I don’t plan to die any time soon, but if I do I wrote a poem about my requests when I do end up dying.
Dying is such a cliche topic and I’ve never understood why. Maybe it’s the way I was raised, maybe it’s my blunt personality. Either way, dying is a natural part of life and, to me, simply a gateway from this world to another. Whatever you believe in, dying shouldn’t be imaged as something to fear. If there isn’t any kind of afterlife, no need to worry–you’ll just receive eternal sleep instead.
I realized recently that I’ve never been to a “traditional” funeral. The last celebration of life I went to it was requested not to wear black, there was music, humorous stories. I don’t want my death to be surrounded by pain or guilt or despair.
People do have the right to accept death in whatever way they want, but I believe so much stress and fear would be removed from death if we just accepted the naturalness of it. Speaking of death–saying the word death–should not be a whispered thing. We should speak openly of death just like we speak of food, friends, family, love. Death is just a part of life.
When I Die
When I die I want to be cremated and planted with a seed of a tree; please don’t bury me or trap me in a jar–my body deserves to be peacefully returned to the land.
When I die, don’t wear black at my funeral. In fact, don’t even call it a funeral. It’s natural to mourn, but I would rather you celebrate the life I lived instead.
When I die, cover the room with sunflowers, not carnations or daises. Sunflowers are my favorite flower.
When I die, either play or perform RENT‘s “I’ll Cover You: Reprise” instead of some depressing, mournful tune.
When I die, tell jokes and laugh. I always preferred you laughing and smiling anyway.
Mourn when I die, but also rejoice; I lived, one of the greatest accomplishments of all.