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Planning My Memorial (or not!)

on May 28, 2012

Every Memorial Day I think of my mother.  No, she isn’t dead. I think of her because several years ago I was out shopping with her and we passed a display of those plastic flowers they sell every year around this time.  The ones that say “Mother”.  They are lovely if you like them.  Apprently my mom doesn’t. She looked at me and said, “If you EVER put one of those on my grave I’m gonna come up and rip it off of there.”  Ok Mom….real flowers….got it!  There’s an ornery little part of me that would like to one day, many many years from now when she’s gone, buy some and put them on there just to see if she does show up to remove them, but I won’t. I want to respect her wishes and I appreciate the fact that she shared that bit of information with me. Besides knowing her, she’ll figure out a way to do it.

Having worked in a church office for the past 12 years I have been around for several funerals.  Funeral planning is no fun for anyone.  You are forced to think about things you never wanted to think about. You have to decide things at a time when you don’t even want to get off the couch.  Many people have no idea what they are doing or what they want.   After all watching this all these years, I have come to a couple of conclusions: 1 – your family is better off if you’ve made a plan or at least mentioned a few things you would like.  2 – the best funerals are a blend of what the deceased wishes and what will give closure to those they left behind.   Keeping those things in mind, I have over the years mentioned a few things to my husband and children.  Of course I have no control over whether or not they do them but I have mentioned them. (Even I understand that I really can’t control my own funeral.  Sigh.)  At any rate, I thought I’d share a few of those thoughts here. This way it’s all published somewhere and no one can accuse me of not writing them down.

I don’t like people looking at me while I’m alive so I sure don’t want them looking at me after I’m dead.  An open casket funeral would not be the best way to honor me.  I’d much rather people remember me the way I looked before the “make-up artists” do their magic.  I’d rather have a nice airbrushed photo of me in my 20’s  that is recent displayed so that people can remember me that way. In fact, I want to be cremated.  I know a lot of people have a problem with that and you are entitled to your opinion, but I’m thinking this is a good solution for me.  It’s less expensive, it requires less room and there is no way anyone can look at me and say, “Oh doesn’t she just look so pretty?” (shudder).

Now there are a few “rules” attached to my cremation.  I do not want to be kept  in an urn on the mantle because I do not want to be another thing that someone mutters about having to dust.   I’d prefer my ashes be buried or sprinkled.  I’m not picky about either of those options.  (See – I’m not a total control freak.)  A while ago I read an article about a funeral home that will allow families to cremate their loved one in a “natural” way. Basically they put the deceased in a grate type thing and the family can help add wood and start the fire.  I can’t remember where this place was, mostly because I immediately destroyed the article. I don’t want my family to ever find out about it.  I realize that it might be very therapeutic to throw a log and lighter fluid on mom, but the thought of being a bonfire is a little more than I can take.  Knowing my family, they’d bring marshmallows.  In their defense I do love s’mores.  I just don’t know if that is an appropriate funeral snack.  Anyway, I’d really rather stick to traditional methods.

The only other thing that I have ever mentioned to my family is this: I’d prefer that no one sing or play “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”  that day. Oh, and I’m with my mom.  Leave the plastic “Mom” flowers at the store.  Other than those little things, my family is  free to say good-bye to me however they wish.  It’s more about closure for them anyway. I really don’t think I am going to care.


One response to “Planning My Memorial (or not!)

  1. PushDumpFatButton says:

    Reblogged this on Push Dump Fat Button.

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