Learning To Love You More




Assignment #51
Describe what to do with your body when you die.

S.B. Fan
Seattle, Washington USA



When I die, I want much weeping over my body. Almost literally. I want my family to be crying at my bedside, my friends forlorn, my boyfriend feverishly kissing my lifeless body and begging me to come back to life, telling me how much he loves me and regretting not telling me while I was alive.
Although I have no desire to come back to life, I would like the option, just in case where I end up after I die isn't where I want to be. So it'd probably be best that I'm not cremated. I remember watching a 20/20 episode on TV about funerals. They said the more airtight the burial container, the nastier your body is going to be as it decays. You probably want some things to get in, so that your body can desiccate naturally. So that's what I'd like.
I would like to be buried in a large, beautiful cemetery, with gentle rolling slopes of well-tended green grass, and the occasional large, shady tree. You know, like the kind you see in movies. The only kinds I see in real life are small, cramped, urban graveyards. None of those for me, thankyouverymuch. I also want to be buried some place where some of my ancestors and relatives are, especially the ones I didn't get to know in life. At least I'll get to meet them in death.
It's odd to me that I don't want to be buried in a cramped city graveyard, or out at sea, seeing as those are the two places I like the most in real life--cities and seashores. I guess after I'm dead, it's not like I'll really be able to enjoy a city anyway, plus I don't like the idea of me floating off into the unknown--I'm not a very strong swimmer, and I'm scared of extremely deep water. I want my body to stay put in one place, have lots of space, be in pleasant, peaceful surroundings where I won't be disturbed by traffic or fish.
I would like my grave marker to include my Chinese name as well. And I'd like my picture to be on it, like I often see on other Chinese graves. And I'd like the traditional in-home shrines to the dead to be set up for me in my relatives' homes. I remember having to bow and burn incense to my ancestors daily, in front of their little shrines inside my grandmother's or my aunts' homes. My grandmother, or aunts, would bow with me, showing me what to do, and asking my ancestors to help me study hard and grow tall. I would like someone to ask me to help them study hard and grow tall as well, and I would like to help them do it.
Also, I'd like people to come by my grave occasionally to have a chat with me, so that I don't get lonely. I imagine it could get boring just lying there all day.
As for my funeral, I don't really know what to say since I've never been to a funeral before. I guess I would prefer a Chinese-style funeral, whatever that entails, since my family is Chinese. After they're done, they can have whatever kind of party they'd like--I mean, it's not like I'm going to be there, I'll be underground, so what do I care?