Today's post is simply a reflection and guidance for the time I die. Oh, don't worry. I'm not holding back news of my impending doom. Still, given that none of us know exactly how or when we will end this earthly life, here are my requests.
1. Please have a viewing and recitation of the Rosary the evening before my funeral. If you can do this in my home then, please, skip the funeral home.
2. Please have a funeral and follow the Catholic church's tradition. I mean the real traditions, not something a new funeral director has dreamt up. That will be for you all. Love each other, forgive and bury any resentments.
3. Please do not cremate me. If I'm fortunate at my final judgement I'll avoid the pains of hell. Please don't put my remains through fire.
4. If I don't already have a coffin, go with the cheapest thing you can. It's going into the ground. My final resting place isn't final. It's just until the resurrection, and I'm pretty sure that if my risen body arises from cardboard I won't be thought of as less than someone rising from a gold plated tomb. I won't care about what you dress me in, just have me dressed. The only thing I want to be buried with is my wedding ring, and one of my rosaries.
5. I'm doing what I can here, but given some extremely poor choices earlier in my life, assume I'm in purgatory and remember me on my death date. By all means, have masses said for my soul. Please pray for my soul. When I'm in heaven, I promise to share.
6. Please give family and friends immediate notification of my death. Don't let them find out, as I did about a distant grandfather, during Thanksgiving dinner.
7. Do plan a wake. That is when you can share stories, laugh and cry. These are for you, not me. Do not paint a rosy picture of my life. I've been quite human in my failings. By the same token, please be sensitive to my loved ones. Please don't share those failings that would cause them embarrassment or scandal.
8. Other than the funeral and burial in consecrated ground, do what makes sense. The last thing I would want is for anyone to do something because "it is what she would have wanted." Honest, I trust you to be grown-ups. And quite frankly, I'm fairly certain I won't be allowed to come back to haunt you if you serve food I wouldn't eat.
9. Know that I'll miss all of you very much, but will be waiting for you so we can to be reunited in Heaven.
This is a good explanation, especially with regard to why my thoughts have turned to this topic: funerals