But suppose it hurts...

Friday, August 1, 2008

I was listening to a radio talk show today and a listener called in with a moral dilemma. It seems his dying grandfather had made it widely known he did not want a funeral and, instead, wished for the family to have a party in his honor at a later date. The family was divided over whether to honor the man’s wishes, or to proceed with the funeral because it made them feel better.

This reminded me of a conversation I had with Mr. Jelly Belly, a man of few words. When you read this, you will think he is a nut but, mostly, he is not.

MJB: When I die I don’t want to be embalmed.
Me: Why not?
MJB: It might hurt.
Me: You’ll be dead…it won’t hurt.
MJB: But you don’t KNOW that.
Me: I’m reasonably certain…
MJB: But you don’t know for sure.
Me: No, but if you think it hurts to be embalmed wouldn’t you think it would also hurt to be cremated?
MJB: Yes, and that’s why I don’t want to be cremated, either.
Me: Are you serious?
MJB: Dead serious. [he’s so comical]
Me: So, let me get this straight…when you’re dead I am not to let them embalm you OR cremate you?
MJB: Correct.
Me: Just dump you right into the ground?
MJB: Correct.
Me: You realize, don’t you, that you will have to buried within 24 hours if you aren’t embalmed, right?
MJB: Not my problem.
Me: [Sigh.] Okay.

So as ludicrous as I think this is, that is exactly what I’m going to do when he’s gone. Plop him right into the ground without benefit of embalming fluid or fire. Because that’s what he wants and I will respect his wishes. Just as I expect him to respect my wishes to be both embalmed AND cremated - because I want to be damn sure I’m dead before there is any body disposing going on.

Of course the jury’s still out as to whether or not I will respect his wishes to keep him on life support until planet earth explodes. He’s convinced he could miraculously recover and pop right out of that hospital bed after 30 years or so. He reminds me that this happens all the time.

Yeah. We’ll see…


Cyndi said...

But won't it hurt when worms nibble on him?

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

I am NOT bringing that up. The options are already down to about nothing here!