Of course, you get to plan the wedding yourself, but the funeral is unfortunately--unless you've got intentions to leave the planet soon-- the domain of those left behind...and not necessarily the people who know you the best. And what 45 year old with plenty of living to do sits down and writes out a funeral program? Clearly our friend did not.What 45-year old? Well, um, me. I guess I am some kind of freak, but I have been to enough bad memorial services to not want to leave mine to the whims of other people. I'm not planning on kicking the bucket soon, but I have a folder labeled "What to do if I get hit by a bus" (a title inspired by Brian Lawler, supergenius) in my file cabinet. Mr. Stapler knows it is there.
The document lays it all out. It bans Bible quotes, with Psalm 23 expressly forbidden (all that anointing and "in the presence of mine enemies" stuff creeps me out).
It has quotes I DO want including from A Course in Miracles, one of which is hilarious for a funeral, I think, because it says "Where would I go but heaven?"(since most people think that outcome is in some doubt - especially for someone like me):
You are my goal, my Father. Only You. Where would I go but Heaven? What could be a substitute for happiness? What gift could I prefer before the peace of God? What treasure would I seek and find and keep that can compare with my Identity? And would I rather live with fear than love?
The hush of Heaven holds my heart today. Father, how still today! How quietly do all things fall in place! This is the day that has been chosen as the time in which I come to understand the lesson that there is no need that I do anything. In You is every choice already made. In You has every conflict been resolved. In You is everything I hope to find already given me. Your peace is mine. My heart is quiet, and my mind at rest. Your Love is Heaven, and Your Love is mine.
If they aren't crying by the end of that, then I have also planned music. Sweet Honey in the Rock is the most amazing a cappella women's group on the planet and "Breaths" is their song I have conveniently copied onto a CD in the "In Case I Get Hit by a Bus" folder (organization, people, organization!). The lyrics say:
Those who have died have never never left
The dead have a pact with the living
They are in the woman's breast
They are in the wailing child
They are with us in the home
They are with us in the crowd
The dead have a pact with the living...
'Tis the ancestors' breath
In the voice of the waters
Ah, that makes me tear up just reading it. That is my whole goal. Give the peeps a good cry at my memorial so they can get those toxic stress chemicals out of their system and get back to eating, drinking and having wild sex.
I also have a bit in there about scattering my ashes, but today I was thinking maybe being eaten by crows would be more satisfying - at least my stinking corpse would be food and doing somebody some good, instead of contributing to global warming by burning the thing.
I feel better, having written all this stuff down. Just knowing no one will have to sit through that 23rd Psalm for the 1000th time makes me happy. I also have a will. Hey, stuff happens.
How 'bout you? Are you ready for the Angel of Death? The Toltecs say we need to make friends with her, because she helps us to see how short and amazing life is. That is what I am going for.
As far as being actually dead - well, I will take the words of my spiritual advisor, Mary Olive Hill (who passed away a few years ago at 90) to heart:
"You don't know how many times we have laid down our bodies and risen up, laughing." Sounds good to me.
Linkateria today: Bush acts like a jerk (again), Ginga Joy on reality TV, Mom to the Masses on paying the bills - and other stuff, too.