Learning To Love You More




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

Matthew Lingo
Bakersfield, California USA
Email Matthew



I have decided that everyone who attends my funeral is going to be part of a final project of mine. To attend my funeral, family members and friends will have to sign a piece of paper (sort of like a waiver) that I'll create before I die. The paper will say that no matter what the demands of my project are, that they promise to participate.
Ok. So the funeral itself will be in two parts. The first part will be at an auditorium. When I am 18 in February, I'm going to spend at least part of my birthday writing part of a play about the previous year, a humorous play about who I was and how I changed. I will do this every year until I die. This play will be performed by local actors. During scene breaks music by The Beatles will play.
After this, everyone will drive over to the graveyard, where my body will be waiting, in its coffin. At this point, the final project would be revealed to them: It is a garden. I will have hired a gardener in advance, to start it up. After I am buried, he will plant seeds all over the plot of land I occupy. After this, everyone who is at my funeral will have to look after the garden for one month. Nobody can refuse, because they will have promised to participate in the project. The idea is that as my body decomposes and becomes part of the earth, it will nurture something beautiful; my body will be the food of a new living thing, something that can be enjoyed by children and adults, something that everyone will be able to take something away from. After the last person from the funeral has taken care of the garden, it will be his job to pass the task on to someone else, someone who needs this garden in his life. This person will have the same responsibility once his time with the garden has ended. If all goes according to plan, this single garden will outlive the first generation, the one that produced it and brought it into maturity. It will transcend its origins, and become something essential for the people who are touched by it or who have taken care of it.