“Don’t put me in one of those.” I blurted this out recently while riding shotgun with Joe at the wheel. “Huh? Put you in what?” “The ugly black hearse being driven by what looks to be an already dead, grim reaper of a chauffeur, don’t do that to me…okay?” A familiar look of confusion (the look that accompanies most conversations that I start with him) flashed across his face. I continued..”don’t lay me out in front of those ugly, out-dated , velvet goth drapes at the funeral home and then put me in that sad, ugly car..and don’t play that sad music either.” I could tell Joe’s wheels were turning, and he was getting a touch exasperated..”what in the hell am I suppose to put you in? A clown bus?? You want a bunch of clowns to pile out of a fun bus, big floppy shoes, red noses?” Hmmm…sort of!
I don’t know if it’s a pushing 50 thing or the universe sending me a message that my luck is running out on my command of a murky medical issue, but death has been on my mind lately. Funny though, death mostly conjures annoyance in me, not fear. Funeral service salesmen are slick , lots of dough in peddling souped-up caskets that burn clean fuel, or something like that. I don’t know much, but I do know I don’t want THAT guy’s idea of what a funeral should look like. So, I know I have to get planning, otherwise my proper and loving husband will do it all by the book, and I will be hovering above it all making a ghostly gagging face, sticking my finger down my throat. Death, you need a new attitude, Queer Eye for the Dead Guy, those drapes are over, so 1900.
People, there will be a party. Not an “after” party, but a “during” party. There’s your closure. Rock out, eat and drink and celebrate, courtesy of Erie Life Insurance. Please don’t refer to me as a “loss”. I am not lost to anyone, like those dang car keys. And, for Christ sake, stop whispering. I’m dead, you won’t wake me . Please don’t talk about your “bucket lists” at my party or the one I didn’t have- I hate the term and find it very bull shitty. A bucket list to me implies that we all have 90 years to get it done and a million to spend doing it. No day is wasted if you don’t think it is. Know that I was just as happy curled up with my book at home as you were being hunted like prey by some rare tribe in a jungle somewhere. Know that sharing a bowl of popcorn with my boys, snuggled up on the couch on a chilly winter day brought me more joy than a trip to Disney ever could. Don’t do whatever you like, like whatever you do..a note written on the last birthday message my grandmother gave me…has stuck with me all these years. You nailed it Neno.