The beginning of 2013 was grim for many of my friends. I remember because my Facebook Newsfeed saw many posts about loved ones passing away. Then, March came and my last surviving grandparent also passed on.
This year, several of my friends have already been mourning the death of their family members. It is really sad and heart-wrenching. Makes me think about death and the sad, very sad reality that one’s journey on this earth has ended. For me, it makes me feel sad not knowing what’s next on the many events in this life — the unsatisfied curiosity — and the fact that sooner or later I will become insignificant to many people. They will mourn me, and then, they will move on. Suddenly I am all alone, in a casket, rotting, withered by the days, months, and years that will pass by.
Before that happens, let me send you all, those who care for me, some of my last wishes. Don’t think this is eerie or creepy, just a way for me to set my expectations when the time comes — many, many, many years from now, when I am over 100 years old — for me to bid farewell.
1. Flowers must be on a vase with water. I hate wreaths or garlands (korona), or floral arrangements on a tripod. If someone happens to send one on my wake, I trust that my family will refuse it and send it back. I also dislike flowers stuck on a banana trunk, or any flowers that are not placed in a vase with water. I would love some yellow tulips and red roses.
2. NO to ribbons. Make my casket clean. No ribbons and names of my entire clan pinned inside my coffin. No ribbons or sashes on flowers as well. People don’t need to know who donated which flower. This is my last hurrah here on earth; make it about me, not you.
3. Give financially in my memory. My family will accept monetary donations in my honor/memory with 100% of proceeds going towards a charitable organization close to my heart.
4. Lots and lots of singing. I want lots of music, hymns, and songs of different kinds, such as songs from Guns N Roses, The Cranberries, Queen, Air Supply, Chicago, Martin Nievera, Glee, Broadway, and Caedmon’s Call.
5. Please take over food. After my interment, I want my relatives and friends to take over food, so my family don’t have to prepare. People close to me know how much I love food and pot lucks. Please help clean up afterwards as well.
6. Please set a day for all my close friends and family to come together, have a worship moment, then proceed to do good in the community. You can do your own charity work together as a group or go volunteer in a charitable organization, such as feeding the homeless or working in a food bank. Again, those who know me well know how much I love volunteering. You can honor me by doing the same.
7. On my funeral, wear Disney-themed attire. At some point, I want “When you wish upon a star” played.
8. I want my DeMolay brothers to do a ceremony for me.
9. Never say or write the word “Condolence.” I hate this word and it means nothing. If you want to console my family, say or write it with your own words.
10. I want this poem displayed and read on my interment:
A Thousand Winds
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
This will be a running list, so I will update this down the road. Thanks so much!