What pajamas will you be wearing for the Big Sleep?

My mom has this Post-It note on the fridge that lists the hymns she wants sung at her funeral. In order. Now since she’s the sort who tends toward intense advanced planning, this is not surprising. But as I have a big funeral set piece to write for the novel I’m revising, the subject’s been on my mind.

Many people have specific wishes about their funeral. Now I can understand dictating what you want done with your body or ashes or whatnot, but isn’t the purpose of a funeral for those mourning you…not you? The big request I see people talking about is those who want the funeral to be a party or celebration or some such hogwash. They don’t want people crying or being sad or anything like that.

Well screw you dead folks, the funeral is for us to mourn as we see fit. And in my mind, there is no better way for me to deal with a loss than to dress up in my old black suit, go to the funeral home, and then eat poorly prepared chicken and Jell-O salad afterward.

I jest, of course, mostly, but it does raise the question of who a funeral should be concerned with. Do any of you have specific funeral wishes? Would a beach volleyball tournament with strippers and beer kegs really help you through the mourning process better?

13 thoughts on “What pajamas will you be wearing for the Big Sleep?

  1. My edict for my funeral is when I’m finally carried out of the room for the last time, the funeral home has to pipe in Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”And the pall bearers have to whistle along.No, you don’t get a choice in it. I take high blood pressure meds, so get crackin’ on learning those lyrics.

  2. I would like a green funeral where they just bundle me in a blanket and put me in the ground. All the rest is bullshit. Not the grief but the ceremony. Of course, since funerals are for the living, I’ll probably end up in an expensive casket with people being encouraged to come see how I look the same as in life.

  3. I’m with Jim on the song. And as a part-time software engineer, I’d like to be shrinkwrapped with a license agreement stapled to my forehead, that says that anyone opening the contents must accept whatever flaws my soul shipped with.

  4. I want to be propped up in the corner wearing a red sequined tuxedo, sunglasses and an enormous sombrero with those little yarn balls hanging off the edge. A martini glass in one hand and an enormous Cuban cigar in the other. And a speaker behind me with a motion sensor so when people come up to see me I can talk back. “Quit laughing, buddy. You’re next.” “Man, I am just dead tired.”, “Say does something smell in here?”, “Dead ain’t so bad, but I’m feeling a little stiff.”But if that’s too expensive, well, just burn me in a cardboard box and stuff me in a beer can.

  5. I’m a lot older than you guys, so this is becoming less and less of a speculative exercise with every day that passes.I would like a regular service, if that’s what my survivors want, but it should be within walking distance of my favorite bar. There they would set up the band and drinks and play my ass on out.My only request is for my daughter to sing an old New Orleans second line song called Just A Little While To Stay Here. It’s a beautiful piece.As for what they do with the remains, I’d prefer cremation but honestly, if it’s easier, they stick a hambone up my ass and let the dogs drag me away.If my survivors don’t want the service, then just go with the band and the bar. I’ve spent more of my life on the bandstand of a smoky club than I have in a pew in church. If God’s looking for me, he knows that’s where I’ll be.

  6. I really haven’t given much thought to my funeral arrangements.Aside from being just a morbid thing to think about, I don’t really give a shit what people do with me after I’m dead.And, as David suggested, maybe it’s just because I’m still reasonably young (I’m 32) and confident I’ll have a long life.Cholesterol’s like 170. BP’s like 120/70. And I jog five miles 3-4 times a week. Don’t smoke and don’t drink.And, obviously, I’m not afraid of jinxing myself.Screw death. Screw it with a big black monkey wrench.Stacey

  7. None of this cremation or coffin burial for me. I want to be compacted into a brick. Maybe even used as a cornerstone for a new building, even a brick outhouse. Doesn’t bother me. I just want my body to be used for something worthwhile.And most important is that someone resurrect John Lee Hooker to play at my funeral. I’m sure I’m good for at least a couple of hours worth of haunting. There’s no way I’m missing that gig.

  8. Of course funerals are for the living, and not for the dead. That’s exactly why you should prepare for your own funeral before you go.Otherwise, you leave the burden of all the preparations on those you “leave behind”. If you have any consideration for your family, you will spare them those onerous duties.It’s best to find out what your survivors would like, and then make the preparations for same. That’s the most comforting and considerate thing you can do.For myself, I’m fine with dumping my corpse off at sea as shark food or burying me unpreserved where the amino acids will do the environment the most good. But I have a hunch my family wouldn’t like it.

  9. When my grandmother died 11 years ago, she had all her requests. Which songs to play, and her firm request that Ingebord Halldin NOT play the accordion. Since we were such a mess, it was actually pretty good that everything was spelled out for us.Me, I just want to be cremated and my daughter can figure out what she wants to do with me. I could be put next to the ashes of my 20-year-old cat Thisbe on the living room side table. My daughter’s made a Pez shrine around the little box containing Thisbe’s ashes, which seems quite appropriate.

  10. “Would a beach volleyball tournament with strippers and beer kegs really help you through the mourning process better?”No, but they’d sure make the workday go faster.Actually, I guess I don’t really have much in the way of demands in the funeral department. I guess it’ll be enough if there’s someone there to actually morn my passing.

  11. None of this cremation stuff for me, either. I want to be blown up. Donate my organs to science, stuff the spaces with C4, stick in a fuse and drop me out of a plane so I airburst at 10,000 feet over Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill while the UNC marching band plays “When the Levee Breaks.”

  12. John Stamos? B-List?!?!?? GASP!My mom picks out her funeral songs all the time. She doesn’t have a post-it note on the fridge, but I think it’s a Christian mom thing. Or maybe just our moms. But she’ll always be like “don’t forget I want this for sure sung at my funeral…”

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