cartoonSo sorry for the sort-of series on death, but this one stuck my funny bone. Chatting with a friend today, we talked about how much we hate open caskets, how no-one looks “natural,” and how we wanted to be cremated, no matter what our religion is. Besides, funerals just bring the gawkers who want to see what you look like after all these years. But that’s the point, my friend said. She doesn’t want an open casket because no matter how “good” she looks, it won’t be her best look. If her friends can’t come to see her when she’s alive, then the devil be damned when she’s dead. In other words, close the casket or cremate her.

Ideally, said my friend, what she’d like is to have photos of herself posted around the memorial service. “Well,” I asked, “How can you be sure they’re the ones you’ll like?” We pondered that a bit because we definitely wouldn’t want shots from the back or the side, and if a child could be in front of us hiding our torsos, so much the better. What we need, I decided, was a “Funeral Approved” envelope of photos, to use when and if we passed away before our loved ones. A collection of “Use at will,” dead person-approved photos.

And speaking of wills…my husband and I have to get off our duffs and get them done. Maybe now that he’s seeing a parent die “the slow death” he can understand how important it is to make these decisions while he still has all his faculties. His parents died in their 80s, with their minds intact, and their bodies not too bad either. My dad died of cancer and it was lingering, but mom… well, who knows.