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Final Wishes

This week has been a very interesting week. The first sentence of my blog is not true, however I thought that it would inspire the second sentence to be filled with intrigue bursting with exciting anticipation. Since that didn’t happen, I will confess that it was a dismal week where nothing noteworthy occurred and if I had any sense of self -respect I would stop typing now. Of course my decision is to inflict the misery of a dull week to all as a reminder that every day is not a day at the circus. I have never been to the circus but I hear that experience can be fun if you are under five years old or as an adult you have overcome your irattional fear of clowns.

Two major funerals occurred at the end of the week, that dominated CNN and many other news networks. Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul passed away, and John McCain a legendary patriot, war hero and political icon also died after a heroic life of duty and service to his country. As accolades, tributes and speeches from the leaders of the political and entertainment industry aired continuously, I came to the stark conclusion that I am not prepared to die!

I may be alone, in my lack of preparation for last moments, but long term planning was never my thing. John McCain and Aretha Franklin clearly spent years preparing for their passing as the structure and organization of their funerals, were more detailed than the Apollo 11 space launch.

Every few months I receive flyers in the mail from some of the more progressive local funeral homes, reminding me that one can plan their own funeral, with pre-death focus on each important decision on what that day could look like. Pasta salad, triangle sandwiches and melon could be part of the post ceremony meal, and for an extra $45.00 you could offer Devilled eggs and salmon. Well based on the attendance of my last open house party, two medium pizzas should do the trick.

“Screw them all but six” was a family joke reminding us that we will need six pall bearers for our last party, so we tried our best not to piss off everyone we met.

As the 10 day ceremony for John McCain slowly came to and end, and the five hour funeral for Aretha Franklin concluded with Stevie Wonder performing with a choir and orchestra, I decided right then, I need to develop my funeral plans for others, to ensure no ABBA is played before the eulogy.

Here are seven simple, modest wishes for my funeral.

1. I think that day should be declared a national holiday, where every person is given the day off work. Windsor Ontario would be the only exception to this idea. Years ago I had breakfast in a diner there and my scrambled eggs were not nearly fluffy enough. Don’t get me started on the burnt toast. Anyway since the car industry dominates employment in that town, I suspect the unions would put up a bit of a protest for a holiday for guy who is currently driving a used car.

2. I would like the date of my funeral to be September 22nd. The leaves will have turned to a beautiful hue and this will remind all of my neighbours that I never raked the leaves on my lawn. The death of leaves will serve as a symbolic reminder that nothing last forever. Toronto Maple Leaf fans will reflect that Stanley Cup wins are also never promised during your lfie time.

3. A parade down the main street of every town with a population over 2,000 people would be a nice touch on my funeral day. I appreciate that finding skilled trombone players for local marching bands is difficult, but that is why the internet was invented. Googling “Trombone Emergency” should solve that little local issue.

4. I would choose Wayne Gretzky, Justin Beiber and Celine Dion to do the eulogies at my ceremony. Drake could do a reading but not a eulogy. As most people in the entertainment industry know, Drake and I never saw eye to eye on important issues like the environment or proper percentage tipping etiquette at the McDonald’s drive through.

5. The length of the funeral ceremony should be not less than 2 hours but no more than 17 hours. This time would be managed by the decision to show a movie half way through the event. If the funeral planners choose the Lord of the Rings trilogy as part of the event, I would strongly suggest in lieu of fresh flowers, a donation of fresh popcorn would be encouraged,to keep the sobbing mourners nourished as the minister changes the DVDs.

6. The current trend of finality is leaning towards cremation over burials these days. I am not pleased with these limited options. A very large pyramid on any of that empty farmland in Northern Ontario would be a nice compromise for my funeral planners. I could start a pyramid scheme shortly to help offset the costs of construction. For those struggling for the building code, that is why the Internet was invented. Type “Egyptian architecture” and your problems will be solved.

7. Finally I would like to address the cost issue that many of my cheap friends have immediately thought about while preparing their excuses not to attend. In the laundry room of the basement of my house, on the shelf where the bleach is, there is a very large Mason jar. You will find nickels, dimes and multiple denominations of change from countries I have visited. The last time I looked this jar was more than half full. Use it all, as a final tribute to me and my hobby of coin collecting.

Well that is it for my humble requests for my end. You know I started this with a phrase I am not prepared to die! (see paragraph 2) Now after careful planning and flawless logic, I can hardly wait to die.

Thank you for honouring my final wishes and my rather dramatic change in attitude. Attitude is important folks…
“My dad died when we couldn’t remember his blood type. As he died, he kept insisting for us to “be positive,” but it’s hard without him.” Author Unknown

Cue the Blong. Here is an attitude I only wish I could adopt…

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