It’s no secret that I am planning on my own funeral. It’s really not that morbid and it allows my A-type personality to see myself through to the end.
Having personally planned three funerals, I really wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. It’s not that it’s difficult, but death brings up feelings that people probably aren’t prepared to deal with or don’t deal well with, in general.
Why shouldn’t I lesson their burden? I know what I want: A Celebration of Life.
I have already chosen:
The person I want to officiate the service
The music to be played and sung
Cremation because I don’t like people looking at me. Plus, if people were staring at me, I wouldn’t be able to tell them to stop (well without scaring them to no-end lol)
Being a native New Yorker, who transplanted to Northern California, I can’t have a generic gathering after the service, right? So, I’ve planned on using a local, little pizza joint (fellow NYers, of course), to provide pizza, calzones, submarine sandwiches and Buffalo wings. Then, there will have to be bagels and cream cheese. Lastly, we’ll add some cheesecake for good measure. No diets will be observed at this Celebration of Life.
People should embrace my Irish heritage and eat, have coffee (my life blood right now) and share humorous stories of how I despised the Evil Empire, acclimated Californians to how NYers spoke and their expectations. They can share the memory of the poor guy who chose to tell me I was only in Mets gear because they were in the playoffs one year. A decision he would come to regret when he realized I was truly a NYer.
Either way, thought I would share. Perhaps someone else may take this as a sign to start thinking about the inevitable. One day, I’ll have eternal life and I want those I leave behind to remember my time here on Earth; the good and the bad.
Tomorrow will mark 10 years since my father passed away. In the last two weeks, I have remembered the loss of my sister and mother. I have lost three family members; all in the month of June. All by the time I was 41 years old.
Mortality is in the forefront of my mind. It’s hard to ignore it. All three of them had cancer, two were defeated by it and one passed, due to illness complications. So, yes, wondering if I will meet an early demise, in June (no less), brings up lots of questions.
I didn’t have the best relationship with my father, but my sister’s and mother’s deaths hit me hard and their angelversaries elicit uncontrollable emotions. There are specific things that I remember about each of them.
Sports fan (Mets/Giants)
Friend to Chuck
Unable to show love to his family
Loved the outdoors
Couldn’t cook rice (LOL to the family)
Gets me to thinking how, or even if, my children will remember me. There’s history that hasn’t been discussed on this blog. My youngest child will be the affected the most. I can’t say the other children will be that upset or even care. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but I am not ignorant to my reality either.
What will my friends think of me? Will I have a large attendance at my funeral? Probably not. I can’t see that. I’ve done a lot of personal reflection. I am planning the details of my funeral. I never want to have to put someone through that.
Death is inevitable. I choose not to fear it. I believe God has chosen my path. It certainly hasn’t been an easy road to follow, but I will continue on it until I am called home.
I’m becoming discouraged that January 2016 has me saying goodbye to singers and actors who have passed. This has been less than a stellar month for those who have said farewell to the Earthly plain have have descended to the Heavens.
Today, Glenn Frey, one of the founding Eagles, has also left “us” at the tender age of 67. I love listening to the Eagles. “Desperado” was the first Eagles song I can remember. “Take It Easy”, “Lyin’ Eyes”, “Hotel California” are just a snippet of their songs.
If you haven’t read about his passing, you can do so here.
My first, true experience with Glenn Frey, turning a teen into a fan, was a little movie called, “Beverly Hills Cop” where the “Heat is On”.
Then there was a little television show called, “Miami Vice”. You know that show had drug dealers left and right. Perfect to sing about “The Smuggler’s Blues”. Glenn even appeared in an episode (maybe it was two).
Either way, Glenn was a talented artist and he will be missed by many.
I’ve seen this poem before; but not for some time. While the author is “unknown”, far too many of us (women) could have written it. Heck, I know I could have. When my ex-husband was actually arrested and jailed for beating a woman in the face, with a brick, I knew leaving him years before was the right decision. I knew he would have eventually killed me. There is a reason it’s called the “Cycle of Violence” and it needs to be broken.
He gave me flowers
I got flowers today. It wasn’t my birthday or any other special day. We had our first argument last night and he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me. I know that he is sorry and didn’t mean to say the things he said – because he sent me flowers today.I got flowers today. It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day. Last night he threw me into a wall and then started to choke me. It seemed like a nightmare but you wake up from nightmares to find that they aren’t real. I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over. I know he must be sorry – because he sent me flowers today.I got flowers today. And it wasn’t Valentines Day or any other special day. Last night he beat me and threatened to kill me. Makeup and long sleeves didn’t hide the cuts and bruises this time. I couldn’t go to work because I didn’t want anyone to know. But I know he is sorry – because he sent me flowers today.I got flowers today and it wasn’t Mother’s Day or any other special day. Last night he beat me again and it was much worse than all the other times. If I leave him what will I do? How will I take care of the kids? What about money? I’m afraid of him and too scared to leave him! But he must be sorry – because he sent me flowers today.I got flowers today. Today was a very special day.It was the day of my funeral. Last night he finally killed me. I was beaten to death. If only I would have gathered enough courage and strength to leave him. So I got flowers today – for the very last time.
I first saw this poem, many years ago. I admit it’s been some times since I’ve seen it since. This afternoon, I saw a friend had posted it on Facebook. It reminded me of when I was the battered wife. When I had a messed up life. This is a pretty good illustration of why it’s called the “Cycle of Violence”. Silence is its deadly friend. Speaking-out is key to its end.
He gave me flowers
I got flowers today. It wasn’t my birthday or any other special day. We had our first argument last night and he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me. I know that he is sorry and didn’t mean to say the things he said – because he sent me flowers today.I got flowers today. It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day. Last night he threw me into a wall and then started to choke me. It seemed like a nightmare but you wake up from nightmares to find that they aren’t real. I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.I know he must be sorry – because he sent me flowers today.I got flowers today. And it wasn’t Valentines Day or any other special day. Last night he beat me and threatened to kill me. Makeup and long sleeves didn’t hide the cuts and bruises this time.I couldn’t go to work because I didn’t want anyone to know. But I know he is sorry – because he sent me flowers today.I got flowers today and it wasn’t Mother’s Day or any other special day. Last night he beat me again and it was much worse than all the other times. If I leave him what will I do? How will I take care of the kids? What about money? I’m afraid of him and too scared to leave him! But he must be sorry – because he sent me flowers today.I got flowers today. Today was a very special day. It was the day of my funeral. Last night he finally killed me. I was beaten to death.If only I would have gathered enough courage and strength to leave him.So I got flowers today – for the very last time.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the “Stages of Grief”, but did you know who came up with them?
I, myself, didn’t know until December of last year. The final day of my human development class; we passed a piece of paper around the class. On this paper, was a variety of quotes from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Each student chose a quote that got their attention and read it aloud.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was a psychiatrist and journalist and the stages were for terminally ill patients: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Those stages apply to the majority of people, whether they themselves are terminally ill or they have lost someone close to them. She spent a good part of her career observing, talking and being with those who were dying.
We had studied a bit of her just a couple weeks prior to the end of the semester. I found her work very interesting and comforting. I believe part of that was due to the fact I still had to write my final paper on “death and dying”. As it was about my sister, my emotions were reeking havoc and I was an incoherent mess; to put it mildly. One might think it’s a morbid topic, yet to read her work and observations is very enlightening.
I have posted two Quotes of the Day for today and tomorrow. Both are by Kubler-Ross and they just seem really appropriate. If you’d like to learn a bit more about her, I’ve provided a link for you.
June will be arriving in a week. It’s the one month I wish would be eradicated from the calendar. I have to make sure to celebrate a birthday and have the lil one do something special for Father’s Day. In the midst of that, I hope not to be too morbid with my blogging. I can’t say for sure how much of an online presence I will have in June. I will definitely have a post on the 13th and 25th, but not sure to what extent.
If you’ve been following the blog or if you’ve read the About section, then you will have an understanding about June. Here is my breakdown of June:
6/1 – Birthday (not mine)
6/12 – My sister Kathi’s 3rd angel-versary of losing her battle with breast cancer at age 37
6/16 – Regretting marry my ex (who still is a plague-like the locust in Egypt-in my life)
6/16 – Angel-versary of my son’s namesake – killed on my 3rd wedding anniversary
6/21 – Father’s Day
6/25 – My mother’s 2nd angel-versay of her passing suddenly (less than 24 hours’ notice)
6/28 – My father’s 5th angel-versary of losing his battle with stage-4 stomach cancer
While I miss my mother, I’m able to accept her death much easier than losing my younger sister. This past year, I have made achievements. I started this blog, allowed a few people from my old Facebook page back into my life (where I previously excluded everyone), I returned to the Blue Star Moms (just last month), I became co-captain for my own Relay for Life Team and I’ve returned to church (found a very small one that I can go to).
I still haven’t managed to throw away a jar of Oil of Olay face lotion or cleanser my sister sent me over three years ago. One stays in the corner of the shower, the other in a drawer in my dresser. My sister’s phone number is still in my contact list. I have kept all her emails. I haven’t progressed enough to address these issues. Perhaps in time; perhaps not.
I will say, losing a sister and mother in the course of two years really gives you a perspective on what’s important in life. It also showed me who fragile and precious life is and how quickly it can be taken from you. Always remember to cherish those who mean the most to you. More importantly, let them know how important they are to you. The gift of life is priceless. Sadly, the cost can’t be measured until it’s gone.