A postcard arrived in the mail from The Neptune Society recently. My first thought, “Burial at sea, hmmm. I’ve always liked water.” Second thought, “With my luck I’ll end up on top of Osama bin Laden.”
The Neptune Society is a company which allows an individual to preplan their cremation. I have known for a very long time cremation is what I wish for my remains, at least after any usable organs have been removed, harvested, whatever. Just do not lock me in a casket, encase me in concrete, bury me beneath the surface of the earth. I used to have bad dreams as a child I’d accidentally be buried alive and wake up after the dirt had been piled atop, everyone had left the after party and all the cake was gone. Cake never really figured into any of this until just now.
I sent in their reply postcard requesting information from Neptune. Figuring it would take a while I was very surprised to learn less than a week later, my husband and I had gotten a call from one of their agents to set up an appointment with us at our house. He and I figured we would look at their plan and get some other quotes on final bonfires. In other words, we could kick that tire around until it went flat and forgotten. We procrastinate way too much.
We signed on the bottom line. Its all taken care of except monthly payments. Unless I completely disappear, I will someday be blowin’ in the wind. I promise I won’t fart.
Detached is a good word for how I have approached my last wishes. I am not one for wanting to go to my own funeral, and I really do not want one. I have had the pleasure of attending them throughout my life, exposed for the first time at the age of six when my Mom’s brother died. The experience wasn’t too terribly bad as I had my cousins to gang around the funeral parlor with, a ton of people attended, and I experienced Catholicism at its ritual finest. Not long after, a Protestant Grandmother passed away. It was so sad. I remember cold, bleak darkness. No hoopla for my favorite Granma. What a let-down. Every other funeral has followed suit with hers. Looking at a stiff, remark on how nice they look (For crying out loud, they are dead. When does dead look nice?) sit on folding chairs and listen for pins to drop is not my idea of a send-off. Aside from being a tremendous expense taking up valuable space in the earth strikes me as wasteful. Someday earth’s inhabitants may need the area to plant or build upon. I have been a long-term advocate to Prevent Poltergeist!
My husband and I received, in separate boxes, our ‘preneed’ kit. We each got a beautiful box. They are shiny, smooth, and the top of the box is rounded. The interior is soft and plush. Included are a candle and holder, a slab of acrylic with “Forever Loved” beautifully engraved upon it, and a tiny little plastic bag and plug for a tad of my cremains for someone to hold onto until thrown out or donated to Goodwill. There is a circle carved out of the slab. I initially pictured a photo of my favorite dead cat in it until my hubby pointed out it is a place for the candle holder. The plug goes on the bottom of the slab.
I’m not going in there. All of the above sits above a hidden interior compartment (not really hidden, there are obvious pull tabs. I was enjoying the haunted feel). A Guide to Goodbye lays on top of a biodegradable box my actual cremains are to be placed into after I am cooked and crushed.
I want to fly like an eagle, roll down a river, ride the air and float the ocean to disappear into nothingness. I do hope I don’t hang out in the box very long. I’m claustrophobic.
My husband heard me open up the cardboard shipping box, remove the packing, and asked, “Did our caskets arrive?”. That sucked all the air out. I was getting an early look at my own funeral. I could customize it. Put in the names of everyone important, everyone who would find it important to come pay some last respects to me. I find that regretfully humorous as no one comes to see me while I’m living and breathing and able to serve up some awesome cookies. A very lonely thought, indeed. I put everything away. I hope the next time its opened will be when the time comes for me to be swept up off the conveyor belt and poured into the biodegradable box, temporarily. Really temporarily or I will come back and haunt whomever. No cookies for them.