Beginning With My End In Mind.
I’m writing a eulogy for someone. It’s a person I know inside out, that’s been there for me through thick and thin. Someone I’ve known my entire life. Me. After all, I was there when I traveled down that birth canal without a paddle, I was there when the doc smacked my ass, and I’ve been with me ever since. Obviously I’m not dead yet, but I’ve been to too many funerals and heard too many eulogies to know that without my assistance in memorializing me it would lack the humor, conviviality, and sarcasm my last formal spoken memory should encompass. I don’t want my wife or my kids to struggle over what I would want said so I’m taking out the guesswork.
When I say I’m writing it sounds like I recently started it but the truth is its been a project now for a few years. I keep putting it on the back burner and tell myself “No worries, you have plenty of time.” Hope I’m right because I love writing and I’m not ready to stop. I still have way to many things to say. Ergo I write. I’ve got tons of other projects in the works. I’ve done quite a lot of writing over the years. I wrote poems, most of which suck, a song or two, also sucky, as well as a number of short stories. I’d like to write a few more before my best used by date. I’ve been working on a novel on and off that so far has taken up more than three years of my life. But fuck it at least I’ve settled on the title. Of course nothing is certain except taxes and de…….Nevermind! It’s the third title actually but I really like this one. And as of now only two or five chapters have been re-writes and I am relatively certain of its direction.. So between being the foremost authority on me combined with my love of writing, it only makes sense that I should write my own eulogy. In fact, I highly recommend it everyone but get started soon because its not as easy as it seems.
The first problem a writer encounters during their own eulogy is that dreaded re-write. Nothing is ever perfect. First I just change a word, then I change a sentence, and before I know it I’ve said fuck it and erased the whole thing just to start over. I have my strong finish, and my cheery opening, and know most of what I want to include so I just need to settle on the finality. As I was writing it I struggled with what my format should be.
After a number of musings and a fair amount of wine I finally settled on a basic format. The first paragraph should be about what I don’t want. I don’t want anyone to mention god in any way shape or form. I respect others faiths but I’m the dead one here so I call no mentioning god. Check that, god can be mentioned if its like “Oh my fuckin god he was a pisser“, or “god damn he was funny” or “oh god don’t stop, oh god yes,yes,yes” anything along those lines is permissible. Maybe the last one should be in the privacy of your own whereever. Also I don’t want anyone to say to my family that I’m with god now. If I’m wrong about the whole heaven and hell thing I’ll be taking the elevator to the basement anyway. That doesn’t mean you should tell them “It’s okay, he’s with Lucifer now” either. And by all means stay away from the clichés. “I’m sorry for your loss” sounds like something Mr. and Mrs. Hallmark says to their grieving loved ones. Just share memories and remember the good times. I’m not really going anywhere I just made it to the next level.
Also, I don’t want anyone reciting religious scriptures or saying prayer over me, especially a stranger. You want to pray do that shit on your own in silence. And pray for yourself not for me, I don’t want any prayers. I’m an existentialist, we don’t pray we think. So meditate, its my funeral and I’ll have it the way I want. Seriously guys it’s the most important day of my death so cut me some slack. Here’s what I want everyone to do. Laugh, tell jokes and funny stories, get drunk, sneak out and smoke a joint, do whatever you need to do to make it fun. Thats what I want, a fun funeral like Chuckles the clown got. I want people to say “Damn I wish he was alive so he could die again. What a great time I had. This was the best funeral I’ve ever been to.” That shit would please me to no end. Maybe even make a dead man smile. And please don’t worry about making me blush I have no circulation.
The next stipulation was to honor me as my life was. I ask for a mug of beer. The good shit too, not that crap beer flavored water, but a good craft brew. It’s not like you need to buy it for me ever again. Next to that a shot of vodka, preferably Grey Goose. Leave them at a table as if I were sitting there and then have a party. My son will toast me adios ghost by downing the vodka at the end of the night. No sense in wasting good vodka!
The final stipulation was choosing a good play list. I may be dead but that’s no reason I should be subjected to crap music. No disco, no opera, no hymns. Good music, party music, maybe a tribute to the different decades. Ones with a good beat that you can dance to. I made a list of all my favorite tunes and even chose a few lines of lyrics to highlight that meant something to me. I don’t want my dead spirit to rest in peace I want it to Rock In Peace!
As far as what’s done to my remains, here’s where it gets a bit dodgy. Realistically whoever gets left behind should choose what to do with the physical remains cuz they’ll be dealing with them, I’m moving on sans remains. If it were up to me I actually have two choices. One to be put into a compost somewhere so I can continue to enrich the earth. A sort of true eternity, always contributing life back somewhere. But as I understand it that’s complicated. The second wish is that whatever is left, be it bone or ash, be buried under a dance floor at a popular club. How cool would it be to have thousands of people dancing on my grave?
By far the writing of the eulogy is what was the most difficult. I had to write it with humor, candor, and a degree of sensitivity. As much as I’m writing it for myself, my family will hear it as well so its probably not the best time to let out any secrets. But it will give me an opportunity to let everyone know I don’t regret dying, I had a wonderful life. Hard as it may be I’d prefer people be happy for me. It’s the loved ones left back on earth that need consoling, not me. I’m the lucky one, I’ve gone to those proverbial greener pastures.
I believe I am about three quarters done with it but as some of you may know once I get started I sometimes become long winded. Sometimes I just go on an on and on about this and that until….never mind. I’ll just say its close to being done. I’m trying to so as much of the event planning as possible. I‘m a really good cook and I wish I could do the cooking but that would be way too creepy. The party is almost there. I’ll tell you one thing having almost completed the written segment of my passing has been quite liberating. I feel like once I finish this eulogy I’ll be ready to move on, to go wherever it is I go, to say good by sweet world. In fact I know I’ll be ready to take the next step. Bring on the closure! ………..Then again, maybe I’ll put it on the back burner just a little longer………….PEACE