Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Dying Wish

"He would make a lovely corpse." -Charles Dickens

Till death do us part. It's in the vows, yo. The only thing that will separate me from My Director is a dirt nap. Marriage. When you think about the whole thing, committing yourself entirely to one person for the rest of your life, it's pretty freakin' deep. I love it. Until you're six feet under. And that's pretty freakin' shallow. I don't love that.

This photo is just dripping with irony, is it not?
So shallow, in fact, that it creeps me out. Since I first experienced death with my Grandpa Sal when I was 11 years old, the thought of being buried totally gave me the heebie jeebies. The thought of dirt and bugs and just laying there rotting...gross. I can't handle it. Just mentioning it makes me nauseous. I decided at a pretty young age that I wanted to be cremated. I didn't really think about it until decades later when my dad died, and was cremated. "Oh yeah," I thought. "That reminds me. Sign me up for one of those too please."

Over My Director's dead body. Whenever the subject of our final resting place comes up, she puts me in my place.
"You're not getting cremated," she insists. "I want to be buried and I want you next to me. So you're getting buried." 
"Not if I go first," I counter. 
"You wouldn't," she shrugs. 
"No. I would respect your wishes because I love you," I admit.
Yet, she would not do the same. The sad and frustrating part of this whole morbid mess is that it's inevitable that I will die first. The man almost always does. You know why? Because we're tired and eventually we just want quiet. Some uninterrupted sleep.
"I can't believe you would do that to me. Deliberately go against my wishes," I protest. Meekly. 
"What do you care?" She says. "You'll be dead." She's cruel is what she is. 
"If you go first," she reasons, "I want a place to go and visit you. With a headstone and a bench. Maybe under a tree somewhere. So I can talk to you and tell you about my day."
It's a little worrisome that she's planned my death in pretty vivid detail, don't you think? I'm rethinking my recent purchase of an axe for chopping firewood. While that sucker might come in handy during the zombie apocalypse, maybe My Director has other plans for it first.
"If I'm in an urn, you can take me with you. Wherever you go," I tell her. "I'm so portable." 
"No." 
"We can BOTH be cremated and Peanut can spread our ashes somewhere special. Somewhere we love. Like the beach at LBI. Or Venice. Or at Syracuse." 
"It's too cold at Syracuse. I don't want to be there for eternity." 
"But it's where we met." 
(Shakes her head and wrinkles her nose in disgust.)
Now she's just being unreasonable. So I give in, with a quid pro quo.
"Fine. Bury me," I say. "But no open casket. I don't want to be preserved or put in a box. If you're going to bury me, just dig a hole and dump me in. No chemicals. That way I become one with the earth. You know, the circle of life."
"No. That's gross." 
"Right. Which is why I want to be cremated in the first place." 
"I'm putting you in a coffin." 
"Please don't. I'm claustrophobic. And it's such a waste of money. You're gonna need that money." 
"You're insured."
WTF?!

When I do die, she will have final say. She will make the decision and I will be powerless to stop her. She handles our finances. She plans our social calendar.  She even gets to control the television most of time. Now she's got her sights set on my afterlife.

21 comments:

  1. Hahahaha... "I'm so portable." Classic. I love this. In all seriousness... I'm with you on this one.

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    1. I have resigned myself to being buried. After all, I'll be dead...so who really cares. But still... she's adamant!

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    2. Did you know they can make diamonds from our cremated ashes... how is THAT for portability? I mean...they say "diamonds are a girl's best friend" Maybe you're just not selling this cremation thing to Megan the right way :-)

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    3. Tell her she can cremate you and then bury the urn, so she can still visit you. When my grandpa died that is what we did. His urn is buried next to his parents, and thatis where we all go to visit, my grandma even puts pictures in plastic bag and puts them in the ground so grandpa can see what we all look like. Funny i know, but it makes her happy

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    4. dna2diamonds.com, true story as reported by Munch and I think is ingenious!

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  2. She could visit this tree and put a bench by it.
    http://bigthink.com/design-for-good/this-awesome-urn-will-turn-you-into-a-tree-after-you-die

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  3. "You're insured. WTF?!" That's hilarious. It is a serious subject though. My Dad's ashes are in a lovely rose garden thingee for dead people in Phoenix. I always go there when I am in town. So there is a middle ground, but, The Director seems hell bent on you rotting. Nice piece, my friend.

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  4. We've had this talk so many times, although we're both on board with being cremated. Actually, for awhile, my husband wanted me to have him stuffed, taxidermy style, so he could haunt any potential future suitors. Bastard.

    When his mom died five years ago, we laughed because my father-in-law spread her ashes everywhere -- their house, their cabin in the woods, the beach, and we're pretty sure in our back yard, too. Then, the majority of the ashes were bured in a beautiful little wooden box in her family's lot in West Virginia. Then, everyone won -- there was a headstone and place to visit her but she also became a part of the places they loved.

    Of course, my husband wants me to dump 75 percent of his ashes around Cameron Indoor and throughout the Duke campus, and a few at the dive bar where we met in DC. If he goes first, his ashes and I will go on quite the spreading adventure.

    I agree with your wife about Syracuse though. There's no way I want my ashes there -- they'd freeze instantly and then I'd be like those freeze-dried coffee crystals.

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  5. Oy. I'm the only one in my marriage who cares what is done with our remains, too. I want to be buried on my family's property in Michigan, under a fruit bearing tree. As for the grave marking, I'm pretty flexible. As in, I'd prefer none, but if there has to be one I'll deal with it.

    My husband says that he doesn't really care what happens to him, so long as his final resting place is with me. So I think we'll probably cremate him and bury his ashes with mine- seeing as how difficult it will probably be to get a permit to bury a corpse near an underground spring.

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  6. The worst part of a funeral to me has always been that trip into the ground. I would like to be cremated as well and my husband, who had never really given it much thought, is on board (although idk how his family will feel about it...). We will be spread various places and when we both go our daughter can put us in an urn together with directions to give us a little shake now and then; p

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  7. So, youre dead, and you still have to hear about the day. So much for that quiet you were hoping for.

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  8. I totally get wanting to be cremated. I made Agent Daddy SWEAR that he would cremate me. I remind him of his blood oath every time we go to a funeral. I also remind him that I will find a way to haunt him if I find my body 6 feet under. I don't care what he does with the ashes I just do NOT under any circumstances want to be buried.

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  9. I lost a friend, he was 36 and his wife and our friends tried our best to honor his wishes for his funeral, ie, we couldn't get a real elephant, but I dressed my 2 year old up as one. There were other morbid details, but I'll spare you. I think if you can't at least be burned to ash, make some ridiculous requests for your funeral. Seriously, get a contract drawn up, make sure at least you die in style. Put the FUN into Funeral ;)

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  10. You know... there are biodegradable coffins and urns now so that there is no harm to the environment. Weird.

    My ex husband always wanted to be cremated and thrown into the ocean. All water was connected and then his boys could go any where there was water to see him. His only thing was that ALL his ashes would go into the water somewhere... didn't want to go into the afterlife and be losing his hand or his eyeball or something.

    When it came time, his family just didn't get it. Even divorced 10 years, I was considered next of kin because I was "caretaker" of the boys. It was UGLY. In the end, we took half the ashes. His parents got the other half... I told them what he wanted done. Weather they did that or not is on them. We did what he wanted with our half.

    Lord knows he haunted me enough when he was alive... I don't need any of that now that he's gone.

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  11. These issue came up recently when my father passed away 3 years ago. He was Catholic so cremation was not an option. My mom however, is Atheist and wants to be cremated. He was also stoic and frugal and although he never said it we(3 daughters and his wife)all knew he would want a quick burial with no open casket. We opted to do an open casket visitation for family only and a grave side service within a few days of his passing to avoid embalming. We also opted for the basic simple cheap wood casket. Sorry to be crass but he would have been rolling over in his grave if my mom spent $20,000 on preserving and burying his dead body! He might have said something like "Over my dead body!" had it come up in conversation before his death! Ha! My dad so would have appreciated those comments! All this presented the thoughts about us kids visiting in the future and where would mom be since she will be cremated. Heres what my mom came up with. She purchased the plot next to my dads and started payments towards a memorial bench to go across the two plots. This way when she passes her ashes can be stored locked away within the bench or sprinkled around the plots and we can visit them both.

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  12. My Dad died and wanted to be cremated. I called my mom while on the phone with the funeral home so I could tell them casket or oven and my mom said casket. She didn't care either. I told my wife, I could care less. Coffin, cremated, shot from the Enterprise in a photon torpedo casing, I don't care. Just don't come and visit because I'll be busy soaking up the silence.

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