I have known people who put off planning for their own funerals, and I warn against it strenuously. An acquaintance of mine passed away, but hadn't put a thought to what sort of funeral he had in mind, so naturally he was very disappointed. We explained to him, "Look, you can't possibly expect to plan a decent funeral without a least a month's planning," but did he listen? He did not. His widow said that was just his way. As a result, the whole thing was a muddle. Here everybody's looking forward to enjoying themselves at a nice funeral, and instead the caterers were late, and the trained doves that were supposed to pop out of the funeral cake had been accidentally cooked inside, and that put a damper on the whole affair.
I myself, have been planning my funeral for twenty years off and on. Currently the instructions run about three hundred pages single spaced. I expect to have a Dixie-land band, and at least three separate formal services - one for when I'm buried in a humble wooden coffin beneath a spreading oak tree, one for when my ashes are scattered from a biplane across the Shenandoah (in an earlier draft, I specified a hot-air balloon, but that would be just silly) and another for when my flag-draped coffin is dropped into the sea. This will call for some lively work and a certain amount of unearthing and retrieval if I'm going to get all three services. For example, if I'm cremated first, then burial at sea is hardly going to be an option later on. I figure, first the conventional grave, then burial at sea, then cremation. That way I'll get maximum value for my funeral dollar and everyone will have a good time.
|A good hired mourner will set up a wail |
which will drown out any unwanted laughter
I told Nancy about my funeral plans: the Dixie-Land band, the three services, the hired mourners, the doves bursting out of the funeral cake, and she was very excited. She said she can't wait.