Death, Get Over Yourself

“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.

Oh, and Joe, no clowns driving me inImage the fun bus, they’re creepy. I am thinking of something like a cross between the Three Stooges and The Marx Brothers. Beep, Beep.


14 thoughts on “Death, Get Over Yourself

  1. Great post! I’m totally on the same page with you. And yes, clowns are as creepy as hearses and velvet-lined caskets and funeral home drapes (and the cloying over-ripe flowers smell – GACK!). It will definitely be party time – wish I didn’t have to miss it!

  2. Our Sage Grandmother, she was very wise indeed.
    Great stuff Tess, you are the next Erma Bombeck!
    BTW, remember when? me, you , and your sister were at GrandPop’s wake and one of our ancient Italian Aunt’s blurts out, “He looks good!” Somebody wet their pants that day! Lol!

  3. I am totally with you here Tess! (What a talented writer you are.I love your words) Clowns are way too scary for any occasion. I’m having all my favorites singing, Aretha,Van, Sara Mc,and of course Carol K. No death mobile or gathering. Ashes with all my dogs ashes off McMillan Pier in P.Town and then off to “Blondies Burgers” and a drag show! 🙂

  4. Tess: I’ll make sure the Ravens marching band is there playing at your party. Of course I’ll be there in my Steeler gear and I’m sure I can get Hines Ward there to smile for you!!! LOL

    Just cremate me and toss my ashes into the ocean off of Marblehead Mass and then drink the contents of my wine cellar in celebration! (if u can get my husband to agree!). And please, Ray Lewis and T. Thuggs aren’t invited!!

  5. I love Karen’s comment about your Aunt saying, “He looks good!” This is all so funny, laughter is the secret to living a good life ~ keep me laughing Tess, I want to live a long time, just haven’t figured out how I want to go out yet!

    • Hopefully you are a long way from checking out Theresa! But, just in case, you are on your way to a fabulous wake, with all your gorgeous photos and adventuresome trips! You should join the Open Group for Bedlam Farm… share your photographs and your decades in childcare..tell your story..start a blog!!

  6. Wow, Tess, what a wonderful addition to the daily blogs I read! I am a follower of Jon and Maria Katz and hooked up through Jon’s blog to yours. What a gift you are! I hate maudling funerals and I am totally creeped out by clowns, so I will abide neither when my time comes. A friend of mine loved animals, so when she was cremated, she had another friend present her ashes to a pet cemetery. They thought they were getting a dog. She got buried among what meant the most to her. My kind of gal. Looking forward to reading your blog all the time. Welcome to my email!

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