I went to a funeral today, one of the first ones I’d simply attended in quite some time. It was weird. First of all, funeral homes are bizarre places – bad furniture, worse wallpaper, and just an aura of oddity hanging in the air. Then the pastor that did the service was, at best, mediocre. She didn’t do a bad job, but just didn’t seem to connect with anyone in the congregation. Six different scripture verses were read and three different hymns were sung, but very little was said about the life of the deceased.
So I’ve been thinking, should any of you be around when I pass, here’s what I’d like to have happen…
It’s fine with me if there is a worship component – in fact that would probably be appropriate. However, it should be held in a church, not a funeral parlor. I want lively music, bright colors, coffee, donuts, laughing, joyful singing, and stories told about my life. God has brought great joy to my life – act like it when you remember me!
After the service I don’t want anyone to drive 20 miles an hour to watch my body be put in a hole, seriously, does that make any sense? So, leave my body behind, or send it off for cremation (or heck, it doesn’t even need to be present, just get me cremated before I start smelling too badly and then gather for the party at your convenience). Go to a nice bar or restaurant for a meal afterward and drink and eat and laugh and keep telling stories. Stay through the afternoon and late into the evening; eat another meal if you’re hungry, throw darts, shoot pool, play golden tee and keep telling stories about the silly or pointless or moving or meaningful things that I did in my life. Don’t worry about anything, I’ll pick up the tab.
Oh, and I want gifts for all of the guests. I like the mix cd idea that a lot of couples are doing for their weddings now. You know what I’m talking about, the cds with songs that were playing at significant parts of the happy couples lives. I want one of those made. Hopefully I’ll have lots more years to add tunes to it, but for the time being I know I want the following included: Gravedigger (Dave Matthews), Bury me Deep (Poi Dog Pondering), Good Old Days (Kyle Moreland), It’s a Beautiful Day (U2), Happy Trails (Roy Rogers and Dale Evens), Blessed to be A Witness (Ben Harper). The CD case should have a picture of my laughing or smiling. Oh, and give everyone some nice dark chocolate – something that’s at least 70% cocoa, that’d be nice.
If I can get people who care about me together for a good party when I die, I will consider my life to have been a success!