After my diagnosis, before I found out that death was not automatically right around the corner, I became a bit obsessed with death and dying. I thought about it a lot, enough to start thinking about what I wanted and didn't want.
I decided I wanted to be cremated. My mother's response was, "NO one's ever done THAT in our family before!" in a tone of "no, that's not possible, surely not!" Of course, she was not the first one by whom I ran this, and by the time I did mention it to her, I was sure it was OK to do (religiously) and SURE I did not want a big chunk of my life insurance policy to go toward the purchase of real estate and a fancy box in which to store my corpse.
I found I started planning my funeral / wake as though I were actually going to get to be there!
I don't want the traditional funeral service. As I'm sure I'll be an embarrassment to my family for not allowing them to parade my corpse-laden casket from the funeral home, to the church, and then to the cemetery, I am sure they will be OK with an other-than-traditional service. I'm sure they will want to conceal the fact that I am ashes in a cardboard box at this point. It came up again the other night while playing cards with my mother and sisters. My mother again objected; I looked her straight in the eye and asked if SHE wanted to pay for it her way.
No viewing! No embalming. No saving the body and cremating later.
I want a wake, of sorts, maybe a short memorial type service. They can sing spiritual and uplifting songs. They can eulogize, if anyone can think of nice things to say about me. (HEY...if I write my own eulogy, they won't even want to read it! Then I'm sure to get my way!)
But afterward, I don't want the traditional luncheon for the bereaved family.
I want a party! With everyone I know and all my friends! Especially my friends! I want KARAOKE with a DJ. I even know who I want.
I've toyed with the idea of those little pendants in which you can store a bit of the deceased's ashes. Party favors, if you will.
I have friends who will come to whatever service I have, even if they are not completely comfortable with the church scene, but these are the friends who understand me best! And I don't want a bunch of mourning; I want a send-off! I plan to put an invitation on Facebook (when the time comes; exact date to follow).
And I want them to serve GRAVY!
I love gravy. All kinds of gravy. Brown gravy, white gravy, milk gravy. I heard Paula Deane once say that where she comes from, gravy is a beverage! I'm not from there, but I LOVE GRAVY! And I don't want "funeral potatoes". (My sister loves them, and wants to have them anyway) ...Homemade rolls to dip in the gravy. Homemade mashed potatoes. Ice-cold milk, and an option of Pepsi products. And brownies for dessert.
And dancing! Karaoke and dancing! Then when everyone is fed and having fun...then they can have open mic to say fun things about me, even nice things if anyone dares...and KARAOKE!
Someone will have to sing 'Barracuda' in my stead.