Tag: funerals

The Final Disposition


Unlike dumb animals, who leave their dead lying around willy-nilly, we humans, philosophic and spiritual beings that we are, seem to have a need to invest meaning in our mortal remains.

You might be an educator who arranges to have your corpse plasticized (see right). In that way, you can continue teaching after death when your plasticized corpse tours with Body Worlds (an exhibition of plasticized bodies). Your mortal remains, twisted into all sorts of fantastic poses, will help teach the world what the insides of a human body look like in action.  Muy macabre.

If you’ve loved Mother Nature throughout your life, the hippest way to invest meaning in your mortal remains is to arrange for a green burial.  In a green burial, the cemetery usually has no gravestones, rows, or urns. Your loved ones may come to the graveyard service to listen to a eulogy — and end up helping to dig the burial pit.  Your mortal remains, wearing only a shroud (and unembalmed), will therefore return to the earth much more quickly than it would in a traditional burial.  A natural stone, or sometimes even GPS coordinates, identifies the location of the grave.  Muy romantic.

Member Post


Flower shops are one of the businesses that directly profit from death.  Alongside weddings, funerals are major sources of income.  When important people die, that’s usually the source of huge orders for flowers.  As death is one of the constants of the world, there are no exceptions for holidays.   Thus, as I stumbled down the […]

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One of the things about the small town I live in is the annual Pauper Funeral.  It’s a nice way to help those with little or no resources to bury their loved ones, and for those who’ve passed away with no known relatives: https://www.postandcourier.com/aikenstandard/news/local/aiken-county-community-pays-respects-to-10-laid-to-rest-at-annual-pauper-funeral/article_af5433e6-1544-11eb-b0a1-1fa53d231bb4.html Preview Open

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Last Things


Mark Twain once wrote, “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” I’ve always liked Twain, probably because his temperament and philosophy pretty much match my own. I’m in a Twain state of mind this morning, so I thought I’d use Twain as my spirit guide as I write a post on last things.

OK then, first things first: last words. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave a good last impression. Here’s Mark Twain with a hint to help us to do just that: “A man should be as particular about his last words as he is about his last breath. He should write them out on a slip of paper. . . .and never leave such a thing to the last hour of his life.”

Service…As in: When I’m Dead, Use this Music at My Service


I’ve been to many funerals in my life. Some were a celebration held after a long life. Some were a remembrance of a loved one gone too soon, but thankfully relieved from a vicious period of suffering. Some were really painful because the loved one was taken in a sudden tragic way. But, the highlight of every one of these services was the music. Music at a funeral is critical because one’s soul is touched by music in an incomparable way.

Mr. CowGirl and I have (jokingly) (…well, maybe not “jokingly”) told our children that the only thing that matters at our funerals IS the music. We keep compiling lists of songs that our talented children will be required to perform. There won’t necessarily be time left for eulogies or sermons because, the older we get, the more music we keep finding that defines our lives.

Quote of the Day: Perfection on Every Level


“We held our nation’s fallen heroes close to our hearts in everything we did. From the care of our uniforms to the precision of our marching to the grooming of our horses, it was our sacred duty to honor the fallen in ways big and small. Our standard was simple: perfection on every level. A funeral in Arlington is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the family. And for us, service in Arlington National Cemetery was a once-in-a-lifetime privilege.” — Tom Cotton, Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery

Ordinarily, I don’t encourage people to strive for perfection; those who do are generally disappointed because, in everyday life, it is nearly impossible to achieve. Also, perfectionists are usually unhappy because they are preoccupied with demanding perfection of themselves and everyone else. It’s not a pretty picture.

But in his book, Tom Cotton convinced me that perfection was a goal worth striving for, on every level, if a person served on The Old Guard, as he did. There must be times, unseen by anyone else, where members of The Old Guard make mistakes, but they carry on. In the heat of vicious summer weather, a member might faint, and without missing a beat, a colleague would pick him up and carry him off—perfectly.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are baffled by the lack of media coverage about a New Mexico compound where starving children were reportedly being trained to carry out school shootings, and they find, once again, that the FBI responded slowly to compelling tips.  They also continue to find entertainment in socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is now claiming that medicare-for-all would eliminate funeral expenses.  And they wonder why Florida Sen. Bill Nelson had made claims about Russian interference in the election when no state official has heard anything about it.

Getting Away from Depressing Politics, Let’s Talk About Death



As a pastor doing premarital counseling, I would sometimes shock the bride-to-be with the news that the wedding wasn’t just about her. It wasn’t even just about the bride and groom. Unless they were going alone to city hall, the family and guests are a vital part of the ceremony and must be considered in the planning. That didn’t mean they had to do a wedding just like her mother wanted, but the feelings, needs, and convenience of others needed to be a part of the plans. If she can’t get her mind around the concept that other people should be considered, I wonder about the hope for a lasting marriage.