Sunday, April 22, 2007

re: my funeral

Tammi asked this on her blog a couple of weekends ago.

"What music do you want played at your funeral."


A tough question. I mean I will be dead, and I won't be able to enjoy it.

However, I will say, I had given this some thought.

Upon burying my own Mother and realizing that someday, by the grace of God, my children would have to do the same.

Hopefully I will be VERY OLD, otherwise all of this "clean living" , not smoking, and pilates, and yoga is for the birds.

One of my Mother's greatest gifts to me, was not planning her funeral. She had a list of honorary female pall bearers, and told me she wanted pink flowers on her coffin. That was it. I mean I watched her slowly wither for 2 1/2 years.

And when she passed, I was angry that "the funeral" was not planned. I mean after all she knew she was dying. She had fought metastatic colon cancer for 2 1/2 years.

The five of us had stood at that Dr. with the second opinion, when he said...."Yeah, there is not much we can do for you at this point, there is this experimental drug, and you should make final arrangements.) We all stood there with tears in our eyes, except for my Mother who was bald from the chemo and radiation. Face looking moon like from the steroids. Wearing a black and white striped nautical looking hoodie and a liz claiborne hat, in a w/c. And when the Dr. was done handing my Mother her death sentence....she said "Let's go to Red Lobster".

None of us wanting to eat, or hungry. All of us standing there looking at our queen, or Matriarch...and wondering how on Earth we were going to stand the pain of loosing her. Watching her suffer was painful enough, but knowing that she would be gone, how would we bear that pain.

And so upon her death.

We picked up the phone, and called all of those who would want to say goodbye at the house, before sending her body to the mortuary.

And more phonecalls. When people die, you are on the phone a lot. (Just in case you have ever had to bury anyone.) You are the phone a lot. A lot.

Planning her funeral, made the immediate family come together, and talk and plan. This was good, because I know we all wanted to go to separate rooms and lick our wounds. But there is plenty of time for that when it is over I assure you.

And somewhere in the second day after her death, after the obituary was written, and the coffin was picked out, and we listenend to music, and Bible verses were picked, and the Pastor visited.

I realized why she had left it for us to plan....

We needed to plan it to keep our hearts busy, even after 2 1/2 years we were in shock that she was no longer breathing. Her funeral gave us something to soften the blow of her absense.

And even after I had rented extra chairs for our was standing room only. People standing by the front entrance of the church.

So anyway, I think I will do the same.

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