We Ought to Have Our Funerals While We Are Still Alive

Okay….maybe two old people shut up together in an apartment most of a month isn’t good for mental health. Conversation at lunch.
Me: “If I die before you, I’d like my ashes in a beautifully wrapped box like a birthday present, carried down Royal Street in the French Quarter in a little red wagon with our grandchildren and great-grandchildren leading the procession throwing yellow rose petals. And I want mummers marching and playing after the wagon with my family and friends following them.”
Husbands reply: “Well, maybe throwing dead flower petals would be cheaper and I thought you wanted salt shakers so all five kids could have some ashes.”
Me: ” I’m worried that there will be bone fragments left and that won’t work in salt shakers.”
Husband: “Well, didn’t Mike have some experience in sifting those out in Cambodia?”
Me. ” But not his mom’s!! Let’s stick with the box and you can distribute the ashes later or not. I’m not sure I trust Tommy with them after he said that he could drop my ashes over Paris on their way to Italy out the plane’s toilet!”
Husband with sly smile: “Okay. You’re going to trust me?”
Me: “Maybe not. I’d choose Steve, but then there was that thing about me gluing his plastic Easter egg with the money in it together with cement glue. Anyway when the procession gets to Jackson Square I want a really good party there with Dixie Land music and dancing and everyone gets a yellow helium balloon to let go at the end of the party.”
After thinking a moment, Me: ” I wonder if helium balloons cause problems and law suits by maybe coming down and causing wrecks or something. Oh well. Not my problem.”

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About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of eleven, great-grandmother of seven, 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator; Presently part time Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper for Architect husband of fifty-seven years. Blog: Laughter: Carbonated Grace

Posted on January 29, 2016, in Death, Gifts of Age, grandchildren, Humor, Mental Health, Resurrection, Shameless Self Promotion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. It’s great that you can be so creative and practical about what you’d want – your procession sounds like a fabulous way to exit 🙂

    • Well is isn’t going to happen, but it’s been fun playing with it. I’m assuming I won’t care one way or the other 🙂
      For Christians it seems to me life should be about celebrating the love of God fleshed out in the life and death of Jesus.
      But our death should be celebrated for our own expectation of eternal life thanks to that love of God.

  2. Now this is different, distinctly different and i LOVE it!

    Big hugs, Eileen

    john

  3. My husband is in his late 30s and I’m in my early 40s, but we’ve had this conversation so many times. He would like to have a tomb in his hometown that our son could visit (typical Chinese). I’d like for my ashes to be scattered in the sea so my son would remember me whenever he sees the sea. 🙂

    • I’m not a very physically oriented person. I’ve only visited my parent’s graves a couple of times. But perhaps I would if I were closer.
      My five children and the younger generations are scattered across the world. I think photos and letters or things people write that reflect who they are bring back memories and even a sense of their presence. When my mother-in-law died, we took her bird-feeder and started feeding the birds. We still have it after three decades and it has given us so much joy. It’s a wonderful way to remember her.

  4. Years ago, when my daughter died, the decision was made (by ex-husband and his family) to bury her on Long Island (We were living in NYC then). I was not consulted nor had any say in this matter. It was crystal clear to me that I did not want to be in the ground and made it known to my children and all close to me. Cremation then scatter the ashes at sea. The only change that has come over many years as that could also be to scatter into the river across from my home from my favourite bridge. The river will carry me out to sea anyway. Then to borrow a custom from a great-grandmother (Irish of course) those who wished to would adjourn to the local pub (in this case café) and raise a glass.

    • I confess, I’m not all that attached to my body. Most of the time I’m more in touch with my spirit.
      I, perhaps naively, see death as freeing us from the limits of our bodies. I sometimes feel very close to my mother’s spirit, though we were not very close in life. I guess I believe once we are freed from our bodies we are one with everything and understand even those different from us from the inside out. I love that you have found your place on earth and are so at home there.

      • I’m afraid if I accepted your version I would give over to terrible nightmares. Nightmares of childhood and of my marriage. For me, when I am gone, that is it and that alone is peace. Yes, this is the only HOME I have ever known. I love it so.

  5. Love your sense of humor and joie de vivre, Eileen!

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