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Monday Mission 3.12

1. Since we've covered the standard "where do you go when you die" question, let's get a little deeper. When you do die, would you like to be able to watch your funeral?

Yes, but only if the family/friends do it the way I want them to, which is a big party. I'd love to watch them from on-high (or from down-below) and see them sharing memories of me.

2. Catholics must have the longest funeral services ever. I think there is a lot to be said for the traditions that they keep, but it was just so depressing. I'd like my funeral to be much more upbeat, like those I've seen in New Orleans. What type of funeral would you plan for yourself?

Well, first off, all my organs are to be donated, those that can be used. So after all that, I'd like to be cremated. Then have the ashes put into the ground where a birch tree is planted.

Now, the party can take place at any time. I don't want a ceremony, where everyone comes and gathers solemnly as my ashes are put into the ground. So have it outside, maybe even well after I've passed, near the tree where I've been planted. Everyone bring a dish or beverage, and music and talking and people laughing and crying.

That sounds good to me.

3. As a child, when I was angry sometimes I would wish that a parent or teacher would die. Thank goodness wishes like those are never granted. I think it probably takes the loss of someone important before you learn the value of life. When did you first realize that life was so fragile?

Well, I lost grandparents early on, but probably the loss of my father in the summer between my junior and senior year of high school drove it home for me.

4. When we said our final respects to Grandma H. today, I though about her impact on the world. No, she didn't cure cancer or make sweeping changes to society. But she did leave a legacy of four sons and a daughter, who in turn have children and grandchildren. And maybe that was her purpose, to launch future generations that will accomplish great things. Some of us are here to make a huge splash in the pond of life, others are here to direct the ripples in the water. Of the people you've known personally who have passed away, what sort of legacy, impact, mark or achievement did they leave behind?

My father had 7 children. I have 9 nieces and nephews. That's a pretty big legacy.

My father also worked on the Apollo missions for IBM, subcontracted through NASA.

I couldn't really speak of others' achievements.

5. One thing that struck me at the funeral, was that there were so many men were dressed in casual clothes. I was brought up to believe that men should always wear a suit to a funeral, as a show of respect. Maybe these men were never taught that. Maybe they just don't own suits. Maybe that I am just old fashioned and not hip to the times. Do you think there is an "appropriate" way to dress for attending a funeral? Or is it even important?

Depends on what the person who died wanted. NOT on what the family left behind wants, and I SO can't express that enough. I think it's appropriate to dress respectfully, though.

Casual for me, please, for those who attend.

6. Grandma H. was far enough along in life to have been able to plan ahead for her funeral, even down to the tiny details such as song selections. It was nice to finally attend a funeral where they didn't play "Amazing Grace!" My choices would be "Ode to Joy" and "I'll Fly Away." What are some of the more memorable songs you've heard played at funerals?

I haven't been to many where songs were played, or at least not that I recall.

7. I've been craving some home-made pickles for years now. Not just any, but the kind my dear Great Grandmother made. It's been over 20 years since she died, but I can still remember just how her dill pickles taste. No one in the family has even attempted to make them since. Today at the funeral I overheard someone wishing that they had asked Grandma H. for her home-made noodle recipe but now it was too late. Do you have any favorite foods that only one relative made, and the recipe died with them?

No, thankfully. Though I understand there will be lots of screaming if the recipe for the coffee-toffee bars gets lost.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 25, 2003 1:13 PM.

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