I’ve had yet another friend die. This time, multiple gunshots to the chest was his demise. And it got me thinking about Life and Death… again. It made me ponder upon the event of one’s passing, particularly the funeral.
The Oxford Dictionary describes a funeral as: a service or ceremony held shortly after a person’s death, usually including the person’s burial or cremation. Although this definition may be accepted in a technical aspect, it does no justice to the beauty of death and the significance of the funeral itself.
A funeral comprises the complexity of one’s beliefs and culture. Although the ceremony is not for the deceased and is for the attendees instead, the people who are attending the ceremony must remember that it is typically held as a moment for them to not just honor and remember the deceased, but also to pay respect.
The respect issue of the ceremony is what truly grabs my attention and makes me contemplate my own funeral. For that reason, I say this: If anyone does choose to attend my funeral, please respect my wishes of how it is carried out.
- Do not wear formal attire specifically for my funeral. Come as you normally dress, whether it is blue jeans and a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops or a halter-top and skirt. I never knew you to wear nice clothes and don’t want our final time together to be one of you tugging at a necktie that is choking you or a dress that makes you itch.
- Do not wear black as a form of paying respect. The color black often symbolizes remorse, fear or, in the tradition of funerals, mourning.
- Do not mourn me. Celebrate the life I lived and the time we spent together. I have seen many beautiful things, places and people; especially my children and the world through their eyes.
- Do not fear where I am or remorse in the fact that I am no longer alive. Know this: wherever I may be, whether it is in the afterlife or in the ground, I am finally at peace. The stress of the world and the hectic ways of Life no longer burden me.
- Do not let someone who does not know me perform my eulogy. If I didn’t know them, I probably didn’t like them. Instead, open the floor to those who have the desire to speak. Whether it is good or bad, say what is on your mind. This may be the last time I hear your words.
- Laugh. I hate seeing people cry and I hate hearing people whine. I sure as hell don’t want to see or hear it at my funeral. Laugh about the fun times we shared. Laugh about crazy antics we pulled. Laugh at the stupid mistakes I made.
- Lastly, and most importantly, love. Love my children. Love the time we spent together. Love the life you have. Love one another. Love.