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Hasta La Vista, Baby

March 21, 2012

Picture courtesy of

The last couple of weeks, I’ve learned that death does weird things to people. And after my short (or long, depending on whom you ask) 40 years on this planet, I’ve also discovered that we have some weird death rituals in our society.

I don’t know about you, but the whole funeral thing irks me out. Am I really the only one in the whole world who finds it a little disconcerting to stand in a line to view a dead body? I just don’t really care to see it. Hopefully, if I knew you well I saw you in your hey day and that’s exactly how I’d like to remember you. If it’s me in the coffin and you didn’t see me in my hey day, then fuck you. Don’t come walking by my dead body 20 years after the fact feigning sadness. And if you do, I’ll come back and haunt your ass and make sure you never have another good night’s sleep for as long as you live. Matter of fact, my casket better be closed with the most flattering picture you can find of me sitting right beside it. I don’t want your pity or your stupid comments about how bad I looked. Please take heed, because let’s face it; I’m not going to have anything better to do than make your life a living hell if you don’t.

As for the whole actual funeral service thing, I’m highly offended at the preachers who utilize the opportunity to recruit new members into their church. Anything done in the heat of the moment filled with emotion doesn’t stick. Sure, after you’ve just scolded me for my sinful ways for the last 30 minutes and assured me I’ll burn in Hell for eternity for not coming up for your altar call might frighten the Be-Jeebus out of me enough to come on up and receive your promise of everlasting life. But I’m pretty sure it’s similar to a good drunken night on the town when I promised to *fill in the blank* for you for the rest of my life. I won’t remember it and I probably won’t follow through. Then in the world of Catholics, I’ll have to feel doubly guilty. So let’s just skip that whole part. Anyone who’s truly moved by the Spirit will come to the preacher without being prodded or guilted. And that’s the truth.

Now let’s talk about the music. I swear to God (however un-appropriate that may be) that the idiot who plays gospel or other church-y type of music at my funeral will be forever haunted by hearing the favorite tunes of my scary dead ass on the loudest volume possible for the rest of their natural life. I’m kind enough to warn you that for the majority of the public this will be rather disturbing, so take heed future funeral planners. The lead off song as people are entering the venue (let’s face it, my funeral can’t happen in a church) should be Ozzy’s Crazy Train. I’m also very partial to Queen. Since Freddie and I won’t be in attendance, Bohemian Rhapsody probably won’t be feasible unless you can book Queen with Adam Lambert accompanied with a full choir. That would be fucking awesome. I guess if that falls through you could always play Another One Bites the Dust as a substitute. And as they roll my cold dead, ugly body out of the venue I want Green Day’s Good Riddance playing. I also expect that everyone in attendance be crying their fucking eyes out at this point because you’ll miss my crazy ass. And if you don’t plan on the hysterical crying at this point, please stay at home. I don’t want anyone happy I’m dead.

Afterwards, I fully expect a carb-laden celebration where the vodka and toilet paper are abundant. And by all means take a skinny dip in the pool I didn’t get to enjoy to the fullest. The neighbors can’t really see you, and even if they can, they will raise a glass to me and thank me. Or curse me. Either way is good with me.

And you can end it with Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. 

17 Comments leave one →
  1. roberta permalink
    March 21, 2012 1:20 pm

    Love love love it!! Know what pisses me off?? After people stand in line, they comment “look how good he/she looks”. Are you kidding???????? He/she is dead, that doesn’t look good!

    • March 21, 2012 1:30 pm

      I know right. If you walk into my funeral and the lid is open, please put it down for me. I like my coffins like my toilet seats — lid down! Thanks for reading, Birdie 🙂

  2. March 21, 2012 3:49 pm

    So true! And I want to choreograph my funeral too. (good music choices BTW).

    Down here they have an amalgamation of various cultures’ customs but they don’t usually have “viewing” days like I remember from the US. The best thing about funerals down here though is that at one point, anyone can get up and say anything they want. It can be very cathartic and you’d be surprised what you hear sometimes.

    • March 21, 2012 5:37 pm

      I’m almost afraid to hear what some people might say at mine…. Thanks Thomas!

  3. March 21, 2012 5:58 pm

    Very heavy subject for the comeback….Death, always brings out my compassion for the living. I agree with you on the viewing of the body. My family stops and takes a picture of the body while they shuffle through the line. I don’t think they get the prints, but they pose with the body and snap shots none the less.

    Great, point on people coming as they are led by the Spirit. It’s the only way to fly. But i think alot of preachers go that way bc it’s cliche. Just like the “so sorry to hear that” and “we’re praying for you” group. A large percentage of folks go to the cliche’s out their discomfort with the subject matter.

    I tend to be thankful for the relationship that they deceased had with people and ask that Christ bring a blessing while people are in that emotional valley. That’s what is really left behind when you pass away. The impact you had on other people’s lives.

    I’m sure you are impacting people that you haven’t even met Helle.

    A quote i heard not to long ago really resonates with me on this subject. “We aren’t bodies. We are souls that have a body.”

    God’s favor to you and thanks for sharing the food for thought.

    • March 22, 2012 9:43 am

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I read your blog and I’m sometimes surprised mine doesn’t offend you. LOL You are truly unique and I appreciate your compassion, sense of humor, and acceptance. As always, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment 🙂

  4. March 28, 2012 2:39 pm

    I have friends who were in the funeral business for generations. One of their clients was obsessed with planning his funeral. He would stop by several times a week and tweak the details. The sad part being he had almost no friends and when he actually did pass it was all for naught. Just a couple of distant family members and a neighbor or two.

    I can relate to you part about the preacher. The single most dreaded part of any funeral service is the preacher remarking about the loss of a life he probably knew little or nothing about. In the most insincere voice possible he stands there and blandly reads the official obit that everyone has already read in the local newspaper. Then he utters some meaningless generalities about eternity and warns all present of the dire futures we all face if we don’t get right with Jesus.

    The only funerals I’ve ever been to that were meaningful were in the absence of the typical preacher and instead, friends of the deceased took turns speaking to the real life of their lost friend. A true reflection on the loss of someone they really did know, love, and understand.

    I lost one of my closest friends this past winter and that’s the kind of send off we gave him. His family also chose music appropriate for his personality. He had always idolized Jim Henson and his creations. So fittingly they played Kermit the Frog singing Rainbow Connections. So much more appropriate than Rock of Ages!

    • March 29, 2012 7:28 am

      Thanks for the comment, Larry. I’m so adding the part about ditching the preacher (since I can’t think of one who knows me) and adding the part about having my friends speak. I love that idea and oddly enough, I’ve never been to a funeral like that. I’m very sorry for the loss of your friend.

  5. March 29, 2012 2:19 pm

    Sadly I’ve been to way too many funerals for friends over the course of my lifetime. Perhaps the angriest I’ve ever been was at one for my best friend, though.The preacher somehow made the eulogy all about him his relationship with my friend, who he’d known for a grand total of 3-years. My buddy had always wanted to get his ear pierced and had mentioned it to the preacher. I watched horrified as the guy revealed the ear he had pierced in honor of his “friend”, essentially making the service all about him. I wanted nothing more than to get up and punch the guy right in the neck. Good Lord.

  6. March 29, 2012 3:57 pm

    Awesome post! Is it OK if I bring a brisket to your wake? (that’s how my people send off the dearly departed!).

    • March 29, 2012 4:12 pm

      Thanks Tracy! I’m not sure if my people will know what a brisket is, but they’ll probably all be drunk so I’d go ahead and bring it. BTW, I’m hoping to see you at EBWW. Let’s meet for drinks!

  7. Brent Beaver permalink
    April 12, 2012 11:00 am

    My Grandmother died in February and at her funeral the preacher said a few words about her at the beginning of the eulogy, then proceeded to proselytize for 30-40 minutes….at one point asking people to raise their hand if they wanted to accept jeezus as their lord and personal savior. This pissed me off, not just because I’m atheist and I think a funeral should not be a forum for pushing one’s asinine belief system (save it for church), but because the eulogy should have been in remembrance of my Grandmother’s 93 years on this planet, who she was, her accomplishments and what she meant to us.

    As far as music at my funeral, it’s metal all the way….no shitty gospel hymns. I have a song picked out from the doom/metal band YOB that is 21 minutes long….yep, that should irritate a few people. 😉

  8. April 14, 2012 1:42 pm

    Skip funerals? I want to skip the whole death and dying thing.

    • April 14, 2012 2:21 pm

      Good luck on that. If you figure it out though, let me know. haha!

      • April 14, 2012 2:24 pm

        It just takes a lot of will power, and a good lawyer.

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