To The Great Beyond
I’ve already done something like this post. That was years ago. However, in light of recent events I’m starting to feel my age and my mortality. I am gonna be 50 this year….eeesh. Judging by the recent passing of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and Dan Haggerty…along with a few notable if not so much beloved persons…is any indication–not only is 2016 going to be a Bad Year– then I may only have 19-25 years left here on Planet Earth.
Yeah, yeah, “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”. We all gotta go. I’m no different and, unfortunately, neither are you. Sorry if you hadn’t already heard that news.
Still, it’s really hell when your heroes start to die off…ah, ya know, in droves. Totally sucks! If you can avoid it, do so, I don’t recommend it.
As I said, once long ago, I posted here with regard to my Final Wishes but since I’m feeling a bit macabre and since I’m a writer who spent 10 years working in a law office, I thought I’d throw out here again. Some place where many people can see it and, should the time ever come, they cannot be denied because they are so public. Yes, I also have them in printed form, this is just a really big Back Up of that. Feel free to click out but if you do read ahead at this point it would be best if you did so with a bit of your favorite beverage and a light heart.
(That, of course, doesn’t make the following any less true)
I’ll save you the graphic details of going through Instructions Pre-Death just suffice it to say that if I’m dead then I’m dead. If the doctor says; “She’s toast.” Just believe them. Pull the plug. Let me go. I suppose with any luck at all on my part, you may be angry, sad, in disbelief, feel a little hollow like someone just kicked you in the gut hard and unexpectedly. If those things happen, it’s good. It means I left some type of mark that you can take with you into the future. If they don’t happen well I guess we just didn’t connect. In either event, just know that I am happy and that I went unafraid into That Goodnight.
Now to the Funerary Festivities
I’m not a big fan of wakes. As a child I always hated them. As an adult I still hate them but for different reasons and I have come to the understanding that they may be necessary for some of the living. Here’s my compromise.
So, after you’ve hauled my corpse out of the hospital or from wherever—for the love of the Gods don’t pay a ‘transportation fee’ from your local mortuary, do you know they can be upward of $500.00! Just throw my ass into the backseat or into the bed of a truck. Then bring me home. Most likely, I’ll die at L&M and the total trip will be 1/8th of a mile!
Hopefully the weather will be nice, early Fall is a good time, I’d like that. Late in the afternoon, lay me out on a table covered with a white sheet somewhere in the yard. No coffin. don’t put me in one of those things, I love small spaces but that’s a wee bit too small. So don’t pay to ‘rent’ one either. Flowers are nice, I like flowers, don’t get any big fancy arrangements, just something you found growing along the side of the road is fine. Put them around me, on me, or let me hold them. I don’t care how you dress me. Drape a sheet over me. Leave me skyclad. Put me in a ball gown. Don’t care. However, someone must put coins over my eyes and one in my mouth. That’s non-negotiable.
Another thing that’s non-negotiable and I’ve said before is that IF YOU ARE THERE you absolutely positively MUST look down upon my cold dead corpse and with a wistful smile say; “She looks good. Doesn’t she look good? Geez, she looks good.” That is a very old Darling Family joke and you must repeat it. If you do you will hear me laugh. If you do not you will hear a resounding ‘harumph’ inside your head.
There must be open fires. Torches. Fire pits. Whatever. But there must be fire and lots of it or The Big Guy will be very unhappy and no one wants that.
One thing I’ve found is that people get uncomfortable when there’s a lot of God-Talk. They do. It’s true. So, if you must say something religious, please feel free but keep it short and do so with the understanding that the dead woman laid out before you is on her way to Olympus (no, not the Elysian Fields), she isn’t going to ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’. Ok? Spiritual-Talk is good. I like that. If you want to get up and give me one last jab…feel free. If anyone takes offense, with my blessing, please, tell them where to get off.
Music: Ok, I’ve thought long and hard about this and on a very serious note I would like to have “Amazing Grace” played solely on the bagpipes at some point. My Grace is different from your Grace, this request does not cancel out the one above. Sorry. Other than that, you must play “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, “Hell’s Bells” and near the end by the time everyone’s drunk off their asses (this is an Irish gig after all) you must play “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”. I’d also appreciate “Season of the Witch”, “Black Magick Woman,” “Dark Lady”, “Moon Dance”, and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”. After that, the festivities should be filled with the dreaded Classic Rock from the 60s-(the very early) 90s.
Food: For the love of all the Gods…don’t skimp! EAT! Get all of my favorites, well, ya know, that’s basically anything smothered in chocolate! Get some pizza, wings, fish n chips, fat steaks are good with some stuffed clams and/or shrimp cocktail. French fries. Don’t forget the fries. Oh, yeah, and breakfast. I’m a big fan of breakfast—at dinnertime. So, waffles and bacon for everyone!
Drink: Should flow as though Jesus Himself was there smiling, laughing, and having a good time with 30 gallons of water by His side. Everyone must drink a toast of 100 proof Southern Comfort. Non-negotiable.
Talk: Now is the time to tell all those embarrassing stories you may have been holding back on. Trust me, the night before my wedding was really NOT the time for my friend Cris and my cousin Donna (Gods Rest Her Soul) to spill ALL the beans to my mother! It really wasn’t. But you know, if you’re of a mind to tell ‘About The Time Lisa and I….’ go for it. I hope everyone laughs with you. I’ve lived a life. There are many Tales Untold. So on that night be the storyteller I always aspired to be and let the words run freely from your lips.
What Do I Do With The Body
I’ve told my family this time and again I’m saying it here; if anyone buries me, I swear, I’ll haunt them mercilessly until they leave this world and then well into the next.
So,when the party is over…well you can wait until the next day, I don’t mind being outside all night under the moonlight. Just toss me back into that car or pick-up truck. Pull up to the mortuary drop me off at the loading dock. Tell them in no uncertain terms you’re there for cremation…ONLY. (If the law would let you burn me on a proper pyre out in the open I’d much rather have that but it won’t so don’t get arrested trying.) You don’t want to rent a casket, you don’t want any embalming, no thank you anyway you don’t want a fancy urn. Why? Because you’re going to put me in this or I will make you miserable from the Great Beyond.
Between the crematorium and home, you just whisk me into a Maxwell House Coffee can (Colombian, please) and have a good laugh.
I’m not much of a fan of the types of trees they’re currently offering but they do offer a ‘Your Own Seed’ feature, please use that. I want to be a fruit bearing tree; apple, pear, cherry…yeah, cherry would be most apt, a nice Wild Cherry tree😉
My only stipulation for planting me is that you do it some place you feel absolutely certain the Power Company won’t come and cut down. Here in my neck of what’s left of the woods that could be a problem. Sorry.
And that’s it.
Plant me. Watch me grow in some place where I can watch over you. Eat my fruit. Above all, just know in your heart that I am happy and very well cared for. I will smile down upon you as often as I can and when I do you’ll feel me, you’ll know I’m there.