It seems that nearly every day I think of something that I can't believe I forgot to include in the book. My sigoth (significant other) keeps telling me that I can put it in the second edition which is true, if there is one. For now, I'm just gonna blog it!
I went to my transplant buddy's memorial service yesterday. As weird as this may sound, I was really looking forward to it. I hadn't had the chance to see her before she died so I was anxious to learn more about how/why she died as well as say my formal goodbyes. Out of respect for those there and my friend, I won't tell any details of the service.
What I will say, is that it reminded me of a lesson I learned long ago and forgot. Plan your own memorial. Even if you aren't sick, just do it. It doesn't have to be elaborately planned, just a few key points. Where do you want it to be held? How are people going to find out that you're sick or passed away? Make a call/email list and give it to someone you trust. Is there a certain song or kind of music you want played?
Most important: Who do you want to speak?? I have been to far too many funerals in which the person doing most of the talking barely knew the deceased. Somehow, in doing their research, they manage to pick out the wrong people to learn about the person and end up painting a picture that just doesn't match up with the person's life. I think there is a need to make that person's life seem perfect or to exaggerate the difficulties. There is nothing more that I want for my service than an accurate and balanced portrayal of all of me. I want the people in the room to remember me not sit there thinking "Did she really say that? That doesn't sound like something she would say!" I have picked my person and if Glen doesn't do it, just forget the whole thing!
Also, I think planning your service and leaving instructions on if you want cremation, burial etc. is a tremendous gift to those left behind. Often, people feel so much pressure to "do right" by the deceased and if they don't know what that person wanted it can be so painful trying to make those decisions. Leave the gift of planning to those you love!
After the memorial yesterday, my sigoth and I had a long talk about the point of memorials and funerals. He doesn't see much need to participate in such a thing. I can understand that but, for me, I feel it's important for four reasons.
1-If I'm up in heaven listening, I imagine it will make me happy to know I'd made an impact.
2-and much more importantly-It will give people that I love an chance to come together and get a 360 degree view of me. We all have parts of our lives that are separate from the other parts and, often, the only time those worlds come together is at a funeral.
3-For people who were not there at the end, it will give them an opportunity to find out how and why I died. It will bring closure for those that can't really feel it because they were not there to witness it.
4-I think it would make my parents feel good to have support.
Do you think funerals and memorials serve a purpose or are just an old custom that should be abandoned? Do you think people would be angry with Jason if he didn't show up to my funeral? Why?
I'm really interested in getting more opinions on this topic. Please leave me comments and give me your perspective on these things!