Monday’s post (Self-Portrait) was well received, but I’m afraid it didn’t net the desired result. I had no takers on my contest to write my online dating profile. In fact, I got a rather strange response which was that several friends—and in my book, several means three or more—thought I should use the silly thing that I wrote! Perhaps it was a bit entertaining, but I was always taught it’s in bad form to repeat a compliment. Which, of course I did on The BetsyG-Spot, but that’s just between you and me, right?
I will up the ante to a $25 gift certificate, but that’s as high as I go. If you’ve been reading The BetsyG-Spot at all, you know me; you can do it.
I have a big day tomorrow, involving travel, and of course I am not in any way ready. In fact, I am up too late writing this and blabbing on Facebook. One thing I did tonight for fun was to write out my desires for my funeral. It’s not something I’ve given any thought to before, but a friend observed that she’d never told her family that she wanted a particular song played at her funeral and it got me thinking. In some ways, I really don’t care, but as long as my mind was on the topic, I thought I’d write it up. Perhaps I’ll share it with you now. Why not. (Sorry, Facebook friends, if I’m posting something you’ve already seen.)
Most important for my funeral is that it be sincere. I don’t want any fakers. If poeple want to go to be supportive of my family but didn’t care about me, per se, that’s okay, they can come. But otherwise, I don’t want people going because they feel they have to. I won’t be there to know the difference.
As far as religion goes, I do not want a religious service, but I do want to follow some of the Jewish tenets. I want someone to do all the post-death nice stuff like washing the feet and staying with the body. For observant Jews—which I am not—the body isn’t to be left alone, and the person who stays with the body is doing a mitzvah. It should not be a family member, as it’s too taxing on them. I like that tradition.
It’s also important that it be simple. After my organs are harvested (if possible), I want to be wrapped in a plain cloth and put in a simple box, as for very traditional Jews. I don’t want to be buried in anything that could have been donated for a live human being to wear.
For the service, I would prefer that it not be performed by a rabbi, unless there is a rabbi who can get through a service without saying any prayers. I don’t want prayers. A moment of silence or quiet for the mourners to say prayers that mean something to them if it makes them feel better is okay. Mourners (if any) should get what they want to out of it. But I don’t want someone leading people in group prayers.
The one exception is the Kaddish, the Yisgah. This is the Jewish prayer for the dead. This should be led by someone who uses the Ashkenazi pronunciation, not the Sephardic. No “Yitgadal” for me. Ugly to my ear. I am not a religious person, but there is something mournful and beautiful in this prayer. I don’t believe in souls and heaven, but that one bit of naivity in me believes that this prayer will release the dead’s soul. So just in case, this is the one prayer I want said.
The officiator is not to eulogize me unless he or she knew me. I hate listening to someone cataloguing the deceased’s life as if they knew them, stumbling from fact to fact. If no one can eulogize me properly, then don’t even bother. “Boy, wasn’t she something” will do. Or “Some people loved her, some people, not so much.”
Songs? I don’t care. I won’t be there to hear, so playing my favorite song—and I don’t have one—isn’t necessary. Provided there are mourners, they can pick something that would please them and lighten the day. I would rather something a little lighter with a hint of cheeriness than a dirge. Generally at Jewish funerals there are no songs, but that’s fine if people want it, and I don’t really want a Jewish funeral anyhow.
And please, no pomp. Man, I hate the pomp. I don’t know if there’s any way to get around that. All the formality that goes with the funeral business, the hushed tones, etc…I want people to be able to emote if they need to (if I’m real old, they won’t need to), but I don’t want an articially heavy atmosphere. Funeral home funerals are so unnatural.
At the moment, the place of burial of my choice is my current home town. I’m a little on the fence about the whole burial thing because it’s so wasteful, but I’m not quite ready to move past that. I like what Nate did on Six Feet Under when he buried Lisa under a tree, no box, just a shroud. My family’s not the type to go visiting cemetaries, so I would like that, if that is legal. Okay, and maybe if it isn’t.
There it is, a matter of public record. I don’t expect it to come in handy any time soon, and I full expect it to be ignored by the “party planners.” I do throw a good party, though, so it’s something to consider.
It’s totally time to go to bed now. For once, I am really looking forward to a weekend, to seeing friends old and new. I’ll give you a report next week. Until then, thanks for reading.