Recently, when I went to the wake of an old friend of my mother’s, I arrived right at the beginning time and the relatives hadn’t gotten there yet (they can be forgiven — they are eliderly too). So, while I waited for them I chatted with George, the funeral home director. This is the funeral home that has buried, literally, generations of Hubby’s family, and will bury us too. George ‘s father was the one who ran the business for as long as I can remember, but now, George, the next generation, runs it.
George: (remarking on someone we both knew who recently died): “When I first saw her, if I hadn’t known she was 58, I would have said she was 108!”
Me: “Let me just tell you this now, George. When I die, I want you to make me look really good. I don’t want anyone saying I look 108! And, I’ll try to die before I’m actually 108 to make it a little easier for you.”
So, when you come to my wake, if I look 108 year old, I want you to go find George and tell him, “She wouldn’t like this!”
Of course, the upside is that I plan to be cremated, so however I look, I won’t look that way for long.
I hope you think this is funny. I have no problem laughing about my own death, because I know “the best is yet to come”.
That brings to mind the following story I heard years ago:
An old woman had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and given only days to live.
Her pastor came to visit her, and at the end of the visit, they discussed her wishes for her funeral, like which songs and scriptures she wanted used.
But when the pastor thought they were done and he got up to leave, the lady said she had one more request – she would like to be buried with a fork in her hand.
Needless to say, the pastor asked her why. So, she explained.
She said, “In all the years I have attended dinners in the community and at church, many times one of the instructions to the diners as the dinner plates were taken away, was “Keep your fork.” And, that always told me that there would be some wonderful dessert on the way – the best was yet to come!
“And, because I am a Christian, I know that when my life ends, the best is yet to come!
“So, I want to be buried with a fork in my hand, so that those who come to the wake will ask “Why is she holding a fork?” And, my family can tell them, “Because she knew the best was yet to come!”