Please don’t put on “Amazing Grace” at my funeral program. I’m getting that out of the way, up front. As much as I like its tune and ideas, I’d be, as usual, distracted by the terrible grammar of the last verse, and I can’t ask everyone to try to sing,
“We’ll have had no fewer days to have sung God’s praise
than when we first began.”
(And I’m not even sure that’s correct.)
No, it’s to be “Beautiful Earth” by Lydia McCauley, and I’ll try to come up with a few others–at least one a black spiritual with call and echo, and maybe one of the ones from Margaret Atwood’s Year of the Flood, though someone will have to teach it, as it’s not in the canon.
I plan to be there in spirit, so if you have any trouble with the plumbing that day, either at the church or reception hall, take it as my final reminder that it’s time to put some funding into a gray water diversion system–use it to water the into the landscape, which I would prefer to be converted to vegetables and other edibles, with consideration for the needs of the pollinators and other beneficials. I surely hope you’ll already be composting the used paper towels from the restrooms by then.
I don’t want my remains to take up otherwise perfectly good residential or community garden land, nor burned, since that’s a waste of fossil fuels, at the very least. My best wishes go to the one who can arrange for all my body to be wrapped in a used cotton bed sheet, sprinkled with lime and buried in an orchard. If you can organize it, throw in all the leftover food and paper plates from the reception at the same time, and maybe some sawdust if you can get it. My gardening friends will know the correct proportions of green to brown matter. If there are any laws against those procedures in my green city, I’d be proud to finally be arrested, if posthumously, for a good cause.
You’ll likely know where to find my cheesecake recipe for the reception. Make sure there are non-diary options, and you may as well keep the other food vegetarian–no reason to have anything else killed on my account. My brother makes excellent beer, though I got naught but a sip at my wedding reception before I was whisked away to greet some guests. I hope lots of you will go out for coffee together afterward or have a bonfire, and perhaps there will be some flirting like there was at my father-in-law’s funeral, and not just among the under-thirties. My husband has always come across as rather flirtatious himself, but let’s not anyone expect too much from him, as he was really rather attached to me and will have the sense to avoid rebound. Besides, we have four children, all of whom consider themselves to be good judges of character, so all prospective mates, even after a two-year mourning period, will probably have to be vetted by them informally at least.
My children will recall that when they were being dramatic, crying out, “I’m going to die!” or even “I want to die!” that I always responded that yes they eventually would, and so would I. I trust that I have sufficiently neglected fixing their dinners that they will be perfectly independent by then and have no real trouble transitioning. Tell them all I love them, once again for good measure, and that they may read my journals if they wish when they are eighteen.