Monday, October 20, 2008

FUNERALS - Brett Battles

1. Which is the best funeral you ever visited?

At forty-six, you’d think I would have attended several funerals by now. But in actuality I think I’ve only attended two. One when I was probably only twelve or thirteen for a kid who was younger than I, and one five years ago for a friend and mentor who was only seven or so years older than I.

I would have to say the second was the best. It was more of a wake really. Happened at a home of a friend of my dead friend. Probably nearly two hundred people showed up. We stood around telling stories and laughing and remembering. That was good for all of us.

2. Which is the worst funeral you ever visited?

I would have to have been that first one I attended. The boy, Donnie, had died of leukemia at a far too young age. It was the first funeral I had ever attended. It was also open casket. My parents went with me, and said that I didn’t have to walk up and look in the casket if I didn’t want to. I actually don’t remember now if I did or not. But I do remember seeing his face sticking above the edge of the casket…now that I think about it, it was possible the casket was tilted toward the audience a bit.

I was on edge for weeks after that. In fact it still makes me sad when I think about it.

3. Did you make any plans for your own funeral?

Not yet. I’m planning on living forever. That’s possible, right?

4. What are your thoughts on burial in the soil versus cremation? Which is better? Which is better for you? (And did you hear about the Swedish method, not yet sanctioned, where the body and the casket is frozen very very cold, and then vibrated into a powder...? Apparently very friendly for the environment.)

Haven’t heard about that Swedish method. Sounds…jarring. Of course I guess you’re dead so it’s not as big a deal. I honestly don’t know between burial or cremation, which would be better for me. Sometimes I’ve thought it would be nice to have my ashes scattered across an area that I love…say the mountains or something like that.

5. And finally: Isn't it just odd that the word funeral starts with fun...? What are your thoughts on the very word? And what is the word for funeral in your language, if your first language isn't English?

Don’t know if it’s odd or not, but it certainly is ironic. Still, and this is kind of reaching back to a question or two before, I’d want my funeral to be fun. I’d want old friends telling funny stories about me. I’d want upbeat music. I’d want laughter. Okay, so maybe I have thought about my funeral a little bit.

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