Making Funeral Plans – A genuine question from our Blog ;- What do you think?
I’ve been in a bit of a daze since November when a friend of mine passed away. I had known him nearly twenty-five years before he died at 53 very suddenly. He was only twelve years older, and his death really drove home the fact that I could die any day through any number of causes and that there’s not a thing I can do about it.
In the few days leading up to his funeral his other friends and I talked about what he would probably have wanted and what we thought would be nice to do for him. His father and stepmother had ideas that in some cases were different. They didn’t do anything that was shockingly far from what we think he would have wanted, but enough that we noticed a few things. Probably the best part of it all was that two other friends and I were able to speak and give him our final tributes.
After seeing all of this, and what planning his funeral must have put his parents through, I have decided to start planning my own funeral. At my age (41) it may (hopefully!) be very early to start thinking about it, it will help my family avoid some of the stress that they don’t need to be heaped on top of grief. It will also be my final control-freak indulgence to make sure things go the way I want. Finally, I think it will help me gain some tiny measure of control over something I can otherwise do nothing about: my own death.
So here’s why I’m telling you about all of this: I want to write something that will sort of be my final goodbye. In my funeral planning I am making some choices that will be a little out of the mainstream, and I want to explain to everyone why and my philosophy in making those choices. In a way I will be writing my own funeral sermon.
Is this weird? Totally out of line? Creepy?
I want to quote Carl Sagan “We are star stuff” and explain that every bit of our physical being was born in the life and death of stars and that we are all just a small part of a magnificent cycle of life, death, and renewal. I’d really like to work in “this has all happened before, and it will all happen again” and hope that someone catches it.
I am planning a natural burial, with no embalming, buried in nothing but a simple wooden box. I want my body to return to the earth as quickly as possible. I’d like to explain this to friends and family, that I want some small part of me to be reborn in nature. Eventually when our sun reaches the end of its life our planet and everything in it will be vaporised, blown out into space. Eventually it may become part of a new planet somewhere and the iron that was once in my blood will become part of some other life out there, maybe looking up at the stars and asking himself the same big questions we ask.
All of this has been the physical. As for a soul or afterlife, I don’t know and I doubt it, but this wouldn’t be of much comfort. I’ll just ask everyone to keep me alive in their thoughts and memories. Not much more I can say there.
So what do you think?
Would you do it?
If a friend or family member did the same sort of thing.
What would you think?