funeral that smelled like flowers, I think it might actually ruin it for the attendees. Why would I EVER want to ruin flowers for my friends and family? It seems like an extremely bad idea all around. BUT, I can see the cheer-factor might be necessary. There is nothing worse than a group of sobbing people. As I will not be sad myself at this point AND will also be absent and thus unable to alleviate any outpourings of sadness, I have come up with a highly innovative new idea.
I want balloons.
LOTS of balloons.
If you are going to spend money on any part of my funeral, please invest in a sturdy supply of helium balloons. Careful, they MUST be helium balloons and they cannot be black!
These balloons fulfill the aesthetic piece for funerals, but also serve a very important purpose. No person should be permitted to speak at any part of my funerary proceedings without first inhaling a decent amount of helium. Any eulogizing will thus be rendered much more interesting and tears should be quelled sooner rather than later as people begin to snicker at guppy-pitched eulogies!
This concludes my aesthetic wishes RE dying.
(not to be confused with dying wishes)
Any ideas for what else might brighten the mood?