Death is surprisingly simple. Maybe one of the simplest things we end up doing in life because it all comes down the heart. The heart just plain stops. For whatever reason, it becomes still. It’s after death that things get really complicated, kinda like weddings. Once your start planning one everyone has a have a say. Everyone imports what they want into a wedding, and into a funeral.
I was reading a Patreon post from Amanda Palmer (check her the post about Omega here, support to read it https://www.patreon.com/amandapalmer). It was about death and suicide. And while death could be argued to be the simplest thing we do it is the most complicated, complicated by emotions and feelings of all types: ambivalence, hate, anger, love, fear, pain, sadness, depression, gladness, relief, worry amongst a multitude of other things.
I was talking with a loved one. I told them my grandmother didn’t want a funeral. But as those left behind how do we honor the person that has died and yet honor our own need for closure? It’s a fine and tricky line. For my family, we opted for a bit of a wake. My mother was present for the internment. It was simple, it was sparse, it was family reminiscing about my grandmother and a reason for extended family to gather and spend time together when we rarely do.
My loved one piped up. I don’t want a funeral. I was taken aback. Funerals are for those whom are left behind. Funerals are for us. For us to find closure, for us to say goodbye. The family, friend or person that died is gone, they have done their part. What is left, is for us to pick up the pieces and find the strength to go on. I feel like funerals are there to do just that. Not sure if they are successful but I believe that’s their purpose.
I responded to my loved one was saying, “I’ll release 100 butterflies” they responded, “yeah! Id like that!” then they added “and billiards! I want there to be billiards.” I was like ok, interesting choice, but cool. Then I said “and beer, like a wake” They smiled “yes beer”.
Death is never easy. Even when you hope for someones pain to be relieved in it, death is still…so…very final, feeling. It may or not be, final, we won’t know until we go there (not wanting to rush anyone!) but maybe we can bring a little simplicity back to the processes that surround it? Have a conversation with your loved ones, it doesn’t have to be grand or deep or super emotional. Maybe just let them know something you would like or something you would like for them. Be creative. Be thoughtful. Be yourself. More importantly live a life that is true to you, be kind. That is the best gift you can give the world right now, we need you! Every single one! You are all important!
The Slow Minimalist