Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Death Day Party

I've heard that funerals are for the living and not the dead, and I tend to agree with it. Think about it, funerals help finalize the reality that our beloved is truly deceased, and allows for the grieving process to start (if it hasn't already). Additionally, funerals can serve as a reunion of friends and loved ones, and allow for good times to be remembered. But how does this help the deceased? I don't think it really does! But, that's a different blog post and my original intention is to blog about a related, but somewhat different topic which is, "If you could have anything at your funeral, what would it be?".

I can't take credit for that question, as I recently heard it as a subject of debate on a radio station. When posed, the audience responses included strippers to dance on top of their caskets, a full open bar and other un-memorable ideas. This got me thinking, what would I want at my funeral? Oddly enough, this question has stuck with me for a few weeks now, and I feel compelled to blog about it here, after all, I've put a lot of thought into it! I must admit though, even with two weeks of thinking, I still don't have all the answers to that question. 

First, I want to be cremated (this post really isn't meant to be morbid, stick with me). If life is supposed to be about living "outside the box", then I want to be dead "outside the box" too. I would want my ashes spread somewhere beautiful and peaceful, but I'm not quite sure where. As for the funeral itself, no viewing of the body - have me cremated before hand! I've always felt approaching the body (of anyone) at a funeral is the most stressful thing any one human can do. Therefore, let's avoid that at my death-day celebration. I mean, come on, if we celebrate birthdays, why not celebrate the end of life as a death day?

Ok, so if I'm cremated and there's nothing to view, how do I entertain my guests? I did mention that my visitors would be attending some type of charity event/walk and not a funeral home, right? While it may not continue forever, at least at the time of writing this blog, I'm actively involved in participating in charitable 5K walk/run events, and would want my guests to know how it feels to cross a finish line for a greater cause then themselves. Perhaps they'd create a team on my behalf, and raise donations for an animal cause (by now you know I love the cheetah, dogs, and everything at the Lincoln Park Zoo), so why not continue my love, in death, for those same things? (Hey, be thankful I didn't request you all to go zip-lining or something super adventurous!!!) Not a walker or runner? Then donate blood, volunteer your time, or do something you know I'd be proud of.

Of course no event is complete without swag, right? After enjoying your gourmet double chocolate, blueberry cheesecake, or red velvet finisher cupcake you've got to start digging through your goodie bag. Now this, I got covered! I'd give out beautiful sterling forks with a lavender ribbon tied around each one's handle. Why you ask? As a reminder to eat dessert first, challenge the norm, and enjoy the best things in life, which usually isn't work! Leave that damn desk behind!

What else would my swag bag include? A rose-bush suitable for planting outside. A vibrant pink perhaps to stand and serve as a reminder to stop and smell the roses. Yes, I DO actually do this! I stop often to admire nature's beauty, to smell the flowers, the rain, and the fresh air and don't think anyone can ever do this often enough. Life's best "stuff" is made up of the moments we don't plan for.

Lastly, my swag bag would probably include a copy of the Wizard Of Oz (where dreams really do come true) as well as a book of inspirational quotes. Be inspired by the brightness of Oz, and the simplicity of it's sentiments, and as for the quotes? Heaven knows some of the best ideas have already been written (and that I repeat them often) so why reinvent the wheel?

So, yeah...that's my death day party. Hopefully not too morbid of a post, right? How would you want your life honored? What would you want at your funeral?

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