First, I have no intention of dying any time soon. This is not a goodbye note, or a cry for help. Just putting that out there so I don’t end up getting sent to the school counselor again. No, Betty Draper’s instructions to Sally, and one of my LTYM castmate’s essays put me in mind of it, so I figured I’d take a load off my family and let you all know how I’d like to be celebrated in the end*.
1. Cremate me. Cremate me as cheaply as possible. Please make sure I’m good and dead first because it would be horrifying to wake up just as I was being sent into the crematorium, but once you’re sure I’m off to greener pastures, fire up the oven and send me on my way.
2. Get rid of the cremains. I don’t really care how you do it so long as you do not keep me, or put me in a place where you feel compelled to visit me. Ideally, you could just air me out on a breezy day. I don’t want you to feel tied to a jar of ash, or a man made gemstone, or a locket, or a drawer at the cemetery, or any of the other ideas I found on Pinterest for what to do with cremains. You don’t need to worry about keeping a piece of me around. You’ll have me in your memories, and those won’t upset you if someone accidentally knocks them off the mantle, or drops them in a toilet.
3. Please do have a memorial service. I won’t care, I’ll be dead, but people sometimes need to say goodbye. Pick a funeral home where either you feel comfortable, or the place is so creepy it makes you laugh.
4. At the service, do not play any music you like. I don’t want you to hear a song you love and have it remind you of my funeral. So dark! Instead, play something really twee like Save a Prayer from Duran Duran. That song is about having it off with a stranger, so it is both grossly inappropriate for a funeral, and impossible to cry over. Also play Time in a Bottle. Because I would have requested it anyway. Or, Girl from Ipanema.
5. Tell the truth in your eulogy. Tell your truth. Don’t feel like you have to say nice things about me if you don’t feel them. I’m human, and imperfect, so if you need to talk about the imperfections, go for it. I won’t mind and you’ll feel better.
6. I would like for someone to pick out what they think is my funniest blog entry, and what they think is the most poignant, and read those. Read the poignant one first, then say a prayer, then play Save a Prayer. Then, do my eulogy and play Time in a Bottle. Then, read the funny blog entry, and maybe play Electric Avenue because that song is awesome and you rarely hear it on the radio, so the chances of my funeral ruining it for you are slim. And that should be the end of it of the service. Then, you should go eat.
7. Please do not do flowers. Instead, either donate to a food bank, or a women’s group.
8. Should I shuffle off this mortal coil before my son is an adult, please write down some things you remember me saying about him, and give those to him. Now and then, if you think about it, remind him of how much he delighted me. That’s the only thing that bothers me about the thought of dying: Leaving him before I’ve cemented in him how wonderful he is. Remind him that his being made my good life a great one.
9. Please go somewhere nice for lunch. If you are on a diet, please cheat. Eat the most delicious things on the menu, and tip your waiter generously.
10. You should definitely make up memorial service programs because it is important for people to be able to follow along and see when this thing is going to be over. You should use this picture of me:
It took me a long time to get my hair that high, and I want it immortalized! (That’s another reason to cremate me. No one else does my makeup as well as I do, and I will haunt you if you put me in the ground looking like some televangelist’s wife.)
11. If I should die of old age, my obituary should read as such:
Lane Buckman enjoyed life. She was abundantly blessed with family and friends, laughed more than she ever cried, was happier more often than she was ever sad, and was pretty satisfied with her lot. When she wanted something, she went after it, and when she was finished with something, she put it away. Unless it was shoes, or the contents of her purse, in which case she left those lying around indefinitely. She appreciated all the people around her, most especially her son, who lit her entire world.
12. If something else happens, use the obituary above, and add the following:
While she would liked to have hung around longer out of curiosity and sheer enjoyment, she lived happily and fully, and only regretted that truly unfortunate perm, and having worn that one outfit to the Billy Idol concert in 2001.
I think that about covers it. Again, I don’t plan on dying soon, and now you’ve all got a blueprint for how it should go down when the inevitable occurs. How about you? What would you want for a funeral?
*Because I am a 12 year old boy on the inside, I snickered the whole time I typed that.