When I typed in the title of this post, I immediately thought about how if I were still a minor, some authority figure would find this post, misconstrue its title to mean that I’m suicidal, and then there would be a big hullabaloo about it. I feel an odd mixture of relief that no one cares because I’m an adult, and sadness that no one cares because I’m an adult. Anyway, when I do eventually kick the bucket, this is what I want my funeral to be like.
My Grandma died when I was 15 and I remembered that there was a great sense of peace at her funeral. There was very little crying because everyone was happy for her. She was a Sunday School teacher, and many of the guests (most of whom I had never recalled meeting) were her former pupils or fellow congregation members. My Grandma needed to use a walker and had little use of her senses, being both hard of hearing and nearly blind. She fell down one night and had to be put in a home for the next year. My Dad grieved for her then, and by the time she died, he had made already peace with it. I remember that her eulogy had the same positive reminisces about her life and accomplishments as every other eulogy, but it was also funny in places and actually felt warm. Before then, I had no idea that it was possible to laugh at a funeral. But for a Christian, why not?
Therefore, I resolve that I want my funeral to be warm and joyous. Rather than grieving that I’m no longer on Earth (for the time being), or everyone feeling sorry for themselves, I want my funeral to be a happy occasion. After all, you can’t spell “funeral” without “fun.” For an idea of fun, you could have an open casket and put a bucket on my foot. That way it’ll appear as if I actually kicked a bucket (I’m just throwing out ideas here). Instead of a eulogy, why not have an open mic and let anyone who wants to speak share a nice story about me? If I am to be remembered fondly (and I do hope that I will be, although there’s no way to please everyone), then why not share it with my loved ones while you’re all together in one place? It doesn’t have to be all positive, though. No one is perfect and I don’t want the speakers to only say good things about me. To hear reverent tones of “devoted this” and “beloved that” would sicken me. I have plenty of flaws and I know that there’s enough material for a roast. Here, I’ll start you off. If I die single, you could say, “John liked to dance on occasion, but no one else wanted to see it. No wonder he died alone.” I love a good joke; that’s why I got this haircut.
Aside from jokes, you could also share my hopes and dreams. Everyone who knows me knows that I love to teach. I love to teach not only facts and figures, but ideas as well. I have written about the Bible, human rights, free markets, liberty, and many other topics. I want my legacy to be one of education and love. I want my fellow humans to love God and each other; and to pursue all goals that are in harmony with such love. I want to share my writing with the world because I want them to benefit from it. I also want to share my interests.
It’s obvious that I love music–especially baroque and classical music. I love Latin, Japanese, and languages in general. I love China, Japan, Switzerland, and Persia. I love video games. In fact, of the 102 posts currently on this blog, 38 are about video games. At the reception, why not have a Bible study, a string quartet, a reading of classic Chinese poetry, a game tournament, a culture festival, or a lecture on why manual transmissions are better than automatics? All of these are good ideas, I think. Oh, and food. I love food. If it’s a closed-casket funeral, you can use my coffin as a potluck table. Just put all the different dishes on top, and everyone can pile food on their plates as they’re paying their respects. Actually, strike that. Some people are too queasy to associate food with coffins. You know what? Coffins are expensive anyway. I don’t want an expensive funeral. Just dump my body in a cardboard box, have a couple of dogs dig a grave, and throw the box in there. Simple, easy, cheap. Those three words describe your mother, and they can describe my funeral arrangements as well. We’re all worm food in the end, so why waste hundreds of dollars on a fancy box? Either get me the cheapest coffin you can find, or build me a magnificent tomb to rival the pyramids at Giza. What other reasonable option is there?
On this occasion I feel it necessary, especially considering the jovial tone I have previously set, to ask that no one use my body as a puppet or a hat rack. And if I owe you money when I die, please do not steal my teeth for the fillings. I’m sure the mortuary will beat you to it anyway.
With all this having been said, I feel I must make one thing quite clear. I am just a person and who I am doesn’t really matter. After my death I do not want to be a star (in a “15 minutes of fame” sort of way). I do not want to be remembered for my accomplishments, but only for the accomplishments that God has achieved through me. Everyone dies; I am not special. If I am to be remembered, I wish only to be remembered as a child of God. If there is any good in me, it is only because of Him, and so to Him should go the glory. Above all, I hope my funeral will serve as a reminder that we are all made from dust, and thus it is important to number our days. If I can help to do but that, I shall be quite glad.