Friday, September 20, 2013

Seven Quick Rules for my Funeral

So like I told you in my heavy and ultra-serious post of yesterday, I realized I am, in fact, going to die someday.  In light of that realization, I thought I would write out some rules for whomever will be tasked with planning my arrangements.  Blog posts are legally binding, right?

1.
As mentioned yesterday, you may under no circumstances play On Eagle's Wings, Be Not Afraid, I am the Bread of Life, Amazing Grace, or for the love of God, All I Ask of You.  If upon reading any of these titles you are thinking to yourself, "Oh, I love that song!  What is wrong with that song?  It is so touching." then you are not the proper person for choosing my funeral music.  You can be in charge of sandwiches.

2.
My most pressing requirement in choosing a funeral parlor is that the mortician (Is that p.c.?  I feel like that may be an offensive word or something.) be skilled in knowing how to properly present a female face.  No hideous shades of lipstick, no caked on foundation and - this is important - the mortician must be aware of the critical importance of facial hair removal.  I learned once that your hair continues to grow after you die for some time.  That little factoid has sufficiently scared me out of ever dying and I have been on the perpetual quest to find a friend I can trust with the task of postmortem plucking.*  Upon reading this, you are now hereby legally required that if attending my wake you immediately and inconspicuously pluck out any unsightly hairs you may notice with the tweezers you will have at the ready in your pocket.**  I trust you can disguise this compassionate work of mercy with some clever prayer form as you kneel in front of my perfectly made up face.

*Also applies to comas.
**Bring a razor, too, just in case.

2b.
Also, find someone who will make my hair look fabulous.  For once in my life (ha!) I'd like to have great hair.

3.
No eulogy at the Mass.  Just no.  This has less to do with my profound humility as it does that it's not really a part of the funeral liturgy and this is the one time other than my wedding Mass that I get to insist on the rubrics.  I'm dead, you're not allowed to be mad at me or roll your eyes.  I do fully expect and invite many odes of praise and adulation, tears and anecdote sharing during the wake and at the luncheon afterwards.

4.  
There must be great food at the luncheon (or dinner, whatever you decide) afterwards.  Or maybe just pizza.  There should definitely be chicken wings.

5.
Put something cool on my prayer cards and pick great readings.

6.
If you spend ghastly amounts on flowers, you obviously did not know me and my cheapskate tendencies well.  I will haunt you and instead of leaving dimes or pennies (that's a thing I've heard of) I will take them away.  You'll be all, "Where did that money go?" and I'll be all "Hahaha!  I'm bringing it to people who know how to use their money well!"  (This is getting ridiculous.)  Pick a few daisies if you must and give the money to something good.

7.
On a related note, get me one of these things from the monks:

But if for some reason that doesn't work out, this will do:


It's a basket casket!  A basket casket.  That is totally me.

Or you could always send me out a la Boromir:

Which I'm guessing is probably illegal.


  Have I sufficiently freaked you out yet?  Fear not.  Because while we Catholics take death seriously we also at the same time get to laugh in its face.  Another one of those fun Christian dichotomies.  Yay!  We'll be heading out camping this weekend so this information may come in handy quite soon because bears.

Now get on over to Jen's where you are guaranteed takes of the way less morbid variety.  And don't worry, I shall be switching topics soon so as not to worry my husband any further.
  



First time here? If you're interested you can get new Better Than Eden posts on Feedly or BlogLovin' and connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Thank you so much for stopping by!


32 comments:

  1. I find this strangely humorous! I like it Mary. My MIL wants that casket too. Not the basket one, but the one from the Monks. That is the only thing she has ever said about her funeral . . . other than she wants Eagle's Wings sung too ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is awesome. I actually wannt to be your friend more now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! We can have long talks and bond over our funeral arrangements. I hope your tweezers are ready :)

      Delete
  3. I loved these last two posts, Mary. You're right -- we do (or should) take death very seriously. Why else do good works and avoid sin if it's all over when it's over? Sheesh!

    I have started planning my funeral -- isn't that over-the-top morbid? I am such a control freak (gasp!) that I don't want anyone choosing my psalms or reading or Gospel, or Lord forbid, my songs! I already have a list of songs acceptable to me and you better believe Eagle's Wings, Be Not Afraid, or Taste and See are NOT on it. I have a rule about songs -- must be written before 1960. Preferably 1860. I do love It is Well With My Soul, even though it's not a Catholic hymn. Maybe a generous donation to the church can get that one snuck in somewhere.

    I am in disagreement about the flowers however. I am a total cheapskate, but I'd like to go out with beautiful flowers. And my husband better keep flowers at my grave or I'll haunt him! And no open casket for me!

    Sadly, once we die, we really have no control over any of this, which is why I think it even more important to talk about. My father-in-law died in May and even though he had hospice care at home for over a month, and knew he was terminal a month before that, they never talked about his funeral Mass. The day before the Mass, I was frantically finding the readings and songs (most of which were rejected by the funeral committee at the church -- no Tantum Ergo? Really?)

    Long comment -- but long story short, I get you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As one who helped ease three parents into death (two in-laws, one actual parent), NO! This is not over-the-top morbid! It is a great time-saver and comfort-giver to the survivors. It is soooooo much easier than having nothing in print.

      Years before my dad died, he wrote many long pages about his funeral. He wasn't even sick, so we all made fun of him. However, when he actually died, we pulled out that loooong document and did what he said he wanted. What a relief! That contrasts greatly with the deaths of my in-laws.

      Help your family. Let them know you have ideas for your death and funeral, and tell them where the ideas are. Believe me, they'll be grateful. (I'm not the only one who says this, by the way.)

      Delete
    2. I don't think it's morbid either but look who just wrote the post ;) Every time I'm at a funeral or wake, I go through what I would or wouldn't want and I think it's important that family know!! And I'm totally hoping to have some perennials (forget-me-nots, I think!) at my grave! I just can't stomach the hundred dollar wreaths that are just going to die. But I'm that person who also totally cheaped out on wedding flowers, too. My bridesmaids just carried a single rose because spending over $60 a bouquet just wasn't going to happen...I do sorta regret that a little :)

      Delete
  4. PS I know this is a really morbid confession, but I keep funeral clothes, in current sizes, in the kids' closet, because I know if I die my husband will let them wear jeans, or whatever, to my Mass!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, THIS, however, is really hysterical!!! I love it!

      Delete
  5. This is great! My grandmother left strict instructions that everyone wear red to her funeral. The priest pulled back his vestments to show his read sweater. So great. Love the chicken wings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so neat. What a sweet priest :)

      Delete
  6. FAN-FLIPPIN-TASTIC!
    So, everytime I get to a wake or funeral, I start re-doing my list to make sure everyone knows what I want! I got so flaky about this, as soon as I converted 18 years ago, my Catholic grandmother made me in charge of her and my grandfather's funerals (which thankfully didn't happen for many years after)

    where did you find the pine box? I want one! Seriously - can you pre-order?

    many blessings, and may we not have to worry about plucking you for many years! lol
    karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know where Mary found her casket image, but there is an order of Trappist Monks who make them ( http://www.trappistcaskets.com/ )-- my husband has already requested his. I did not know some states prohibited them (as Melody, below, stated) but I assumed a Catholic funeral director could get one.

      Delete
    2. Yep, I linked the Trappists up there. I love that that is their ministry and really, those boxes are so much more beautiful to me than a fiberglass metallicy looking one!

      Delete
  7. Great stuff! If I kick it before my oldest son, I know all will be well. He is the type to bury me with Latin, a schola cantorum, and lots of incense. Unfortunately, my state does not allow wood caskets.:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is now my plan. Whatever you are doing with your kids, I want to do exactly that :) And really? What a shame. I live in NY so chances are, there are lots of regulations regarding that here as well. Bummer. I wonder if they have a basket rule... ;)

      Delete
  8. Hilarious! And I guess I'm on sandwich duty!!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My gluten-free friends will appreciate it :)

      Delete
  9. I think a moratorium on all things Haugen and Haas is probably necessary ;) You really don't want the processional to be "All Are Welcome" though?

    How about liturgical dance? Cool?

    OOH and vestments that look like a patchwork quilt of children's faces!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMYGOSH, I FORGOT TO ADD ALL ARE WELCOME!! I hope my planners read these comments!!!

      Delete
  10. Mary
    Laughed and laughed, and insist on many of the same issues for my funeral. (not so worried about hair however;) My husband has planned his funeral many many times, has so many favourite hymns we'll have to play some before and after, and rest assured all on your banned list are on his too. Oh I promise to pick wildflowers from the roadside

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad I'm in good company :) You're probably right about the hair. My family and friends probably wouldn't recognize me without my signature scrappy ponytail!

      Delete
  11. Oh, and instead of "processional" and "recessional" be sure to have somebody announce them as "hymn of gathering" and "hymn of sending forth."

    My personal unfavorite is Lord, When You Came. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nff3jGFKorY It always reminds me of an old western. The hero is entering a southwestern town at noon. His horse is ambling, as emphasized by wood blocks being struck on beats 1, 3, 4, and 6 of a 6/8 measure. If I have the notation correct, these should be on these notes: C (tonic), G, E', G. There is a Mexican taking a siesta in the shade with a very large sombrero over his face. The proper harmony to this piece requires a lot of vocal scooping.

    My kids were always annoyed at me when I gave in to my urges and scooped the harmony while sitting with them at Mass. They just couldn't take their mama anywhere!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol! I don't think I've ever heard that one!! Once in a while I try to sing harmony with the music ministry and I probably sound like the biggest wannabe. They're probably all, "lady, what are you even trying to do??"

      Delete
  12. Mary, There is a problem with the menu. You make the best chicken wings and they don't freeze well so we would have to settle for second best chicken wings.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is the best, most hilarious and most honest post ever!

    Love it.

    xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is just awesome. Apparently I have very cheesy taste in music (you're not the first to tell me so) so I will relegate myself to sandwich- and/or beautician-duty.

    Those caskets are awesome. I will take either of those in the event that a Boromir funeral is in fact illegal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have great hair so I'm good with that :)

      Delete
  15. This was so funny....I love it! And, the basket casket is awesome! And, my husband is a lawyer, and yes, I'm sure blog posts are a legally binding form of a last will and testament. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  16. Enjoyed reading your plans. Of course, if you want to make God laugh... So yes, the music ministry lady is not going to get the sheet with your list and all of your banned songs will be played, and all of your friends and family will try to disguise their snickers as distress.
    Oops, there goes my sick Irish humor.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love everything about this post and the comments in a non-weirdo type way . I totally want to copycat this idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do it! I have no doubt your plans will be hilariously awesome. Hey, we can even create a plan-your-own funeral link-up! It'll be great. ;)

      Delete
    2. Oh. my. word. A funeral link up?! Would that be taking it a step too far?? Because I'm totally down with that.

      Delete

Your nice comment makes my day. I love knowing that you were here and the only way I do is if you take the time to leave a note here! Thank you for taking the time to do that! If you'd like to contact me privately, please email me at betterthaneden1 (at) yahoo (dot) com. Please know I read and appreciate every comment even if I can't reply personally.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...