I don’t want to be buried in a dress. In fact, I’m not sure I want to be buried at all. Actually, I don’t care. Do whatever with me. (But if I’m buried, don’t do it in a dress. I want to be buried in Calvin Klein jeans. I look good in those. Or did, anyway.)
But I do want one hell of a funeral. A big, sappy flowery funeral. Spend a chunk of my life insurance money sending me out in style, please. It should be known that I DO NOT want an open casket. I do not want people standing over me discussing how blue and puffy I look. More importantly, I do not want people taking pictures of my dead body (a practice common in my family). No, leave the casket closed. And on top I want a big picture of my once beautiful self. In fact, I have the picture picked out already. It was taken several years ago and hanging in the hallway. I don’t give a damn if I don’t die until I’m 85 years old, use that picture. I was happy and full of life and it represents one of the happiest moments of my life (it was taken at Boykin Springs when Chris and I first started dating).
I want no fill-in-the-blank preachers speaking at my funeral. I don’t want someone saving souls. Save souls on your own time. This is MY time. My last time, in fact. I’d like for someone to step up and give me a proper eulogy. And by proper, I mean real. None of this “she was a kind and beautiful soul” crap. I mean, hopefully by the time I die I will have attained that worthy description, but no doubt I will still be “me”. Feisty, outspoken, and opinionated. And all up in everyone’s business. Mention that. Throw in the W.H. Auden poem as well. Play an incredibly sappy song (might I suggest Ray LaMontagne’s “A Falling Through”?) Work everyone into a good cry. Then, end the funeral with a good smudging. No matter what form you decide to leave me in, I’d like one last good smudging before I go.
From there, I’d like a wake. Actually, I'd really like a Nine-Night. But with everyone's busy schedules, I feel a little bad asking for that much of everyone's time. So I'll take a wake. With BBQ and liquor. Throw in a keg. From this point forward, be happy. Laugh, joke, hug, kiss, tell good stories, have sex* and appreciate the fact that you are not dead. Too many people use death as an excuse to end their own lives. I hate excuses and I hate victims. Using me as an excuse to be a victim is the grandest way to disrespect my memory. Don’t mourn me for too long because I am quite confident I am enjoying my dead self. When I was a small child, I asked my grandmother what happened when we died. Her response was that we go to Heaven and God answers all of the questions we’d ever had. I am dying (literally by this time) to find out what the deal is with UFO’s, who shot JFK and whether or not Elvis, Tupac and Jim Morrison really died when they say they did. That’s just the beginning of my book of questions. God’s gonna be busy for awhile.
Speaking of the weird, I’m going to make a Houdini claim as well. If I can come back, I will. I’ll try not to scare the hell out of anyone in the process. But if I can hang around spying on people, you better know I’m going to do it. If I accidently knock over a glass in the process, I’m sorry. Didn’t mean to scare ya, it’s just the downside to being a ghost. Otherwise, I’ll try to check in periodically. If you randomly smell Clinique Happy, you’ll know I was there. I’ll play songs on the radio when I get a chance. All that general dead-people-checking-in business, I’ll try to do.
In regards to my "stuff", chances are I won't have much worth keeping. For the love of simplicity, do not become a hoarder in my honor. There isn't much stuff in my life that I'm attached to. A small amount of jewelry (left to Izzy, of course), some antique furniture (passed down through the family), and by that time, hopefully a pretty nice car. The rest should go to charity or be "auctioned off" amongst friends and family. Izzy's going to be an only child, so I guess there won't be anyone to fight with over my things (a HUGE plus to NOT having any more children). But so help me, if people start fighting over my things and/or money, I promise I will come back and haunt you. And not in a cute way.
As for Chris (who I’ll hopefully still be married to at the time of my departure), be supportive of him. Feed him for a while, maybe wash a few loads of clothes (he’s not used to doing it himself) and help with his general well-being. I’ve already expressed my desire that he be a widow for a year. After that, get on with it. Men generally have an easier time moving on, so don’t be angry when he brings home another woman. Granted, she won’t be me. No way will she ever measure up (I’m a tough act to follow). But as long as she has his (and Izzy’s!) best interests in mind, cut her some slack. However, if she’s a pain in the ass, I do expect one of my lady friends to have a talk with him. I won’t be here to communicate his ignorance, so I expect one of my ladies to do it in my absence. In the event he doesn't move on after a year, sign him up for an internet dating service. He's a fan of that sort of thing...
Last, but most definitely not least, Izzy. This is where I really expect the most from my friends. No matter what her age (hopefully she’ll be an old lady herself), I feel like she’ll need to retain some kind of connection with my friends. My friends will be most able to speak in my absence. My friends know best what I would say or do in any given situation. My friends know better than anyone (besides Chris) my absolute love for her. And no doubt that will need to be expressed on a regular basis for a while. As time goes by, she’ll surely adjust (for goodness sake, don’t let her pine over me and become a victim!) It will be important for my friends to stand in my place during those important or difficult life moments. I’m an only child, so she’ll have no other support from my side. So I pass that responsibility to my friends. It’s a big job, but know that I would do the same for you. Were I still alive, of course…
Undoubtedly, you think I’ve gone off the deep end with this entry. But I’ve been around long enough to know that death can really fuck people up. People don’t do or act like they should. And in my typical manner, I’m trying to micro-manage a situation that I obviously won’t be here for, yet has everything to do with me, so I want to make sure it’s done right. Call me crazy, but it’s important and I wanted to make sure I had it in writing for others to pull up in the event that things get crazy. I don’t want to have to “roll over in my grave” if I don’t need to. Just saying…
* It has been discussed in a few of my social circles the need to have sex after a tragic funeral. In most cases, people share how guilty they felt by that need. Personally, I think it’s the purest form of connection and appreciation for life, which is why we are often struck with that need. Go for it! I say. Orgasm it up in my honor!