I’ve seen it happen too often, someone dies and amidst the grieving, the family is torn apart over which coffin to choose, which burial method to use, who gets the kids, who gets the money and who pays for the food at the “after tears.” This happens even when the death is timely and people have a chance to prepare, knowing that their loved one is closer to the end than to the beginning of their lives – even though only God knows the exact time and day. I’ve made it very clear to my husband and to those willing to listen on how I want my send off and the days thereafter to be, but just in case my words have fallen on deaf ears because my husband often switches off the minute I start yapping, I thought I’d jot it down so that there is absolutely no confusion when the time comes.
So here it is.
I do not want a funeral with an open casket. I do not want a funeral at all. I don’t want people gawking at my face which will most likely have the wrong shade of foundation. I want a memorial service, where people who know me will gather to reminisce on what an amazing, wonderful person I was. You can have a photo of me, preferably one taken when I was younger, slimmer and hotter, but I do not want my lifeless body there. I think it makes the whole affair more miserable when people get to witness a dead body. As for me, I’ll be gone to all eternity, having the most glorious time with my Maker and all the angels, so why cry over my physical body which matters no more? So no body, ok. This means that I won’t need a fancy coffin, a simple box will do. There’s a saving right there. Secondly, I would like to be cremated, privately. Perhaps someone significant will go to the crematorium to ensure that they burn the right body, but I don’t even want an affair there. Again, this method is just to ensure that my earthly remains are taken care of. No hoo-haa please. You can keep my ashes in an urn on top of the fire place, or scatter them over the ocean, or use them as fertiliser in my garden which I love. At my memorial service, I want lots of singing of songs preferably from the Cedarmont Kids and Rivers Church worship teams. I pray that I will outlive my parents because that is the natural order of things, but if my parents happen to be alive, I KNOW they will want to sing a song, so please let them. The only funeral-y song I want played is Amazing Grace, because the words of that song have come to mean something very special to me, it tells my story, and the story of any Believer I am sure. I want an open mic at my memorial service so that people can pay me fantastic tributes. And if there are tears, I’d like them to be tears of joy, with a hint of sadness, and not the other way around.
Right, onto the nitty gritty’s.
I hope my kids outlive me. I pray my children get to see me live to a ripe old age and that they lay me to rest some time after three scores and ten. But again, we know neither the day or the hour. If, God forbid, I die when my children are young, I want my husband to remarry. I want my children to have another mom. Yes, I want to be remembered and cherished, but if my husband finds a suitable mate, I want him to marry her. I don’t want him or my children to lack the love of a woman in the house. So none of that nonsense from the grapevine about how quickly he replaced me because I insist that he does. Even if the children are older and are able to care for themselves when I go, I still want my husband to remarry. I want people to help my children to remember me, with photos and stories. Even when their own memories start to fade, I want them to be reminded. Not for them to be sad for a mother that they lost, but for them to remember how they were loved. How their mother loved them, because every child needs to know that, at any age. So even if you knew me briefly, but read it here, please tell them constantly how I adored them.
Any monies that become available on my death must be used to pay all my bills so that my husband doesn’t have to worry about his wife’s overspending even in death. And if there is any leftover (oh please let there be some left over after they pay my bills!), I want it to be used solely for my children’s education. After my daughter and sister have gone through all my stuff and taken what they want, the rest of my earthly goods must be donated to churches and charities. I have no sentimental keep sakes or items of great value, and nothing that I want embalmed and kept forever, except this blog. If I don’t get to do it myself for them, I want my children to pour over these memoirs. It contains our lives in words and photos, and my pulse. This is the only keepsake I think is worth keeping, and maybe my food processor because that thing will change your life, I tell ya!
I think that about covers it. My husband hardly (if ever) reads my blog so make sure he gets a copy of this in the post, will ya? I hope you have made a similar list so that your loved ones know exactly what to do when your time comes, as you know there are few things that are certain in life, and death is one of them!
A good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume. And the day you die is better than the day you are born. Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties. After all, everyone dies – so the living should take this to heart. Eccl 7: 1-2