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....


  1. I'm not sure about cremation. Burning up at a thousand degrees might dissolve every last molecule and perhaps soul material I might need in the next life. I'm glad you're discussing this important subject with Collin. Our family never talked about this and I have suffered the financial and emotional consequences.😘

  2. I'm inclined to think cremation and the urn interred somewhere or another when the time comes.

    1. We have Sam's urn on the table where his cage once sat.

      I once told Collin to have me cremated and scatter my ashes at the now defunct Borders. He said, "Yeah, and some guy will be right behind me with a Dust Buster."

  3. Definitely cremation.. I know it's something we have to think about but it's so easy to put off. Now you've got me thinking about it Norma.. or maybe, in the words of Scarlette O'Hara, I'll think about it tomorrow 😀

    1. I just want to be prepared so Collin doesn't have to deal with it the way I did with Mom and Dad. I wrote Mom's funeral service. We didn't belong to a church at that time and the funeral director brought in a pastor to do it. He didn't know her, and I wanted the service to at least reflect who she was.

  4. My husband doesn't want a funeral. And I'm with him on that. I couldn't handle it. He doesn't believe in viewing a dead body in a coffin. Same with me. I didn't go to see my father in the casket. I felt it would be too weird, besides I was broken up about it as it was. In contrast my mother-in-law's funeral was the usual type, where you had to go up to the casket. Dennis somehow got through this. He had been forced to go to funerals since he was very young and to this day death/dead things bother him. Anyway, at the end his father in some dramatic emotional way kissed his dead wife in the casket and I'll never get that scene out of my head for as long as I live.
    We both want cremation and no funeral. My husband says if they aren't willing to come and see him while he's alive, he doesn't want them coming to gape at his dead body.

    1. I agree. I want to remember loved ones as they were when they were alive. And your husband is right. If anyone only shows up for a funeral but doesn't make time for them when they were alive, they don't belong at the funeral.


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