Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie... Or Anywhere Else, for That Matter

Elizabethtown (Widescreen Edition)Last night I bought a copy of Elizabethtown at StuffMart. Perhaps it's a sign of my rapidly accelerated aging process in the last few years, but the first time I saw the movie, I really keyed in to the great music, the Paul Varjak/Holly Golightly-type almost-romance between two beautiful people who were truly friends first, and the process of overcoming epic failure to come out an optimist on the other side.

This time, all I could focus on was the family's disagreement over whether to bury or cremate poor, dead Mitch.

The remainder of my living years will be devoted to a campaign to ensure no one plants my body in the ground. People in my family just don't get buried. We just don't do it. In fact, I personally think it's sort of gross, imagining my body being pickled, removed of its internal plumbing, and housed in a box that costs more than my dilapidated Honda before dropping into the dirt.

I'll take an order of Cremation with a side of Sprinkle Me Somewhere Special, thank you very much.

When my breathing voucher expires, harvest anything that anyone might need; send the rest to University of Washington. Let the med students cut me apart, scrape my cells, analyze my kidneys, find a cure for cancer... It doesn't matter to me. I'll be done with that body.

When they're done, have them fire me up, then take my ashes to where you remember me. Leave some in the garden at Hemingway's Key West home. Dust the blooms in the Woodland Park rose garden.  Toss some off the side of a sea kayak in Sanibel Harbor. Throw some in the dirt at Hiroshima Peace Park.

Remember me where I lived, not where my dead body ends up. 

Go to places of beauty to honor my memory. Don't give me a marker in some graveyard that meant nothing to me in life. Grow flowers in remembrance; don't cut them and leave them somewhere in a place of sadness. Celebrate your memory of my life by living yours.

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