I have been thinking alot about you lately and I have decided to embrace my inner Funeralzilla and plan you here.
Please don’t worry I have absolutely NO intention of shuffling off my mortal coil anytime soon but since my dad’s sudden death I think it is best to have it all planned.
Firstly- coffin- I want a cardboard coffin like my dad had- plain white. But I want anyone who wants to to be able to write messages, stick pictures on it and decorate it for me (don’t worry my body doesn’t need to be inside at the time). I want a seriously groovy personalised coffin to send me off with mementos from all my family and friends. Oh and this is a bit Miss Havisham sounding of me but can I be cremated in my wedding dress? It was the happiest day of my life and I ain’t never gonna wear the bugger again so I rather like the idea of getting one last wear out of it, especially as it was suitably gothic….
My middle name means white lady of the sea- so I had thought of a sea burial but I don’t like fish so a cremation is fine (ideally in a crematorium that is as eco as possible- I rather like the idea of my body heating a swimming pool or something.)
On my first ever date with Lord Curd we discussed favourite songs and both said Portishead: Roads was a fave and that we wanted it playing at our funerals- it was at that very moment in a little Indian restaurant in Cambridge I knew me&him were just meant to be!
(especially like the lyric “from this moment, how can it feel this wrong”- because it’ll be dead wrong from then on what with me being dead and all obviously!)
In terms of readings I want:
If I should die before the rest of you
If I should die before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone
Nor, when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must
Parting is hell.
But life goes on.
So sing as well.
(I played Joyce Grenfell doing her school teacher bit in my school play- it was fecking ace!)
What is dying?
I am standing upon that foreshore, a ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, “there! she’s gone!”
“Gone where?” “Gone from my sight, that’s all”, she is just as large in mast and spar and hull as ever she was when she left my side; just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at that moment when someone at my side says, “there! she’s gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “here she comes!”
And that is dying.
*This poem or a very similar one is often attributed to Victor Hugo or Henry Van Dyke
(I love the sea and being the prow of a ship was an ambition of mine as a kid – I was a weird kid!)
And then I guess a song or reading or poem that LordCurd and the girls pick for me to send me off- but if it is Brand New Heavies: Midnight at the Oasis – I will haunt you because that is my most hated hated tune ever!
I don’t want flowers but any donations should go to Amnesty (and if you felt like setting up some sexually healthy award type thing in my memory I would totally totally love that!). I would love for LordCurd to chuck a single red rose with a giant thunk onto the coffin like he did at his Nana’s funeral with some giant flower or other. We all giggled inappropriately and it was ace.
At the wake – be happy, get pissed have fun, do the gothic two step, blow bubbles and eat cake. Those are THE RULES.
Finally I want my ashes scattered in Wells where H&I got married (feed the swans with them or something 😉 , and if you were really feeling flush- on the grounds of Vulamasango Primary School in KaNyamazane Nr Nelspruit South Africa as that is one place that changed my life forever (but I won’t haunt you if you can’t arrange this)
If I am dead and you are reading this as you plan – please know that I loved you and I am sorry not to be with you anymore but know that somewhere somehow I am watching over you, be it as a plastic bag
(which is something I saw outside my window the morning after I found out my best friend had killed herself and it stuck with me)
or as a butterfly struggling in a window full of condensation
(which is something I saw the morning of my Dad’s funeral and again it stuck with me)
All my love to you all forever and always