October 12, 2013

Bury me upside down, so the world can KMA

When I die I may not go to heaven
I don't know if they let cowboys in
If they don't just let me go to Texas, Boy!
Texas is as close as I've been.
Recently, my parents took a family gathering as an opportunity to update my step-sister and me on the whereabouts of their important documents, and their wishes upon death.  A talk that is necessary in all families, yet not everyone is comfortable getting past the emotional hurdle to be able to discuss the practical matters associated with the loss of a loved one.

My pragmatism is come by honestly, as my wishes seem to echo those of my parents - once I am dead, I really don't care what you do with me.  Graves, urns, and rituals are for the living, and while I have some boundaries on what should be done in my name, whatever best serves those left behind is fine by me. 

In August, I returned to visit my father's grave for the first time since his funeral in 1985, and, yes, there is a little misplaced guilt in my life over the fact that my father is buried 1,600 miles away, where no one from his family has ever been, and so far away that my life circumstances didn't allow for me to get there until nearly 30 years had passed.  Clearly, a grave to visit didn't shape my grief, recovery, or life after his death, though had it been nearer to me - or to his family - I am sure there would have been frequent visits out of respect or some need.

On the flip side, every animal I have owned since I was 12-years old is buried in my parent's backyard, under a shady tree, and every time they start to talk about down-sizing and moving, I have a little panic attack about not having access to my pet cemetery.  Mostly, I like to sit on the back porch, and look out toward the 'pet tree' and fondly recall the dogs, cats, frogs and fish buried there.

Death is personal, and families should be able to do what serves them best - to whatever degree they want, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of another.  I can't appreciate any reason why burials on privately owned property should be the concern of anyone but the property owner.
The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday rejected an elderly north Alabama man's appeal to keep the grave of his late wife in the front yard of the home they shared for decades.
It was her dying wish, and he kept it.  Who is harmed by this man burying his wife on his own property?

I like the thought of a fiery Viking funeral - the television version, not the historically accurate one.  Put me on a raft with the outgoing tide, and then shoot a flaming arrow to start the pyre.  Any chance that is legal?

1 comment:

CenTexTim said...

"Put me on a raft with the outgoing tide, and then shoot a flaming arrow to start the pyre. Any chance that is legal?"

Who cares? You'll be a soggy pile of ashes at the bottom of the sea. What are 'they' gonna do - reconstitute you?