Thursday, February 20, 2020
After party plans.
Last week another matriarch of the community I live in passed away. It will be odd not to see her out and about, at all the local events. A warm friendly woman with many many interesting stories that will now be lost with her passing. She was widowed at a young age with a business to run and a house full of kids. Now well into her nineties, she was still living at home, still driving her car and still sharp as ever. She died at home with family around her.
I think that's the best any of us could hope for, to be smart, independent and active at that age. Life takes many sharp turns and we never know what will happen. As an example, I remember my dad and I talking to this woman's daughter when I was a teenager. I remarked to dad later how the daughter was the spitting image of her mother. On the way home, we bumped into the mother and my dad said an old local expression, "you will never be dead as long as your daughter lives". Meaning every time someone looks at the daughter, they will remember the mother. However a few years later, the daughter died of cancer while the mother went on to live another thirty plus years, life is strange like that.
She lost a couple of her adult children and became the rock for her college aged grandchildren who still needed a little guidance. Even though she was from an older generation, she fiercely loved her gay grandchildren (yeah) equally to her straight grandchildren. She was a kind person, she used to drive around other widowed elderly women so that they wouldn't become isolated. Sad but not sad, she saw a lot of tragedy but at least she got to live her life on her terms until the end.
Speaking of the end times, some of us were discussing plans for ourselves after we kick the bucket. Since I'm on a cemetery committee, I have become used to these topics. I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for my sister if I go first. When it comes to burial, coffin or cremation, I joke and say, "surprise me"! I guess cremation, that would be the easiest, I'm leaving it up to her, I don't care, she will be the one handling it. I definitely don't want a wake, that's gross.. people staring at my body, creepy. I don't think many people would come. I'm not religious so I say no funeral either. It's up to her, if she wants a little life celebration gathering that's fine. I'm also very offended by funeral homes preying on grieving families and soaking them with extras that cost more than they are worth. I want her to go cheap and save money. I would rather have my sister and her partner toast me on a beach somewhere tropical while enjoying themselves, than buy some tacky pictures or plastic flowers with that awful "Footprints" poem.
What about you, have you thought about being buried in a coffin, cremated, something else or are you too frightened to think about it? Have you made any funeral plans known to a loved one so that somebody knows your wishes? Happy topic right? Seriously there is no use getting panicked over it, the topic is uncomfortable but it doesn't have to be, life is like a party, sometimes it's good, sometimes great and sometimes not that great, all parties good or bad come to an end however and we need to leave.