“In my time of dying, want nobody to mourn
All I want for you to do is take my body home”
Death…funny how someone can say something out of the blue make you stop and think about it sometimes. I was driving my mother somewhere the day after I got back from Italy and out of no where she says to me, “The cemetery called. You need to pick out your headstone.” Ummm…Wha-whaat?
Apparently, after my father passed away back in 2000, my mom decided to buy plots for us. Knowing her, she probably got a 2 for 1 deal or something crazy like that and well now it’s time for me to pick out my headstone. Ummmm…okay? I think. No, I think not.
“Well, well, well, so I can die easy”
Ever since then, I’ve been thinking about how I really want to “go” and what I want to happen after I go. I remember my father used to joke with us, before he passed away of a heart attack, that he wanted to be buried with is computer. Well, that’s what we did, sort of. At his viewing, he was staged with his hands on his keyboard and mouse, which did not go over well with my grandparents. But hey, dad had a crazy sense of humor (I totally take after him) and I’m sure he was looking down and laughing right along with us. Now, I’ve written and re-written this blog in my head a thousand times and after laughing about it over sangria’s with a couple of friends earlier this week, I think I have it all figured out.
“Meet me, Jesus, meet me. Meet me in the middle of the air
If my wings should fail me, Lord. Please meet me with another pair”
First of all, if for some crazy reason I die before I’m old and gray, let me either go peacefully in my sleep our running my ass off out on the trails somewhere. And hey, if I do it during an ultra, all the better. Just ask them to give the medal or buckle to my mom or sister, even though it’s a DNF. They’re going to just love me for this 😉
Second, throw a HUGE party and LAUGH! Tears are only allowed if you are belly-laughing your asses off. Eat great food, drink great drinks, and listen to awesome music. Celebrate my life, your life, and all life. It’s a precious thing and we should celebrate every chance we get. My running buddies…go for a gorgeous trail run in my honor, followed by beer and/or Bloody Mary’s. Oh and bacon too!
Oh, Saint Peter, at the gates of heaven… Won’t you let me in
I never did no harm. I never did no wrong
Third, I don’t want to be buried. I’m a little claustrophobic and spending eternity in a box (or until some real estate tycoon buys the cemetery and builds a community on it…think Poltergeist) just doesn’t appeal to me. Instead cremate me and scatter my ashes every where. Now, I don’t mean take my ashes and dump it all in one spot. I’m a wanderlust…I want to be EVERY WHERE! Divvy me up into little baggies and give them to people to take with them out on the trails or anywhere beautiful and sprinkle a little bit of me every where. I have this visual of my sister sitting at her dining room table scooping spoonfuls of “Sandy” into little baggies. OH!!! Take my ashes to all the ultramarathons that are on my bucket list, cross the finish line with your “little Bag-o-Sandy,” and sprinkle me there. (Note: It is illegal to scatter human ashes in some states…so tell them it’s just dirt from the trail 😉 )
Sprinkle a little of me at all the wonderful exotic places like Croatia, Australia, New Zealand and more. And of course all the cool places here in the US like Zion and Bryce Canyon. Don’t forget to leave a little bit of me in all of my happy places like Gunpowder and Loch Raven and take me to your happy place! Show me your favorite spot and sprinkle me there. I want to see and be in all the beautiful wonderful places!
Oh, I did somebody some good. Somebody some good…
Oh, did somebody some good. I must have did somebody some good…
Oh, I believe I did
I see the smiling faces
I know I must have left some traces
And the big question that gets asked from time to time when this subject comes up, “What do I want to be remembered for?” Well, I want to be remembered for making an impact on someone’s life. If in this lifetime I can impact just one person’s life for the better make them feel like they matter, make them want to be a better person, then my job here is done.
And I see them in the streets
And I see them in the field
And I hear them shouting under my feet
And I know it’s got to be real
Oh, Lord, deliver me
All the wrong I’ve done
You can deliver me, Lord
I only wanted to have some fun.
TELL ME – How would you like to go and what do you want done after you’re gone? How would you like to be remembered?
Lyrics from “In My Time of Dying” ~Led Zeppelin
I don’t want to die at all, Sandy. I will never live long enough to learn everything I want to learn. I picture myself as 309 years old, watching the passage of time and learning to be a concert pianist. Besides, who will cook exotic meals for my wife?
Reality being what it is, though, I think you hit it right on the head. I want to die running, or doing some other thing I love to do.
You wanna be a vampire too?!? Yes!!! Lol! If I had the opportunity to live forever, I would take it.
Oh my…well, I’ll take you to Australia and New Zealand..two of my favorite places! (if the timing works out..) Ok, that was just too weird for words. No, seriously..good for you for working it out early! Tough subject for most..you’re right about that box/plot thing…doesn’t sit well with me either. I told my husband what I wanted, hope he remembers!! haha
I know, right? Crazy! I’m hoping that I’ll be a centarian by the time that I go and have done and seen all the things.
Yes, I hope that too!
I would like people to say that I loved well, laughed a lot, spread joy and helped others. That I was kind and generous, positive and grateful, and made a difference. I would prefer to be cremated too, not entirely sure where I could have my ashes spread. Sedona is a definite option. As for how I would choose to die? That’s tough. I hope to live a long and (relatively) healthy life. If that’s not to be, then something sudden and painless, in my sleep or doing something I love (like running). But I’d worry about how people left behind would feel in that case. I like the concept of an Irish wake (w/o the alcohol) – a celebration of life, my life and how it intersected with yours. If I could inspire people to more goodness, joy, dream chasing in their own lives, that would be wonderful.
My brother died a few days ago. I haven’t been on WordPress in a while until today and I saw this. I may borrow those Led Zeppelin lyrics for my next post. I love them.
Absolutely. I’m so sorry for your loss. Hugs!