Won’t You Come To My Funeral

This post is influenced by two episodes of two totally different tv series that I watched within the last 12 hours. It’s about funerals & death. :) Last night during dinner I was watching tv (yes one of the now extremely rare occasions that I find myself watching a full show on the television) in particular an episode from Bones season 6, ‘The Hole In The Heart‘. In it a lab-assistant is killed by a renegade sniper who meant to shoot FBI Agent Booth. At the end of the episode, the cast of Bones gather round their dead colleague’s body which is to be sent to England for the funeral. As one of the characters state that The Coconut song (by Harry Nilsson) was their dead colleague’s favourite song – slowly one by one the cast start singing the silly lyrics to that song as they bid farewell to their colleague. It’s funny lyrics like:

Bruder bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime,
His sister had anudder one she paid it for de lime.

She put de lime in de coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up
She put de lime in de coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up.
She put de lime in de coconut, she drank ’em bot’ up
She put de lime in de coconut, she call de doctor, woke ‘im up

This morning just as soon as I woke up I watched a Star Trek TNG episode from season 5, The Next Phase. Data has to organize a memorial to two crew members, Geordie La Forge & Ensign Ro Laren, who are though to have died.  The memorial/funeral turns out into more of a festival wake and a celebration, with a jazz band and everyone mingles and talks about fond memories of the two ‘presumed’ dead comrades. Now the memorial turns so because Data could not decide as to which custom to follow but the end result was more appropriate & fitting. This made me wonder and I ask anyone who reads this as well, how would you like your funeral/memorial to be?

When I die, I’ll you how I DON’T want it to be: the typical Hindu ceremony that we follow here in Kerala – with a lot of pompous talk and ritualistic mumbo jumbo. That means no rituals,  no pandits or poojaris or swamis. I don’t deal with religion & gods when I am alive so why the fuck would I want it to be part of my death? No people standing around just because they are expected to. Rituals & crap are great if you want to go that way, if it comforts you great – but you can lie about it, I just don’t buy it – but it is less about the actual person who died than about some age old bullshit that has been handed down for generations and conducted by someone you know nothing about. While there must be some order and people who can arrange things, I’d want you to have a nice time!

I’d leave you a playlist of my fav songs, songs that mean something to me and you can listen to it as the day goes on. Have some good food & drink; share in the stuff that I liked. Watch clips of my fav movies & tv series and have a football theme. Or better yet, a Star Trek theme. Laugh at the comedies that I found funny and cringe at the horror stuff. Enjoy yourself and experience something of who I was. That’s the way a funeral should be. And the end should just be the people closest to me, having dinner and talking about me and about things I did and how I affected their lives. That should be great.

So if you are gonna burn my dead body do it my way! Or else, I’ll come back and haunt the living shit outta you!!!! Beware…..

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