10 rules upon my death?!
For the reals?
Think of this as a not-to-be-taken-completely-seriously guide to final wishes, or a fun-time death note.
I met a fellow writer for coffee and the talk turned to how I handled my diagnosis with humor.
I laughed because it’s pretty much how I handle everything; it’s in my DNA, y’all.
As we yapped about all things breast cancer, the discussion turned to preparing for death (listen, when you face a serious medical crisis, you’re gonna talk about dying. a. lot.).
The more I shared, a tongue-in-cheek list of my death plan, the more she laughed.
“You really need to write a post about your rules for your funeral.”
Instead of rules for my funeral, I tweaked the idea:
10 Rules Upon My Death
(buckle in, y’all!)
#10: Do not have a funeral.
That’s right, no funeral.
No church full of uncomfortable folks, thinking about their own mortality.
No somber hugs. No eulogy.
No mass of depressing funeral clothing.
No general awkwardness.
#9: Only family and close friends (framily) at the interment.
A small grouping is good. Intimate. Understanding.
Comforting to those left behind.
#8: Get me in the ground FAST.
No embalming, cause it creeps me out. (< reason for no funeral and the modest posse at burial.)
It’s an inconvenience to ask anyone but f(r)amily to drop what they’re doing in three days time and get to seeing you off.
#7: When I say burial, I mean put me above ground in a climate-controlled mausoleum, so you can be comfortable in your overwhelming grief.
A bench nearby with some foam bats to work out your heartbreak would be a nice touch.
You gots to get that emotion out – don’t hold it in, baby!
#6: Make sure you clean out the fridge and under the stove and all the closets before you let one grieving soul into my house.
Don’t forget to scrub the toilets, vacuum the blind slats, and sweep out last year’s leaves from under the patio table.
Burn my journals, erase my computer history, and clean out my underwear drawer.
I’m Southern to my dying breath and these thangs matter.
Ain’t no one needs a back-handed “bless her heart” post-death.
#5: I’d like a few specific treasures to go to a few specific treasured people.
This, of course, sets-up a graceless situation, as some might think they’re on the short list for special items, but are mistaken, so I propose a solution: Give the actual treasures to individuals on a one-by-one basis. The rest of the folks can come by on an appointed day to go through a room set up with “my treasures” without knowing the old switchero has happened. (I see some of you thinking my trickery has been blown by posting the info here.
Most folks who know me in real life, don’t bother to read anything I write.
They have tried to understand what it is I do, but simply think of me as the eccentric in the group to be side-eyed.
If you really want to make me happy, give them a set amount of time in which to choose, a starting line and use a blow-horn to start and stop the timer.
Let the games begin!
#4: A wake.
Have a blow-your-pants-off wake instead of a funeral.
If your pants are actually blown off during the merriment, y’all did it right!
Short list of must-haves: booze, cake (my Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake would be perfect and easy to make!), rock from the 70s, carbs (so many carbs!), an adult bouncy house (this is where your pants might blow off), dancing, and copious reminiscing of the good times we had and laughing.
If you’re not laughing, you’re doing it wrong.
Also, since I was never granted my 40th birthday wish of chasing, then tackling, a variety of team mascots while running bases, I would very much like for this to happen on my behalf.
Don’t act like that doesn’t sound like fun!
Ready? Set. RUN, mascot bitches!
#3: Before my casket is closed, I’d like my fully charged cell phone placed with me.
Then, on the day I’m slipped into the mausoleum, just as a small crowd quiets for a short prayer before the wake, with heads bowed…a phone rings.
Folks are giving each other the stink eye.
Whose phone is that?! Turn it off! How rude!
Takes a minute, but soon the realization dawns; the call is coming from within.
As Boy put it: corpse crank call! Yep, that apple fell right next to the tree!
#2: Make sure Sweet E reads my open letters to him.
These will balance the off-color raucous stories that folks will certainly share as he gets older.
Choochie wasn’t just a goof, baby. No way. Sometimes she had important things to impart.
Uh-Huh! DID SO!
#1: This one is important: I’d like a grieving inconsolable relative to throw themselves upon my casket at the interment and WAIL so shrill and with such a deafening volume that the angels in Heaven will cover their ears in pain.
You know, just in case there is any mix-up or question about my entrance into the Pearly Gates.
You gotta figure if someone is carrying on in such an undone way that the deceased was one swell individual.
While the idea of planning for my death was serious business, it couldn’t be all heaviness of heart with us; we found a way to laugh, too.
As we get older and funerals are more common, I’ve had lots of time to think, sitting in the pews, celebrating the lives of others.
When someone dies, I always wonder: Is this what they wanted?
Maybe so; maybe no.
All I know is that I’ve had the opportunity to really think about what I would want – in regards to the life I’ve lived and those I’ve loved.
I want my exit to be filled with laughter, love, and the happiest of memories.
Because I wouldn’t wish anyone any undue pain or having the burden of actually following through on my silliness, I’m okay with whatever makes folks happy once I’m gone.
The truth of this matter is that I’ve told Garry to do what he’s comfortable with and whatever makes him happy, you know, should I go first.
Although, that wake sounds like a good time, right?
Do you have a rule or two upon your death?
~ Originally posted October 9, 2015 – Updated post February 15, 2020 ~