During my daily commute I pass a small cemetery. Experiencing the death of a friend at a young age acts as a reminder of fragile, human mortality. Many of the twenty year olds I know wouldn’t even think about their own death, but I have.
I believe funerals do not need to be held in a church. The church has monopolized funerals simply because there really is no alternative; I suppose renting out the local recreation center doesn’t seem appropriate. Besides, churches just scream boring! Stiff, uncomfortable, bleacher-like rows where people are expected to sit for hours, daunting wooden crosses with the ghostly image of a broken, grief stricken man, not my style. A funeral should be held somewhere the person spent and enjoyed most of their time. A funeral should be held in the home, excuse me, a party should be held in the home. No priest will bless me as I make my journey into the mysterious afterlife he knows nothing of; no monotone scripture will be read over an open casket. The only thing I want to hear music, stories and laughter.
I want my loved ones to come to my home and remember who I was and what I stood for. I want them to party. I would like my family and closest friends to choose music that makes them think of me, music that we have enjoyed together. My “Funeral Jams” will be burned to a CD and given to everyone that attends my party. The music will be a backdrop for all the wonderfully funny and embarrassing moments I have had in a lifetime. I can almost guarantee someone brings up a fishing trip to Missouri. Late sleepers and trout fishing do not mix. Grandpa was so eager to get up and head to the stream. As I was getting ready for the long day ahead, I sat on the toilet of our motel to attempt to wake up. My dad came in twenty minutes later to find me hunched over sleeping like a baby. I have found that the best defense for grieving is sharing little, funny moments such as these.
All I have ever needed in life is family, friends, good music and laughter. Why would I want anything else in the afterlife? I believe in laughter. I believe in fast times and fond memories. I believe in spontaneity and hilarious, obscure references. I believe in breaking norms. I believe in jeers, not tears. When I die rock the house.