Learning To Love You More




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

Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA



Ideally, I will die long after my son has become an adult. Also, I hope when I die it's really warm and sunny. It would be good to be able to feel that warmth on my skin as I find that very comforting. (It would be a real bummer to die in a crash on a blustery, rainy day for example.). If, there's any chance I could be hiking in a hilly, wooded area I would like that (I'm picturing the Northeast or Canada although I'm not sure why). Perhaps a quickie heart-attack as I'm reaching the peak to check out a "commanding view."
I would like there to be no funeral home involved but for all my friends and family to instead gather in a comfortable restaurant or home (with couches?) and celebrate my life over a nice meal with drink, and yummy cake, candles and lots of laughter and stories. I will be there reminiscing. I'd like it to be one of those times when people didn't rush off but lingered and visited.
Okay, I know this might take some planning, but if there's anyway to incorporate humor I sure would love that. A giant Bingo game with a few personal possessions as prizes? Actually, what I would like is if someone could locate a good sized puppet (I'm picturing a large orange or purple head?) - and then, either doing the puppetry him/herself or paying someone to do it, have the puppet read one or two written pieces I like. Right now, I think I'd like the puppet (okay, a human being is fine too) to read the This I Believe essay by Penn Jillette entitled, There is No God. (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015557). I also really like the poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. If there's another piece out there I'm not thinking of you can substitute that. I would like the puppet to tell Dave and NHD how much I love them and send hugs.
If anyone would like to order pencils with my name on them along with the dates I was alive, I would love that.
DO: Donate as many of my organs as you can immediately after I die, and then cremate me. Bury my ashes (whenever it's convenient) with a nice hardy new tree somewhere beautiful in Wisconsin. Sing a happy song! Maybe throw some dirt on me.
DON'T: Leave me in any type of box all by my lonesome.
DO: Dip into my savings/retirement and order a nice meal with a big ole cake and host the party at a place with couches where kids can run around and adults can easily pour a glass of wine.
DON'T: Be cheap and skimp on food; or have the gathering in a space that has wood paneling or signage with a horrid font.
DO: Lay out (in full) a few of my favorite (70's-esque) outfits around the celebration. It's sort of like I'm there hanging out!
DON'T: Give away all my clothes and books without letting my friends and family take whatever they would like first.
DO: Tell NHD all about me, my life and things that made me happy
DON'T: Spare him some of my faults, frustrations, and fears.
DO: Play some beautiful classical and Indian instrumental music along with a lot of rocking tunes. I really like Lake Charles by Lucinda Williams, Hello it's me by Todd Rungren, and a bunch of Kinks songs. But play music old and new (10,000 Maniacs and the Carpenters to Arcade Fire and Iron & Wine), or sing songs.
DON'T: Have a cantor on staff sing depressing songs we all learned in parochial school
DO: Encourage donations on my behalf to the Wisconsin Humane Society or The Nature Conservancy
DON'T: Waste a lot of money on flower arrangements.