Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Nope, I'm Not Dead...Yet!

I just watched TV coverage of Sen. John McCain's funeral--the beginning of it, anyway. The hearse just arrived at the state capitol building in Phoenix. It's a sad day, for his family, for the state of Arizona, and for all of us. There aren't many good guys left in our government. We need more good guys, especially now. Some of them are retired now, some have passed away.

We just lost another one.

I hate funerals. I've decided to skip my own, actually.

My dad planned ahead for everything. Except his own funeral. He knew it was coming--and not just in the general sense. He had a premonition, dreams of his own death. He had money saved for Mom. He just didn't make any plans for his burial. He didn't buy a cemetery plot or make any funeral arrangements.

Not that it was never discussed. He had been in the Army and therefore was entitled to be buried at Jefferson Barracks. He was fine with that. Mom wasn't. She wanted them both to be buried at the same cemetery where her parents, my grandparents, were buried. Cremation was discussed. I brought it up. Dad liked the idea. Mom didn't.

So when Dad passed away, unexpected by everyone but Dad himself, we had to make last-minute arrangements. Mom was a basket case, popping sedatives like they were Pez. I bought four plots at the cemetery she'd chosen and a family friend helped make the funeral arrangements. It was a small, dignified service on a cold, February afternoon. Collin was only eleven at the time, so I didn't take him to the cemetery. Still, I knew it was difficult for him. Collin adored Dad. He didn't know his own father; Dad was the only male role model he had in his life.

Mom's funeral, by contrast, was a freak show. The twins she and Dad raised, who couldn't be bothered to visit her in the two years before, while she was struggling after a series of strokes, showed up. The girl put on a show, supposedly overcome by grief. The boy took one of Mom's sisters aside to ask if Mom had any insurance, if he was a beneficiary. There was a couple in attendance, the family suck-ups who were not there out of any respect or love for Mom, but for her eldest sister.

I found myself wishing I wasn't there. I'm fairly certain Mom would have felt the same way.

I decided then that I don't want Collin to have to deal with the stress of a funeral when my time comes. I asked our pastor if there's anything in the Bible that prohibits either cremation or donating organs for transplants or medical research. He assured me there isn't, if it's done for the right reasons.

It would seem the Gnostics did some weird stuff that raised questions about cremation.

Pastor Brandon reminded me that the Bible says we get new bodies at the Resurrection. He said if we kept these old ones, we'd all be walking around looking like zombies.


I wonder if the new bodies look like the ones we have now? I'm hoping for an upgrade....