It’s that time of the year again, when we visit the graves of loved ones and remember the lives they led (or the way they died). Death is not something people usually talk about with a smile on their faces. In fact, it is something most of us try and wish to evade as much as possible as evidenced by billions spent on healthcare and millions of pages and film dedicated to stories involving immortality.
In this life, we have an entrance and an exit. The former being our birth and the latter is, obviously, our death. Since we have no control whatsoever over the circumstances of our birth (i.e. our parents [to begin with], CS or normal, public or private hospital etc), some of us have a tendency to obsess about the details surrounding our funeral. We even pay a premium to insurance companies who guarantee that we wouldn’t lie on a Poorman’s Grave, things like that.
Though I believe that once our spiritual souls leave our earthly bodies they become nothing but flesh waiting to be consumed by the earth — we’re not there and more importantly, we’re not it — it doesn’t mean I don’t think about my exit.
In fact, the 18-year old me described my dream wake and funeral (oddly enough the only blog post I managed to save from my Multiply site entitled “the perfect adios” eeeekkkkkkkk!). Reading about my piece from 4 years ago was enough to scare the shit out of me. There’s been some changes but yeah, in case of emergency, please let my parents/attorney(if I can afford one in the future)/whoever-is-in-charge know these:
- I’m donating all my still-useful organs. It doesn’t matter if I don’t have an organ donor’s card or something because I’m too lazy to get one and put it in my wallet. This post is enough proof, Hmmkay?
- No extraordinary means of prolonging life please. I’ve seen too many patients and heard of too many stories. I prefer quality over quantity thank you very much. I don’t want to live to a hundred hooked to different tubes. Do Not Intubate and Do Not Resuscitate orders, I’d still have to think about.
- I want to be cremated within 24 hours after death. When I tell others about this, some of them look at me and say “What if judgement day comes and God resurrects the dead? You’d be in a jar!“. SERIOUSLY Guys. Our God is powerful enough He doesn’t need bones to bring us back.
- No embalming and definitely no viewing of my dolled-up, formalin-hardened face. From the hospital bed or wherever, I head straight to the fire. I don’t want loved ones to stare at my lifeless body and cry over it because get this, IT IS lifeless (no offense meant to relatives who do this because I’m also guilty). As much as possible, the image I leave behind should be when I was still alive and healthy, when my cheeks turn red upon blushing and so on and so forth.
Now that we’re done with the basics (meaning I want them to be followed no matter what), let’s go to the things that will depend on the budget. hehe
- I’m sure my family would want to have some place where they can visit my remains once a year like a tomb in a cemetery or something. They can put a part of my ashes in an urn and bury it on a small lot or they can build a mausoleum. It’s really their choice.
- What I really really want is for my ashes to be turned into diamond only because I find it cool. Plus, my heirs can have a part of me, literally, wherever they will go. Only, it’s very costly. Click herefor prices as of November 1, 2013. If that’s not plausible, just scatter ze ashes in any flowing body of water.
- For tradition’s sake I’ll have a wake and I want it to be more of a gathering than a wake. I want it to be held wherever I’m residing at that time. No coffin, no flowers which scream death, no formalities. Bright lights, well ventilated area, comfortable couch, now that’s more like it. My urn should be placed in a way that it blends in with the household decoration.
- Songs from my favorite bands will be played in a volume that is still conducive for conversation.
- I’m a little vain so the customary portrait of the deceased should be present. And I should be pretty and smiling on it. Screw the stand. I want it hanged on the wall.
- Instead of biscuits and rice porridge and coffee, I want my favorite foods to be served. French fries, peanuts, chips especially Lay’s Salt and Vinegar flavor for appetizers. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, those who know me will know what to prepare. A buffet spread of the viands and dishes I love is preferable. A Frozen Yogurt stand complete with toppings if it’s not asking too much.
- My bookshelf will be open to all. Another thing I still need to decide on: will I let my visitors leave with one book of their choice each or not?
- Card games are allowed as long as there’s no money involved. I am fond of games like pusoy dos but I have no luck with gambling and I’m bitter. haha
- Strictly no smoking. If you want to smoke, go kill yourself but do it outside the venue.
- Dress code: no black and white. I want fun colors. Why make the gloomy ambiance worse with your clothing? Red lipstick will be appreciated.
- Crying is not prohibited though laughing is preferable. Crying out of laughter or laughing after crying are the best.
- During this time I want my family, childhood friends, college friends, work buddies and all the other people in my life to get along.
- One day only. Yes, you either come or you don’t. Okay, two days.
- A box would be provided for cash gifts. Minus the expenses, 100% should go to church and charity.
- By the way, I’m thinking of giving out invitations but I’m at a loss as to what to write. Avoid the words funeral and death as much as possible. Send-off party? But I’m already gone. Bon Voyage?
- A program is not necessary. There’d just be a make-shift stage with a microphone and anyone who can share a funny anecdote or whatever can just go there and speak. Aha! said stage should be directly in front of my portrait so the person can imagine that he/she’s talking to me and the other people are not there. No fear of being judged, no fear of being ignored. Secrets can be spilled, ugly pictures can be viewed and embarrassing video clips can be shown. Guests should be discreet though, make sure it doesn’t affect the reputation of another person except me.
Now for my epitaph. I had a hard time thinking about this especially because there are a lot of cool ones out there. But then the truest words came to me. My epitaph would read:
Made to last forever.
Because really, there’s life after earth and there’s life after death.
Jesus proved that.
In the end, all the things I wanted and planned don’t really matter.