17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Monday, July 09, 2007

On Death and Dying...

I love life. I really do. I feel like I really LIVE it...that's how much I love it.

My first funeral was when I was around 5. I remember one image from it, my aunt kissing her 5-year-old son, as he lay in the casket. It was strange because I was around the same age as my cousin and I didn't understand why anyone would want to touch a dead body.

From there I attended my home teacher's funeral at around age 9 or 10, my beloved singing teacher's memorial service at age 12 or 13, and then my friend's funeral. He was 19, I was 16. He hung himself. At 19 my husband's mother passed away, 6 months after we wed. I had to sing at my friend's and my m-i-l's funerals (that's a whole different post). My cousin's wife died at 33. I still regret not going to her funeral. I have had a few grandparents pass as well.

I have met some people my age who have yet to attend a funeral. I didn't know that I had been to quite a few for my short life.

I am motivated by many things: my belief in God, fulfilling my talents, motherhood, wifehood, the list goes on. Most of them flow through me on a subconscious level, and only come to my consciousness if something specific pulls them out, or if I am perhaps struggling with something specific. Another motivator is a sense of urgency that I have, just in case I die tomorrow.

I do not want to die young. I do not fear death, but I see what a death can do to those left behind, especially an "unconventional" death. Unconventional death being defined as any death that does not involve a very old, very wrinkled, very grey person dying peacefully while sleeping.

The other day, while cleaning my house, a song came on my ipod that I hadn't heard in a while. It is entitled HOW GLORY GOES. It is by Adam Guettel, from the musical, Floyd Collins. This particular version sung by Audra MacDonald. I love it. I decided that I wanted this sung at my funeral. You should go download it right now.

My next thought was, is it weird to know what I want sung at my funeral when I am 28?

Then I made another decision. My friends and family are welcome to my possessions, but I would like most of them donated or preferrably, sold on ebay...because that is fun, and that is one of my favorite things to do.

Then I wondered if I should just write all of this down, JUST IN CASE...so that my family knows that, yes I would prefer a HOT PINK headstone if that is available, and if I cannot be buried in Queens, my home town of Naperville is my second choice.

And I do not want a viewing or open casket thing, just a giant life-size cardboard cut-out of myself looking happy.

So, now I have documented it. Right here on this blog. And one of you will remember, and see to it that these requests are met. Thank you for your time. And I hope I don't die now.


  • My DH went to Iraq for 2 years & we had this conversation & I did not like it at the time for obvious reasons. Since coming back (BTW he is out of the Marine Corp... yippie!!!) we have had this conversation several times. We have come to the conclusion that as unpleasant as it would be there is comfort in knowing the other's wishes. I found that, at least with us, it brought up experiences that we had never talked about before. It has been a way to know each other a little better.
    I have since had this conversation with other members of my family & well it has been interesting! I'm glad that I brought it up because I would have never guessed what their wishes would have been.
    posted by Blogger Jenn at 7/09/2007 01:10:00 PM  

  • I remember when we had our wills done, one thing they said was to write up things for your funeral (even when we were 25!), it makes it so much easier for others!

    My sister-in-law had a great/odd idea one Sunday. We get together every Sunday for a huge family dinner/hang-out. We thought we should have a funeral every week. You could pick your songs, who would speak, etc!! A little strange (but so is the family), but not a bad idea huh??
    posted by Blogger wendysue at 7/09/2007 04:13:00 PM  

  • I guess I am of the thought that if you don't plan for it, it won't happen. (Although we do have a will and insurance, luckily I'm not in THAT much denial). Maybe this is narcassistic, but there is little that terrifies me more than dying before my kids reach adulthood. I have decided that it is just NOT going to happen. After seeing my teenage brothers and sisters deal with losing their dad, I can't imagine how much worse it would be for younger kids.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 7/10/2007 07:55:00 AM  

  • I can relate. I've lost all my grandparents, a newphew, and my sister and brother. Sometimes I start to feel like death is following me around. I'm also diabetic, and that disease alone is enough to make you more aware of your mortality than the average person. (It's weird having a disease where just eating can kill you.)

    I want Nick Drake's "Northern Sky" played at my funeral. My husband knows what cemetery I want to be buried in.
    posted by Anonymous Susan M at 7/10/2007 08:19:00 AM  

  • I've only been to two funerals in my life. One was for someone I really didn't know and the other was for my husband's grandmother.

    I can't say that I have thought much about my own funeral. But now that you mentioned it, will you sing at mine? You can pick the song. :)

    DH and I have talked about our wishes to be cremated. I asked him where he would like his ashes spread and he said something about wanting me to sprinkle them on toast. Seriously, gross. I think/hope he was kidding.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 7/11/2007 09:37:00 AM  

  • carrie, speaking of cremation...are there any gospel-like issues with that?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 7/11/2007 05:58:00 PM  

  • Kage,

    Yeah, we might just have to head on over to Japan to do our dying.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 7/15/2007 08:34:00 PM  

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