Thursday, January 25, 2007

My final wishes

So, my uncle's funeral was yesterday--it was...what? Nice? Lovely? Okay.
Funerals are for us-the living-and I never really know what sort of adjective to apply.
But it was nice to see family members (the circumstances sucked, but you know, after awhile there are some parts of the family that you only see at weddings and funerals)...to be reunited with old playmates that one hasn't seen for 25 years...to resurrect old memories, tell the stories, share the laughter and the tears...

But I sat there, not even with the family, I sat in there in the very back row near the door because I've had experience, you see, with this sort of thing.
My son, God love him, has no volume control, and he do love to make some noise, some verbalization, with a special affinity for preachers.
He did it at my great-grandma's funeral too--but there I was in my own little church with my own minister and it was cause for laughter all around...my preacher-man just said "Hey, I LOVE competition!"

But this guy, this minister that hardly knew my uncle...well, I could see The Look--not just from him, but a few of the mourners who were my uncle's contemporaries, people whom I didn't know and who didn't know me.

Oh, I know, I should have said "PISH POSH!" and let my guy just verbalize and not be embarrassed and all that. These things I know. I know.
But knowing doesn't stop my face from turning red when heads turn.
I shouldn't care. I'm NOT embarrassed for my son...not for me either, really...but for THEM. I go out of my way to put people at ease, because I know that many folks are uncomfortable around people-kids or adults, even-with disabilities.
Fact of life.
I'm okay with it. I was probably like that myself at one time, so I won't judge THEM for it.

But I'm getting far away from where I was going. This wasn't to be about how I felt or my son or even the rubber-necking mourners.
It's about my final wishes.

See, as I listened to this minister go ON and ON and ON...even after he himself told us that he promised my uncle to be brief...this man who hardly knew my uncle at all just kept going...
When my boy got loud, I eventually slipped out the back door and he and I sat in the lobby and listened to what was going on in the chapel...and naturally, my mind drifted away to thoughts of my uncle, then thoughts of funerals, and before I knew it I was composing this post.
I don't think Uncle Kenneth would have minded.

Sitting there, I made a few decisions as to what my funeral would entail and I am hereby publicly posting them and MY WISHES WILL BE ADHERED TO. Because don't think I won't know if you screw it up and THEN you'll be sorry.


1. I said to Jeckles the night before the funeral that my uppermost thought was "I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!"
I wonder how many other people had to go buy some funeral-type clothes like I did--I mean, for me it was either going to have to be jeans or sweatpants and I knew my mother would frown at me alot.
So for my funeral, I want it to be COME AS YOU ARE. Flip-flops, shorts, tee shirts, jeans, sweats, whatever. DO NOT BUY NEW CLOTHES. You can wear black if that's what you've got, but if you show up in acid green or screamin' red I'll be ever so happy.

2. The minister? 10 MINUTES MAX. That's it. Not one single second longer. Seriously, 10 minutes is way more than enough for a prayer and a scripture verse and a couple o' Monty stories saying how groovy I was. In fact, I want someone to have a stopwatch and stand up and yell "TIME!"

3. While the minister is speaking, I want Amazing Grace in the background. I LOOOVE that song, and it has a lot of special meanings for me. After the 10 minute ministry...well, I'm making an awesome mixed CD and I want that played in the background. The Guess Who, John Lee Hooker, Peter Gabriel, Bon Jovi, Janis Joplin, Paul McCartney...oh, all my favorite songs.

4. While my groovin' cd is playing, everyone needs to just sit around in a circle and tell Monty stories. As a tribute to me, people should interrupt each other and talk over each other and generally be loud and obnoxious, much like me.

5. People should bring their kids, if they want to. Or if, like me, they HAVE to if they want to attend. If the kids are noisy, that's okay. Except if you have spoiled little ill-behaved bratty kids who control the parents rather than the other way around. Because them I don't like--and the parents of kids like that need a slap upside the head.

6. I want to start a new game called "Dirty Casket". It will be played like the classic "Dirty Santa" game, you know, where you can steal someone else's if you want and everything gets mixed all around.
So instead of flowers (I mean hell, none of us will really get to enjoy the flowers, really, except to look at them for a half-hour or so)...bring PRESENTS.

7. And really? There should be party favors. Like the little plastic caskets & skeletons you find at Halloween. I want those put in little bags with candy & stuff. What the hell, it's a party, right?

And that, my friends, is the perfect funeral. No solemnity, no hushed & whispery voices, plenty of loud, raucous laughter to mix with the tears. Most excellent music (and dancing, if you want). Plus PRESENTS and CANDY.

That's what I want.
And I damn well better get it.
OR someone's ass is gonna get the worst haunting ever.
I will haunt them in ways that the Hollywood movie people haven't even thunk up yet.
I'm not even kidding.
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