This topic has been hanging out in my "to do blogs" for a while.
So tonight I will begin my rant.
Several years ago I went to a funeral. No, no, it wasn't my first and has not since been my last. However, it was the funeral that brought me to terms with my take on the subject matter of this post.
I have lived long enough to understand that there is more than one way to cope. Be it coping with stress, trauma, sleeplessness, or death, people deal in tune to who they are. That means, of course, in regards to this post, that some people hold funerals, closed or open caskets, for their departed loved ones. Some people honor their deceased with a memorial service or by sitting shiva for 7 days. While others hold vigils or rituals while dancing and offering sacrifices. Human coping is colorful and judgment should be withheld while humans honor their dead; let them cope, man, let them cope.
That being said, however, since I'm a huge fan of respecting human differences, colors, and tunes, I'm going to gripe about how humans (quite often) forget about WHO HAS ACTUALLY DIED. What I mean is... for some mourners it seems that death erases human imperfection and replaces the human version of their loved one with an angel, or martyr, or some form of noble perfection. Like, suddenly, tah-dah, the departed was never guilty of jealousy, greed, hatred, exclusion, or deceit.
This is coping. I know this. The pain of loss is tremendous and many seek release from the grips of such profound emptiness by any means possible. I get it, I get it, I get it, in fact, I am not exempt or beyond coping (oh lawds, not by any means!!).
Because this is my place, I can say what I want to.
Martyring and shrining is not realistic! And not real, in certain terms, bothers me!
So I feel like this:
When I die, first of all, do not bury me. Please no. Donate whatever is viable, perform an autopsy to learn something (if applicable), and cremate me. Please. I do not want to be viewed in my coffin with clay on my face and formaldehyde in my plumbing. I don't want my children or grandchildren or ANYONE to be haunted by the image of dead me or the dead smell of me. No, no. Let the alive me resonate and haunt them. And besides, depending on how and when I leave this world, there may not be much left of me to view? Right? How awesome it would be if there was a someone who could benefit from my retinas (hopefully they will not have my classic, extreme myopic eye-ball), or my skin, or kidneys, or even my arteries for those poor folk who suffer from CAD. Yes! Maybe a few pieces of my heart or lungs or liver could supply a benefit to some form of humanity...
Selfishly, though, I want to live to be old. I want to witness the changing of times, the accomplishments and aging of my loved-ones. Hell. If there's a zombie apocalypse, I want to see it! I want to witness mankind transition from shit to sunshine; I want to be old enough to start smoking cigarettes again, eat whatever my old body can deal with and drink whiskey without worry! Yes! Aging is an honor, and I will be honored to make it to an old, wrinkly, and crazier version of myself.
What will be, will be. Whatever and whenever it is my time, I hope that parts of me will help parts of others.
Ok, ok, but, I have to spew forth more.
If one is to speak at my memorial service (because remember, there will be no viewing of my dead body and no wasting money and ground space on a coffin with burial accessories), I want them to honor and remember the REAL ME. The ME that they knew, complete with imperfections, flaws, and perpetual ill-fitting scrubs (too long, too tight, too big, too many holes). The jaded-me, the bossy-me, the throwing-my-cell-phone temper-tantrum-me, the potty-mouth-me, the bitch-at-my-husband-all-the-time-me, the too-lazy-to-take-a-shower-me, the not-visit-my-mother-and-father-enough-me, the cry-at-TV-animal-death-but-not-TV-human-death-me, the I'll-pretend-nothing-is-wrong-me, the TWO-faced-me (we all have a second face... you know this), the I-haven't-changed-my-bed-sheets-in-a-month-me, the I-love-whiskey-sours-every-night-me, the unsocial-me, the oh-hell-yes-I-will-pick-my-undies-out-of-my-butt-me, the Facebook-stalker-me, the rolling-my-mind's-eye-a-million-times-a-day-me, the I-don't-like-you-but-you-will-never-know-that-me, the I-know-your-game-me (but I won't tell... I'll keep it secret for my own reasons), the damn-at-least-my-ass-doesn't-look-like-that-me, the I-hate-managing-money-so-therefore-I-suck-at-it-me, the I-pick-at-my-fingers-when-I-am-under-stress-me, the THANK-GAWDS-for-my-Prozac-me...
Yes. Remember the real me. The ME that is guilty of sneaking away from the crowd to toot, the ME that doesn't care and toots in the crowd and lets others assume the blame, the ME that talks too loud when I get riled, the ME that is grateful that you cannot read my mind as you freak out about the needle I'm about to stick in your arm, the ME that laughs at the dipshit who spins out in the snowy median while driving like a douche-bag (This! How often do we see justice served? It's sweet and I savor it!), the ME that plays stupid, the ME that pulled my sisters hair when I was a teenager, the ME that forgot to pick a kid up from school, the ME that (shamefully) smoked cigarettes while pregnant, the ME that doesn't shave her legs for several weeks at a time during the winter, the ME that is tired of maintaining her chubby "bikini" zone, the ME that loves rain and snow storms and cloudy days, the ME... the ME that is flawed beyond repair, aged beyond innocence, experienced beyond ignorance, exhausted beyond inadequacy, fed-up beyond game-play, and humbled beyond conceit. Repeatedly.
...the ME that forgot to pick a kid up from school...
Yes... that ME. The ME that has an endless list of flaws, most harmless and some that need serious attention. The ME that identifies the good, of course, however, the good that wouldn't be notable if it weren't for my endless stream of flaws.
The ME that is mostly happy to have reached a point in life where I am OK with admitting my weaknesses and not feeling "less than" for doing so. I think it takes something to do that... not to brag. 😉
But mostly, for crying out loud, if you stand up to speak at my memorial service and you can not think of what to say, say the truth! If I bossed you around while we played Barbies as kids, say it! If it was me that told you Santa is not real, THEN SAY IT. If I stuffed my snot tissues under YOUR pillow during camping trips, reveal it! If I smacked the rump of a horse that you were riding bareback and laughed as it took off all barn-happy with you clinging for dear life, SHARE IT! If I got mad at you because you were skinnier and got cold faster while swimming, call my dead-ass out!
Please, please, please, world, keep it real.
Don't martyr-fy. Or shrine-ify.