No.29: Plan My Funeral
O.K. Don't panic, Mom. I am not planning down to time, date and location.
I just want to set some ground rules. Throw some ideas out there.
Cremate me. Do it on the cheap. I'll be dead, I promise I won't care. Get the heavy duty cardboard box, not an urn. Again. I'll be dead. I won't care and I'm not going to spend eternity in that container anyway.
Let's have a nice memorial. Rothko Chapel in Houston is lovely but otherwise, it doesn't need to be at a church. If the weather is nice it can be outside. In the park. I would love a museum- is that possible? Surrounded by art. Heaven. At someone's house. Or even in a beautiful restaurant or hotel. (Which does not mean at Los Tios...) I won't be too picky.
Rothko Chapel in Houston.
Anyway, since I'm planning and dreaming, let's get Rufus Wainwright in. I want him to play the piano and sing "Hallelujah". It is such a beautiful song and he has such a beautiful voice.
Throw in "You Raise Me Up" ,"You'll Never Walk Alone", "Unchained Melody" (If only the Righteous Brothers were around to sing it. Alas, only one "brother" is still alive.), "Amazing Grace", "I'll Fly Away", "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" and end up with "Unforgettable".
So there's the music. Or at least a good start.
If I'm lucky enough to go in the Spring, fill the place with peonies. If it's the summer, make it gardenias. I want people drunk on the scent.
My absolute favorite.
I wish computers had Smell-O-Vision.
If those flowers aren't available I will go with lilies or roses- but the kind that smell. And smell wonderful. Again, drunk on the scent. And stick with pale pinks and whites. Might as well consider the aesthetics.
Find someone to officiate- just to keep things organized. Review my life- so far I've lived it thoroughly. I may not have done anything spectacular or news worthy but I have certainly had fun and plan on continuing to do so. This story hasn't been completed yet.
Finish off with some champagne and beer. A toast to the hereafter.
Some snackies and visiting and call it a day.
Let's make it a Destination Scattering.
Some of the ashes need to go to Cozumel and some to San Miguel de Allende. Mexico is in my soul as much as any other place in the world.
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Pretty sure some of them would need to come to the cabin here in Colorado. There is an attraction to the Twin Sisters that I find almost magnetic. I drive up the mountain and frequently have to stop and take a picture. I'm just so in awe of them.
Or sprinkle me in the Arkansas River.
Somewhere in this vicinity.
The Twin Sisters.
I've been watching them every morning for the last nine months.
Toss a few ashes into the Gulf of Mexico. It's okay to just sprinkle me off the end of the jetties at Surfside. I'm good with that. I love the beach, I love the ocean.
Quintana Beach near Surfside at Sunset...
Toss a handful of ashes into Oyster Creek right in the middle of Sugar Land. I've spent enough time there, I deserve to keep the turtles and snakes company.
Sprinkle me around the Hill Country of Texas. San Antonio, Austin-I've lived in both and frequently wish I still did.
Finally take me to Paris. Please.
And when it is all said and done, I hope I will have lived life well enough that someone will want, no, insist, to read W. H. Auden's poem Funeral Blues, slightly adjusted just for me.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message (s)he is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
(S)He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
While some people may think this is morbid, I don't. It has been great fun thinking about the music.
I've been captivated by Auden's poem since I first heard it. There are places I want to visit again and again. If I can't get there in life (Or hey! Even if I can!) I would love to visit in death. I like the idea of thinking about the last big party.
That said, I have no intention of using any of this info any time soon. And I reserve the right to change my mind on all of these choices.
Here's to life!