My personal philosophy — colored of course by the fact my daughter had a liver transplant — take what you need and burn the rest.
I know feeding the creatures is as important as feeding the earth — but I don’t want to do that for some reason. Past lives shape our thoughts and beliefs in this one. Maybe I’ve already done that — so I want a different exit strategy this time around, who knows?
I have a touch of claustrophobia so a coffin is out of the question. They used to have viewings & wakes with open caskets in people’s parlors for 3 days for a reason back in the day — to give the dead a chance to ‘wake up’ just in case the MD was mistaken about them being really dead.. and then there were the bells next to each grave in the cemetery — tied to the limb of the deceased — so an attendant could dig them up — just in case. Embalming people made sure you were dead when you went into the ground and became a comforting practice for all involved. But still the thought makes me queasy.
A memorial of some kind is usually in order for the living. I have seen it work well for emotional closure for the people who are here — to find some way to collectively say good bye and close the vacuum left by the death of a person they cared about. It’s never about lauding their accomplishments so much as telling of their story and each person gets to add their part to the mosaic that was a life — and is no here more.
I had not wanted a funeral or memorial service because I had wanted to spare my children the agony of having their grief publicly displayed for the consumption of others. However, I believe my friends would protect them from those who might abuse their sorrow and love for me. And together they all might all find a better peace and support system to face the rest of their lives without my physical presence. So I changed my mind about that. For them.
Because after you’re dead, you’re right — its not about you anymore.