“If life must not be taken too seriously – than so neither must death.”

DSC01038“If life must not be taken too seriously-than so neither must death.” ~ Samuel Butler, British author, 1835-1902

This is my funeral dress. Not the one I plan to be buried in, but the one I typically wear to funerals. I bring this up because in the last few months there have been several people around my age whom have died. It’s a bit unsettling.

And I caught myself saying, “I don’t want that at my funeral.”

So I’ve made some decisions before I actually need all the rites and rituals. This will make it easier for my kids … and will ensure my departing will set the right tone for my family and friends – JOY… and not to take death too seriously.

Funeral flowers: I think some edible bouquets would be lovely. So often there are so many floral arrangements, that not all of them find a happy home afterwards. Edibles would help. Viewings often take place during, or around, the dinner hour, and families are starving by the end. Why not have an arrangement – or several – of strawberry tulip buds, melon rosettes, mango daisies, grape hyacinths, and kiwi leaves to take the edge off? They’ll bring smiles to the faces and taste buds of the bereaved and by the end of the viewing they’ll be gone!

Funeral dance: A funeral march sounds so depressing. So regimented and stiff. I’m thinking of something more energetic – like a square dance. Not an actual square dance, though that could be fun for the gathering after, but a livelier step than a funeral shuffle. Can you imagine the priest calling, “Bow to your partner. Bow to your corner. Now promenade.” as my casket is wheeled down the aisle into or out of the church?

Of course the music is the key.

Funeral Praise: Okay, this is the closest thing I could find as an antonym for dirge. I don’t want a dirge: a slow sad song, poem, or musical composition expressing grief or sorrow. NOOOO! I realize many people love Amazing Grace for funerals. I don’t. It is not a sweet sound to me. The songs I’ve chosen – yes, I’ve picked them out – are lively, and joyful, and … well, the refrain for my recessional hymn begins, “Rejoice and be glad!” Quite fitting for a promenade down the aisle behind my casket.

Funeral attire: All I can say is COLOR! Lots of color!

I’m not being sacrilegious. In fact, I think my ideas are more in line with truly celebrating the life of the dearly departed. I’m not sure how much of this I can actually pull off – or my children will go along with. And I’m in no hurry! But I am sure they’ll agree to include the following lines to my obit~

“Donations in Kim’s honor can be made to whichever charities float your boat. And for those attending her services, the deceased requests that no one wear black.”

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10 Responses to “If life must not be taken too seriously – than so neither must death.”

  1. Debbie says:

    Great ideas, Kim! Love the edible arrangements idea!


  2. Julie says:

    Makes me think of Fr.David’s funeral — my guys & I wore our Hawaiian shirts. πŸ™‚

    The edible arrangements are a great idea! And I would much prefer the scent of pineapple and strawberries over roses, lilies, and chrysanthemum.

  3. Sound very much like the Irish wake my mom’s relative had where the shared food and drink during the Irish wake to celebrate the life of the deceased. Play games and dance to music to give the wake the feeling of a party, rather than a sad occasion.

    • I think so too. At mine there would be square dancing instead of reels and the card game Euchre, along with board games. I’m not aware of any Irish in my lineage, but I feel it.

  4. Beth Browne says:

    Wonderful! What a great idea! I hope you printed it out to keep with your will. Maybe I’ll do the same!

  5. icclaire says:

    OMGosh, how did I miss this one! Good for you – I’m so considering this idea of edible flowers, especially after the funeral Fred and I attended of one of his uncles. We were in a pew situated to the right of the altar with a bunch of Fred’s cousins. Anyone else in the church who witnessed each of our soundless, but heaving shoulders, heads in hands, must have thought we were crying. We were, in fact, trying to smother intense laughter. A Styrofoam vase of flowers had fallen over on the side altar, which we were facing. One of the priests, noticing this, walked over and set it upright, wherein it only fell again, and again, and again. Each time the priest re-set it, he used more force, until the light plastic vase was distorted beyond useable; therefore incapable of standing up straight. Uncle Don was the type of man who would have loved to have been there, to see the comedy, and enjoy it. Afterwards, all we occupants of the irreverent pew, agreed that Uncle Don was there, and no doubt knocking the vase over!

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