Tied In

Word, crack den.

Mr. A and I have actually discussed funerals quite a bit. When my grandfather died I got stuck in the “anger” stage of grief for a good long time, and most of that anger ended up directed towards the priest who conducted Grandpa’s funeral. Father Oblivious said not a word about the man himself, not one kind word. He phoned it in like the ecclesiastical equivalent of Ashlee Simpson and it nearly drove me nuts. The whole service was stilted and awful and nothing like this warm and wonderful and humorous and kind man we knew and I sat through it very much wanting to punch something.

So the whole way home I ranted to Mr. A about what I wanted, how he was to direct matters, who was allowed to speak and what they’d say, and at which precise distance of such and such feet away all religious officiants and trappings were to stay. If he hadn’t been driving and just as tired as I was I’d have made him take notes and find a notary on the way home, that’s how much I didn’t want the last party I’d ever throw to be screwed up. The poor guy. So when everybody on the wank side of the blogosphere started boring on about how rude it was to follow Coretta Scott King’s family’s wishes for her memorial service, it reminded me of what I told him, and how I expect it to be followed, O’Reilly be damned:

No last rites. No anointing of the sick. No respirators or defibrillators if I’m past caring about it. No last confessions. The things I regret, everybody already knows about. The rest of it, I won’t atone for. Whatever punishment I get for it, I deserve.

Cremate me quick and quiet and scatter my ashes on Lake Mendota, right around the bend of John Nolen Drive where the Madison skyline peers out from behind the trees as you come into town. It’s my favorite sight, ever, ever. Wait a week or so and then rent out the back of our local bar, where we go all the time and take every out of town friend who’s ever come for a visit. Find the cheesiest Def Leppard and Bon Jovi songs on the jukebox and buy everybody a round of drinks. Get really ripped. Have Brigid’s Cross in to play and make the guy with the electric fiddle play The Fields of Athenry. Bring the ferrets. I want the ferrets there. If something should happen to both of us I want The Kenosha Kid to have the ferrets.

If there must be those awful photoboards that look like a first grade craft project, have one of our photographer friends do nice ones, but really, if anybody there can’t remember what I look like, screw ’em. If someone must give a formal eulogy, I want it to be my dear friend Jake. He knows what to say for those things.

But mainly just invite EVERYBODY and for God’s sake tell the stories. Try to make me sound nicer than I was but if you can’t get that far, at least make the times I was a narcissistic bitch sound funny. Tell everybody everything, from the first grade plays in the Sieferts’ backyard to the last work I ever did. Talk about what was important to me. What you care about, that’s your life. Talk about mine. The papers. The kids. The animals. The Internets. Bush’s impeachment. Howard Dean. John Kerry. College scholarships. Marriage equality. Truth and honesty and god damn love of country, and scotch.

And like Atrios said, if somebody doesn’t like that, if somebody doesn’t think that’s appropriate, if somebody disagrees with you or somebody wants to do something else, show them this blog entry and tell them to go fuck themselves. Tell them the last thing on earth I would have stood for is people who were on the opposite side of me during every important fight of my life then going on about how to behave appropriately and sanctify my memory. You want to respect me and mine, do it while I’m alive, or shut the fuck up, you ghoulish skeleton-pickers.

My death is mine. Don’t be greedy. You’ll get your own.