Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nobody Gets to Wear Black

Grieving. Tasteful grieving.

My boss' mother died two days ago, after a protracted illness. (And being in her late 90s.) She left her son, my boss, written instructions as to her funeral, and by "written instructions", I mean a 10 page typed document detailing the exact colours of the flowers, naming the pallbearers and exactly which direction she wanted the coffin to face.

It got me thinking, what do I want in a funeral? On the one hand, I won't really be there, on the other, funerals are such a depressing bore, and I like to think I'm not. So, since the internet is written in ink*, I thought I'd detail my wishes.

1. I want to be cremated. People look curiously . . . slack . . . once they are dead, and I don't want that to be anyone's last memory of me. I want my ashes distributed to everyone (who wouldn't be entirely freaked out by it) and I want those people to spread my ashes somewhere nice. The ocean, a little urban park, a fabulous accessories shop in France, whatever. I also wouldn't be averse to someone passing off a piece of my femur as the relic of a saint, but it's not necessary.

2. No flowers. Once you pick flowers, they are dead. I hate receiving flowers as a gift, it's like handing me death. I'd much rather receive a bunch of tulip bulbs. Then I could plant them in my front yard and have pretty flowers every spring. So, either distribute bulbs to my mourners or nothing.

3. Dancers. I want dancers, like Britney Spears' backup dancers, dancing behind the people giving eulogies. I like dancing.

4. No prayers, no quoting from holy books. Unless it is the Enuma Elish. In the original Akkadian.

5. Fireworks. Hell, yeah!

6. Bring your kids. I want them loaded up with caffeinated beverages, sugary snacks and loud toys. If they aren't screaming like banshees on a meth bender by the end of my funeral, you have failed me.

7. Music. Funeral music is wholly depressing, if there even is any. I want Trent Reznor and Saul Williams to perform at my funeral, but in lieu of that, at least try to get a New Orleans marching band.

8. No black. I wear black- as a backdrop to make colour pop! Please don't dig some boring black dress/suit out of the back of your closet. Wear colour. Purple, orange, crimson, teal, green, whatever, just wear it.

9. Free food. No celebration is complete without a buffet. I want people to pause in their grieving to exclaim "Are those lobster rolls?!" Remember me as I lived, people- for free food.

So, should I precede anyone reading this, please, make it so.

*Yes, I finally saw The Social Network. First of all, "acting" does not mean "clench your jaw for 2 hours". Secondly, the score (by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) makes that movie significantly more dramatic than it otherwise would be. By far.


  1. Lets get past alla the hypocritical BS of religion we mortals think and focus on how infinitely teeny-tiny our existence is. 88ish meeesly years VS. the length and breadth of eternity?? Whether you wanna believe-me-or-not, is certainly up to one person. You. However, you alone outta the billions of human beings have a precious, indelible soul. You can certainly see, can’t ya, why I wanna kiss your adorable feet Upstairs?? Good. I’m glad we got that point straightened-out. Love you. See ya soon. God bless.

  2. I feel like a clown whenever I wear colourful clothes. I pretty much only wear black.

  3. I, too, favor dark, strong colors - blacks and greens and grays, mostly, with the occasional foray into crimson or purple - but I have to say, I love the idea of a funeral where I could show up in a tie-dyed tuxedo including top hat and not look out of place. Let there be music, fireworks, and dancing!

    @ Kold_Kadavr_flatliner - Did you actually mean to imply that our hostess is the only human being on Earth with a soul? (Or maybe the rest of our souls just aren't so precious or indelible... I could parse that sentence either way.) 'Cause actually, that sounds like the basis for a rather creepy, surreal short story.

  4. ignoring... that first commenter.

    i have a will, because i have a specific request. there's a company that will turn your ashes into MULCH. i want a rosebush planted in me.

  5. Must... not respond. Must... be strong... Gnnnnhhh...

    [subtle sound of sarcasm-node of brain trying to garrote self-control node with my retinal strings]

    ... nnnyyyeeeee...

    On topic:
    When I die, I'm going to invite all the people my self-control forced me to refrain from killing during my life to the funeral, and then I'm going to do an Agnes Nitt.

    PS: If you don't get that reference, we can no longer be friends... and you're invited to my funeral.

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  7. This must be played at all funerals, and especially at my own, the only song that always cheers me up:

    Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

  8. I think we should just have cosplay outfit the funeral attendees and then have the first commentor give my eulogy.

    and i totally want to be mulch now!

  9. 15 years ago, when my younger brother knew that he wasn't going to beat AIDS, he visited glass artisans to arrange to have his ashes mixed into a batch of glass to be made into earrings and neckaces and lapel pins. That way, he could go to all the parties he would otherwise miss. With various relatives, he's been to Italy, England, Greece and Singapore. He hangs on the Christmas tree or in the sunniest window in winter. My sons have worn him onstage for symphony concerts and musical theatre performances, and their graduations. He's been in parades and in horse show-jumping competitions. And tomorrow, because it's his birthday, I'll wear him to work.

  10. if you can do a duet with yourself, i'm just gonna...

    ok, i don't know, but the jealous will be TOXIC [dude, i'd SO be Anges, even if it meant dealing with Perdita, just for that ALONE!]

  11. hrm. blogger hates me;

    the above was to Quasar;

    Mutzali; that's actually really, really cool. i like it a LOT.
    not as much as becoming a rose bush, eventually, but a LOT! obviously, your brother was a cool frood :)

    PF: i know - it's like taking a shortcut back into life, sort of :) EVENTUALLY, all your atoms are going to be "dirt" anyway, why wait? and in the meantime, support a bush! lol


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