If I Die Tomorrow…

I hear stories from folks about the costs involved in death and I am appalled at how much of an expense one can be as a result of death.  With all due respect to the multibillion dollar funeral service industry, I am opting out.  When I am dead, I think my earthly needs are over.  I am pretty sure a satin-lined casket and grand displays of flowers will not make me feel any better about myself.  Not that there is anything wrong with that…it just isn’t my idea of a prudent expenditure.

I don’t want anyone to be able to make my family members believe that making spendthrift choices do not adequately honor my memory.  Quite the contrary, they all should know that if there was a coupon or online deal for such services I would be all over it.  The bottom line is, the theme for my death is minimalism.

So let me be clear here exactly what I expect from my family just in case I really do die tomorrow:

  • There will be no viewing of my dead body.  That is morbid (at least to me) and I certainly don’t want to look better dead than alive (which I suspect would be the case with professional hair and makeup).  I cannot have that image left in folks’ minds.
  • I will be cremated in the least expensive cardboard box available for such things.  There will be no fancy casket, no grave site, no headstone – none of that. The body that is cremated will no longer have my soul with it, so why fiddle with it?  Get rid of it and save your money for living your own lives.
  • I want my ashes spread in a green place with lots of flowers, trees, and birds.  I would love for my ashes to be scattered in my own garden (remember I have been saving those extra large ash-worthy Folgers containers for that very purpose); however, if such action is against local or state ordinances remember that I like to be a rule follower.  But then again, I will be dead so scatter away if it suits you.
  • I want a celebration of life party, not a funeral and/or memorial.  I want joy and laughter, not sadness and tears. I want the time we’ve had together appreciated, not a bunch of mourning for the time lost.  Even if I died tomorrow, I have been blessed with much time and love.
  • I want my family and friends to know that I loved each one of them uniquely.  The topic of “mom’s favorite child” has long been debated amongst my children.  They are all my favorite for different reasons.  The same is true with everyone else who is near and dear to me – you all have brought different things to me.
  • Don’t think I’ll be “gone” – I won’t.  I will remain with my family and friends in their memories.  In addition, I feel it is only fair to disclose that my spirit will always be hovering near my family (so pretty much the same as life, but without my physical presence).  I will make sure they know I am around and I want them to know now that the signs they experience won’t be coincidental.  Remember, my soul – the essence of who I am – will live on and that means I will just need to find different ways to communicate my pearls of wisdom (albeit, no one has called them that and likely will not call them that while I am alive – other terms such as nagging, offering my unsolicited opinion, and pontificating are more likely used as descriptors).

So there you have it folks.  I am counting on readers of The New Forty to rise in protest if any talk of funerals and somber memorials transpire upon my death.  Should anyone start leaning toward the serious, make them go back and read the hundreds of humorous and irreverent blog posts I have written and remind them that should they stray from my wishes, I will haunt them – without makeup. Enough said. 😉

Day one thousand five hundred and thirty of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

5 Responses

  1. Paul E. Cline

    AMEN. My children and my wife all know my wishes. It is also written down for them in case they don’t remember: 1) Part me out (let the body snatchers – organ donation – take whatever they want. Whatever they want. No qualifiers.) 2) Burn the rest. 3) Spread part of my ashes from a helicopter (I am a flight nurse) and part from the top of the Stratosphere in Vegas. Do whatever you want to with the rest as long as it does not involve spending money on headstones or patches of ground. Very simple indeed.

  2. tim haering

    Amen and ditto. One Eleanor Rigby special, minus the part where nobody came. I am sure your wake will be filled with laughter, irreverence and politicla incorrectness. Though considering how you disappeared from this blog for 45 days without a word, your loyal followers will likely not hear about your demise until after the wake, if ever. Perhaps now is time to designate who will announce your demise in this blog. I vote for Noah.

  3. Gail

    I think I’d like my remains donated to the UND Medical School, where they can take me apart in all kinds of fascinating ways. There’s a shortage of cadavers at most medical schools, and how are the kids going to learn anything if they can’t see it firsthand? Mary Roach talked about it in her book, “Stiff.” (I highly recommend her books — she’s VERY witty about serious topics.)

  4. Katherine

    I agree. Donate anything available, burn the rest, spread the ashes where you will. We have tins with pet ashes in our home. Perhaps we could all be together.

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