What Will They Say About You?

In Dear Abby this morning, there is a question from a Daughter-in-Law who asks if she should pass on to her 90 year old Father-in-Law her draft of a eulogy about him. The old guy has written his obituary and his eulogy and she wants to see if her words are OK. I would tell her to let three people read it and if they all say it is OK, send it to the old man. If anyone thinks it is sucky, save it for the funeral. I'm pretty sure that if the guy has everything written, he doesn't think he needs a whole lot more. At this stage in the game, either you are in the will or not.

Where the hell would you start and of course I know where it would end. But, how could you cram it all in in a proper manner. If you write it, it obviously would contain all the highlights and if our wife(s) wrote it would they talk about the skid marks? Do you want it to be touching without being funny? Do people out there fear you, like you, hate you, envy you. Or as probably a lot of us really deep down fear, most people don't really give a shit.

I didn't write these words to be maudlin. In fact, I really wrote the above stuff to set up what I want my Wake to be like. As far as I am concerned, I really don't want a funeral service, only a wake and cremation. I want Barb to contact the Armory and see if they will make a rental for my wake. I want to be present (Like "Weekend at Bernie's") and sitting there in a chair with a beer in one hand, a pipe in the other and have any and all old Guardsmen invited. I want the have a keg of beer and at least a case of scotch. (Lots of ice and a drinking fountain nearby for those that don't like it neat - I never did) If the Armory won't let her have the booze, I would want to have a tent in the yard just to keep off the rain. The theme would be to tell stories about times in the Guard with heavy emphasis on funny Denny stories. The only time I would want crying would be when we run out of beer. There were tons of times when all I could do was laugh or cry and for the most part I chose laughter. As for my ashes, I really don't have anything I want done with them. Oh, I have some high idea about a helicopter and a fly over of the impact zone on one of the bases but the nearest garbage can will probably do just as well. There are a lot of places here on Rabbit Run and several old dogs buried here. I'm sure that they won't mind if someone scatters what's left nearby..



  1. I forgot to say that I want to be cremated with all my old ties. I don't want to wear one, just burn them all to hell. MUD

  2. I've helped write a few eulogies for members of Danny's family. I felt very privileged to help pull the thoughts and memories about his grandfather into one cohesive piece. Then the damned pastor read the thing and screwed it all up. I spent days working on it, then he read and misread and added his own b.s. that I hadn't written, and I was pissed. Danny and his parents were pretty annoyed, too. But it wasn't about us. His grandmother has a copy and read it before hearing it messed up. It blessed her and then I don't think she really realized how it got butchered during the service. Sometimes you just have to let that stuff pass because it isn't about you.

    All of that, I guess, brings me to how I want my funeral or whatever. I don't want some fakey pastor who barely knew me standing up there and using the pulpit for his own purposes. I don't want anything formal or solemn. Keep it simple. Have some good music. Cremate me or give me an earth-friendly burial on our land with a simple plaque on a tree or stone, but don't spend much money on it. Remember the good things. Laugh at the happy memories. That's what I want. I'll do what I can to make that known, but if they do it differently I won't be around to care anyway. Funerals are less about the deceased and more about the living and what they need to carry on.

  3. MUD, "Burn The Ties!" Good idea. I once heard a fellow say that a necktie separates a man's head from his heart.

    Don't know if it always does, but not a bad saying...

    There shall be no funeral, nor wake when I breathe my last. I am a "body donor." I've already set it up with LSU Medical School in Shreveport. I will be some med student's cadaver after they have harvested any worthwhile parts for transplant.

    I have already made Pam, and my three oldest boys (the ones that are old enough to understand) swear that they will not have any type of ceremony, memorial, etc.

    An obit in the paper would be okay. Just so folks will know, and not ask Pam, "How is Andy doing?" when they run into her in town...but many still likely will...because they didn't see my rotten corpse in a box.

    I understand that after they're finished with you at LSU-Med, the next of kin will be contacted, and asked about the disposition of the remains. I know they did that with my beloved Granddaddy. His body donation became quite an inspiration to us all. Several of us have signed up for the same thing. When LSU-Med got finished, my Grandmother told them to just dispose of the remains.

    Pam has been told by me to let them chunk 'em in the dumpster. I doubt that she'll follow through with that. So, I might have to haunt her! :)

    I guess if I've got to be buried, I'd like it to be a bunch of ashes dropped in the ground next to my faithful black Lab, Midnight (in our back yard).

    Jenni raises a good point that has often been raised to me about funerals being for the living. I have actually officiated at several...my Grandmother's being one.

    But, my hope is that my family and friends won't need that in order to move on. It's probably pie-in-the sky to believe that they won't have some type of get-together. But, I hope that they can handle it all by phone, and e-mail. But, that's just me.

  4. A friend of mine said he wanted his body donated to a Med School but he wanted a friend to have his first name tatooed on his corpse so he won't be just John Doe. He wants to be Bill to them. Both my Uncle and an Aunt have the same feeling. In truth, I don't care.