24 January 2006

Short Post on Death

"I wonder where we go when we die?"
"…Pittsburgh?"
"You mean if we're good or if we're bad?" ---Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes


My uncle passed away Jan 18. He had cancer for a long time. I didn't really know him that well as they live in Indiana and my family never lived there. He and my aunt had stayed in my apartment a few times when he came to Vanderbilt for treatment. I went up to Evansville for the funeral. The graveside service was very moving, as he had been in the navy when he was younger and had the whole gun salute and flag ceremony.

There has been plenty of death on my mom's side of the family since i moved up here. Both my mom's grandmothers have passed, as have her brother, her mother and now one of her sisters' husbands. Guess that is making up for the fact that we didn't loose anyone between the mid 80's and 2001.

I did get to talk to my dad quite a bit, at the funeral home surrounded by people i barely know anymore or never met to begin with. I realized that now that on my mom's side my brothers, sister, and i are the only ones with our father still. Strange, especially since most of my cousins were younger than i am now when their fathers' died. And my dad's been in at least a half dozen major car accidents. But my dad's family is pretty long lived and he is in good shape for 52.

But we did talk a bit about funerals in general and what we might want at ours. "don't tell your mom we're talking like this", he said, like i was a little kid again and he was slipping me candy before dinner. He said he would like to be cremated because "if we keep putting people in the ground there won't be any ground left". He's practical like that. I said maybe we should shoot him out a cannon like Hunter S Thompson but he felt that was too much work.

I didn't really decide what i might want. I did make BF promise not to let my mom get some priest i didn't know to talk and basically use the opportunity to try to convert people. I know a funeral is about the survivors, but that's so not what i believe. Other than that, i guess i don't care too much.

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