Tuesday, 14 October 2014

My Funeral

I've been thinking about my funeral lately. It's not a morbid kind of thing; it's the kind of planning that we should all do, the forethought required to make it easier for those left behind to deal with my remains. In some ways, it is kind of fun, as odd as that sounds. I think about what I would like done with my ashes, where I would like them spread; it reminds me of of the many places I have enjoyed so much over the years. Then there is the whole party things; I smile just thinking about it.

There are actually two options I have in mind for my final departure. The first is the Viking funeral option. I think it would be so cool to go out Valkyrie style, my body set into the frame of a small boat and pushed off shore, fire arrows shooting into the sail and hull, the flames from the tar soaked timbers rising black into the sky against the setting sun.

I envision this happening somewhere deep in the Broughton Archipelago, perhaps near Village Island or somewhere up Knight Inlet. Another alternative would be somewhere in Checleset Bay, off the west coast of Vancouver Island, or even somewhere in Desolation Sound, perhaps just off of East Redondo Island. Once the flames had finished with the wooden hull and my body, I would hope it all simply sinks under the weight of the various attached personal articles, like my weapons and shield. All I need to do is buy a shield.

The final step would be a party somewhere. Since I am dying with no money left, it will have to be a self-purchase bar. I apologize for this; it is what it is. Nonetheless I would hope that people would gather together somewhere, perhaps at a local pub or even possibly a rented hall, and spend some time telling nice lies about me, making me seem a much better person that I really was.

Since option one is highly unlikely thanks to cost and the Coast Guard having this thing about flaming boats on the pristine waters off the coast of BC, my second option is much more realistic. I would like a very simple cremation using the cheapest possible cardboard box as my casket. After all, it's going up in flames. You can do a "visitation" if you want but I am not in favour of them. I've seen dead people; they don't look as good as they do when they are alive. If you want a visit, do it while I am still here.

Once I am cremated, don't use some fancy expensive urn for my ashes. A cardboard box will do. After all, it's just ashes; I will be long gone by then. Take the ashes, safely secured in the box, and find a place to have a big party. Since I will be dead broke, you can ask for donations to cover the hall and people can buy their own liquor. However please make sure all of the wine left in my wine cellar is used at the party.

I don't really care about the location for the party, but I like the idea of seeing if the Cat 'N Fiddle pub will do a private function for it. After all, it used to be a mortuary. It's fitting. This would be an open party for all who wish to attend. Once again, people should feel free to tell stories that make me seem much nicer than I really am.

After the party, take my ashes to the coast. If you want, do another thing there for the folks in BC, perhaps in Abbotsford somewhere. Once again, don't spend a lot of money. I'm dead and cannot cover the costs. However, along the drive from Calgary to Vancouver, stop in a few mountain glades or beside a beautiful lake, and sprinkle a bit of me there. I love the mountains, the hunting, the fishing. When you finally get to the coast, ask one of my friends with a boat to take my ashes to sea. Once again the Broughton's or Desolation Sound spring to mind.

There is one last thing that really is important to me. When I die, soon after I die, please have a gathering of "the gang" along with my kids, my brothers, and Mom and Ray, here in my apartment. Drink the last of the liquor, except for the wine that might be needed for my funeral, eat the last of the food. Empty the fridge and pantry. Pretend that I am there with you; I will be. There are things here that belong to the gang, things they have left in my care. There are things here that some of them should have; I am sure you will figure it out. After all, these few things around me are really all I can leave behind.


  1. Good plan Richard. I think I may not be there , I'll be with you. love

  2. .Richard, I think everyone thinks of their final arrangements whether they are healthy or not. For me the ideal thing would be an "Irish Wake" . The people that choose to pay their final respects could eat, drink, dance and laugh. Most funeral homes in my immediate area would not allow this as most consider it a solemn occassion. To me a funeral should be a celebration of life.

    I like your ideal of the Viking funeral though.

  3. I am 60, and ill. I told my dad that-- if I died before him, which I probably will-- I want my ashes to be sprinkled in a field with horses in it. On a manure pile, whatever. It sounds flippant and sacrilegious, perhaps, But I don't care. Horses are my "everything."

    I hope your survivors will honor your love of boats and water. No matter how inconvenient, or expensive.