Yesterday I went to the funeral of my husband’s aunt. I’m pretty fortunate that at 38 I haven’t been to what I would say is a lot of funerals.
The “closest” relatives I’ve had pass are great grandparents. I’ve never been involved in funeral arrangements, decisions about the body/burial, etc.
Most of the funerals I’ve been to have been at my own church. In a space I’m comfortable, in a format that I recognize. Never following along to a cemetary afterward.
Yesterday was the first time where a funeral I was going to attend would be followed by the cemetery. Originally, I thought that I wouldn’t go. I had a conversation with my husband and then I prayed on it.
I messaged my BFF, for some words of wisdom which I knew I’d get. After she gave me words from the bible about fearing death, I had to explain.
I’m not scared of death. Not at all, I honestly don’t remember ever being. I just don’t like the idea of burials. Again, not because I’m scared, but because I think it’s an outdated tradition.
I don’t want a casket, I don’t want to be on display for people to see. Looking different than I actually look (they ALWAYS do). I try desperately to never have to look in a casket, while still being respectful. Again, not because I’m scared. Simply because that’s not the memory that I want to have.
My best friend said “Maybe today you tap into your compartmentalizing side that all pastors have. You are called to pastoral ministry, that call never stops. You just live it differently than professional ministry. So maybe just be a pastoral presence to those around you, knowing that all of this – funeral, cemetery, etc – is all a show for ourselves.”
So…I helped, I loved and I comforted. All that I was called to do. Realizing that it’s not for me, but I was honoring someone else’s tradition.
Here is what I know for me…I want EVERYTHING donated… everything that is useable… then cremate me…put me in a ziploc or shoebox whatever is cheap and sprinkle me somewhere… anywhere. Church, a park, a baseball field…. just do it with smiles, laughter and a beverage!!