Monday Mission 3.12

Haven’t been a good Monday Missioneer lately, but it’s time for Monday Mission 3.12.

1. Since we’ve covered the standard “where do you go when you die” question, let’s get a little deeper. When you do die, would you like to be able to watch your funeral?
I’m not sure I’d like to see the results. Either it would be too hard to watch loved ones grieving… or to watch them not!

2. Catholics must have the longest funeral services ever. I think there is a lot to be said for the traditions that they keep, but it was just so depressing. I’d like my funeral to be much more upbeat, like those I’ve seen in New Orleans. What type of funeral would you plan for yourself?
Funerals are for the living. I think that whatever form they take in order to help them get over the grief is fine by me. If it were just for me, however, I’d really like it if they just sat around listening to Beatle albums and Revolver tapes while telling warm fuzzy stories of the good times we had. If they played Dungeons and ate pizza at the same time, it would be a bonus.

3. As a child, when I was angry sometimes I would wish that a parent or teacher would die. Thank goodness wishes like those are never granted. I think it probably takes the loss of someone important before you learn the value of life. When did you first realize that life was so fragile?
I don’t know that I remember that. Probably when my great-grandmother died when I was 11.

4. When we said our final respects to Grandma H. today, I though about her impact on the world. No, she didn’t cure cancer or make sweeping changes to society. But she did leave a legacy of four sons and a daughter, who in turn have children and grandchildren. And maybe that was her purpose, to launch future generations that will accomplish great things. Some of us are here to make a huge splash in the pond of life, others are here to direct the ripples in the water. Of the people you’ve known personally who have passed away, what sort of legacy, impact, mark or achievement did they leave behind?
Very similar to that. My parents, for example, weren’t great scientists or deep philosophers. They weren’t rich or powerful or famous. They just raised four pretty decent human beings. That’s one of the greatest feats imaginable these days.

5. One thing that struck me at the funeral, was that there were so many men were dressed in casual clothes. I was brought up to believe that men should always wear a suit to a funeral, as a show of respect. Maybe these men were never taught that. Maybe they just don’t own suits. Maybe that I am just old fashioned and not hip to the times. Do you think there is an “appropriate” way to dress for attending a funeral? Or is it even important?
Absolutely! I mean, if you don’t own a suit, can’t afford to rent one, and can’t borrow one, you shouldn’t be barred from the funeral, but that’s just showing basic respect for the people who are grieving – unless, of course, they expect it to be a casual affair. Again, the funeral’s for the living.

6. Grandma H. was far enough along in life to have been able to plan ahead for her funeral, even down to the tiny details such as song selections. It was nice to finally attend a funeral where they didn’t play “Amazing Grace!” My choices would be “Ode to Joy” and “I’ll Fly Away.” What are some of the more memorable songs you’ve heard played at funerals?
I like both of your choices. I’d want Beatle songs at mine. I haven’t heard too many different choices than Amazing Grace, however.

7. I’ve been craving some home-made pickles for years now. Not just any, but the kind my dear Great Grandmother made. It’s been over 20 years since she died, but I can still remember just how her dill pickles taste. No one in the family has even attempted to make them since. Today at the funeral I overheard someone wishing that they had asked Grandma H. for her home-made noodle recipe but now it was too late. Do you have any favorite foods that only one relative made, and the recipe died with them?
Whoopie Pies. Other people make ’em. You can even buy them in a store sometimes. But NOBODY makes them like my mother. (Though, my sainted wife can come close.) I have no idea how they were different. They just were.

BONUS: Is it true, all of those things that they say about you?
So tell me, tell me, tell me what am I supposed to do in the name of love…

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