October 3, 2011

Funerals Are For The Living

Once in a while when someone dies this lovely conversation comes up at our house. My husband went to a funeral recently complete with a yelling Baptist minister trying to save everyone’s souls and make as much money as he could off the deal. Guilt pays.

Don’t you just love it when a preacher lies about knowing a person and says how he just knows Joe would want you to repent and give your soul to Jesus so you can join him in heaven? The old coot didn’t even go to church and I'm pretty sure he's having a cocktail with the devil about now.

My husband wants me to make a decision about how I want my funeral and remains taken care of. Between that and the kill your wife shows he watches I get a little worried sometimes. Just kidding.

I'll tell you one thing for sure, if there's a yelling preacher within fifty yards of my dead body I'll rise up and haunt the people responsible for the atrocity.

My husband wants to be cremated and thinks I should too or at the very least let him know what my wishes are.

Here’s what I tell him every time. Funerals and burials are for the living. Whatever my kids or whomever is still around wants is okay by me. I don’t give a hoot what they do with my remains. I won’t be here so I don’t care. Whatever makes the people left here on earth happy is really okay; I don’t care.

Cremate me, bury me, donate me to science, taxidermy me and stand me in a corner dressed as Cher, I don’t care. I am okay with whatever anyone wants to do, just quit with the morbid talk. Seriously. I don’t want to make someone responsible for a heap of dirt in a cemetery or the guardian of my urn. I think the living should make those decisions.

I’m going to live until I’m a hundred so I’ve got a long ways to go before anyone gets to deal with my corpse.

The women in my family live a long time. My father’s mother’s mother lived to be in her 90’s and had a boyfriend who was 76 (She outlived him by the way.); she chewed tobacco, lived in her own home, mowed her own lawn and drove her own car. I figure since I don’t chew tobacco that ought to give me a few more years.

My father’s mother is eighty years old, healthy as a horse and takes care of my step grandfather.

What do you think? Do you think the dead person should decide what happens to their remains or do you think it’s up to the living?


Anonymous said...

If someone makes their wishes known, BEFORE they die, I believe all efforts should be given to make it happen. My ma want's a funeral and to be buried along side my dad. It WILL happen, when she pass's. Lately, some family members are opting for cremation, then remaining family members are having a "celebration of life" gathering. Personally, I think along the same lines as you. I'll be dead, what the hell will I care? I DO know, and have let it be known, I do NOT want some preacher/minister/father/pastor, speaking at my funeral. The only bible thumper that comes to see me, is seventh day adventist's, and I tell them to go away. Why would I want any of them to speak on my behalf?

Pamela N Red said...

Bob, I agree, if someone has given specific instructions I think it should be done but personally, I don't really care.

William said...

You should be allowed to request how you want your funeral to go but I also agree that once you're dead it really doesn't matter. Dead folks don't complain no matter how they were laid to rest. On that note, those who choose to handle the funeral should keep in mind that there are others still living to consider.

I really don't care how my funeral is arranged either. I would opt for cremation if I had to choose if only because it is the least expensive and most efficient.

Pamela N Red said...

Cremation is the least expensive and if people sprinkle the ashes somewhere there is no urn to keep up with. I agree with keeping a person's last request.

Maddie Ruud said...

I agree with you that funerals are for the living, but I think that one of the things that gives living people comfort is the idea that things are done as the deceased would wish. So if a person has strong feelings about their own funeral, honoring those can be very comforting for those left behind.

Pamela N Red said...

That's true, Maddie and I agree with making sure a person's wishes are met but if, as in my case, they don't have a preference trying to get them to make a decision is not necessary.

Mykuljay said...

I think that if anyone while in this life has specific wishes that mean something to him or her ("bury me at sea") - I believe everything should be done to honor those wishes.

My mother-in-law's mother had made it very clear she wanted no fuss, no bother - cremation. When she died mhy mother-in-law pretty much said, "oh she'll never know" and proceeded to have a full fledged funeral ($$) complete with weeping.

Personally I'd like to be cremated and have my ashes dropped off in some special places but honestly - if my kids don't do that - won't much matter to me either.

Pamela N Red said...

Mykaljay, I don't think your mother in law did the right thing but that is part of why I don't want to leave instructions. It probably helped her cope knowing she gave her mom a big send off with fanfare.

You should let your kids know your wishes and hopefully they will carry them out. I read a book a few years a go, can't recall the title now. The precept was that the deceased wanted to be cremated and his friend to sprinkle his ashes in several different locations. He left money for his friend to buy tickets.

It finally became apparent to the friend that the deceased wanted his friend to see all those wonderful places he probably wouldn't have seen otherwise and in the end he met a nice woman because of it.

Mykuljay said...

Thanks Ms Red for your comments on mine. I like the concept of the book you mentioned. I may have to come up with something like that.

The best I can do is let my wishes be known and should my boys say afterwards..........oh HELL no we aren't doing that. Oh well. I don't think I'll mind at that point.

Thanks again!