Wednesday, July 9, 2008

it's your funeral--but only if you really want one


Driving by this cemetery lit by gorgeous morning sun, where most of the stones seemed decades, even centuries old, I wondered--are graves becoming a thing of the past?

Have you noticed that funerals are becoming outré--er, passé (thanks for the catch, Fritinancy)--being replaced by the more fashionable memorial service or even-- increasingly, alarmingly, no service at all. Several relatives and a neighbor passed away this year and I was startled that their passing didn't merit any kind of group recognition. When I gently inquired about this, I was informed that "the person wouldn't have wanted a big deal made of his/her death." But aren't funerals actually meant for the living?

It may be last millenium, but just for the record--Friends and Family reading this: I want my exit observed with a jolly, rip-roaring party and an old-fashioned grave you'll feel obligated to visit. Condolences!

6 comments:

Fritinancy said...

I'v heard about some outré (outrageous, over-the-top) weddings, but funerals? Outmoded, perhaps. Or passé. Outré, not so much.

(For the record, both of my parents insisted on cremation with no funeral service, and when their respective times came my brothers and I honored their wishes.)

Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

Oops, good catch, fritinancy, I'm updating pronto. Of course you and your sibs did the right thing...and perhaps more and more people are choosing, as your parents did, to forgo any fanfare. And surely the wishes of the deceased should be observed...but I do think that unceremonious passings can sometimes leave the bereft feeling even more so. For this reason, I hope my exit is marked with a funeral...that is a fun and life-affirming and even outré.

Joker said...

I am a hybrid then. I want a service but I want to be cremated and dropped into some beach where I can surf as long as my ashes stay in the vicinity. But don't want the grave or coffin because after dad I just realized it's too expensive and it's not worth it for me. Maintenance is a joke in most cemeteries but I do want to give people the chance to say something and a place to go and get drunk and make babies in my name. :D

auntie Christ said...

But what about the lovers who sneak into the cemetary at night 200 years ago and see a tombstone from today? "Wow, he was alive before the internet and when 9/11 happened...." or "Why don't people today name their children these quaint names like Joker or Fritinancy?"

Old cemetaries enchant me. With names like Prudence or Resolve, names that were hoped to imbue character, artfully hand carved into weather-worn stone.... and standing in front of the long-ago dissolved remains of persons who lived during the Revolution or Civil War is humbling indeed.

Just don't have the party in some mildewy church basement, please. AND NO JELLO MOULDS!

auntie Christ said...

Sorry, meant to say 200 years FROM NOW.....

Joker said...

There's always room for jello. And hey I could have a tombstome carved and put on the beach. Just not into the whole mortal doggy bag treatment.