I met a casual acquaintance the other day, when I was shopping for the various sundry items needed for the mundane life...
She and I had met as she visited her mother at The Gardens at Qualicum Beach, approximately at the same time as I did. She gave her condolences to me, for my mother's death. I thanked her, and we chatted on a bit, catching up on news.
She asked if there was to be a memorial for my mother; I said yes, it was upcoming. She was aware of my fractured family and so she smiled, as I grinned back, both of us fully aware the other understood. She has five brothers.
She told me of a man she knew who had recently died. He had four offspring, who were at each other's throats at a moment's notice. This fellow left four tickets on a cruise ship for his children, with express wishes that the rest of his inheritance would go to charity, if they did not all go on this cruise...all at the same time! And it was a long cruise.
He wanted his ashes distributed upon the high seas, with the four of them in attendance.
Blinking my eyes against a vision of a burning ship, should this have happened to my family, I laughed and said...wouldn't it be great if we could plan our wakes to the nth degree.
She said...it's the final controlling gesture!
As I trundled off with my basket, I mused on that...
I had difficulty with it; I sat on what my idea of a fantasy wake would be for a few days. I could not get it out of my mind, it was first and foremost. Are our last wishes a controlling force to the ones left behind...or are they an encapsulation of how we perceive our lives? I couldn't come up with the answer; in the end, it didn't matter.
Since I couldn't seem to leave the subject alone, I decided to write about it...and perhaps that's what I'm meant to do.
When my life ends, I want a celebration...a party...a good old fashioned wake, where everybody tells a story or two about my peccadilloes...and there are many.
I want laughter and music. I want good energy; I will do everything I can from wherever I am to enable the positive, loving energy I desire, at my wake.
I don't want people to remember how I can whine endlessly, about a problem or an ache. I don't want people to remember my dark moods, my impossible anger, my obsessions...
I don't want hushed funeral parlours. I want fresh Air, a Bonfire that sends sparks to the Heavens, Wind that frolics with the Trees, and Water, be it Ocean or River, that takes the grief and tears, and washes them clean.
I want music...something from the past that makes people sway and tap their feet. I want a celebration.
Because, deep inside of me, I feel that Death is a reward for a life well-lived. I believe that Birth and Death are each a beginning...a start anew. A birth and a re-birth.
I don't believe it is up to the remaining people on this plane to take the life of another and judge how they lived it, in a negative manner, at my wake.
I want humourous anecdotes...the kind where acceptance of the person I was runs deep.
I want my loved ones to let go of the deep, hidden hurts I've inflicted, to throw those black, stinking piles of garbage held deep inside, into the Water. I want them to realize, then, that I meant the best, always. Always. But sometimes, it was the best for me, as well.
The people I leave behind must be ready for a celebration of this kind, where laughter prevails and forgiveness begins. It can take awhile, to get to a place such as this, when a death occurs.
And so, at my Wake, I want a Wise Woman or Man, someone who knows the old ways, to help facilitate, to find fragments of Soul and mend them, give them back to the rightful owner, so all may feel at peace.
I want laughter. Clear, shiny peals of laughter, that echoes amongst the Trees, is taken by the Wind and dropped into needful places. I need the giggles of children, a chuckle from elders and uproarious guffaws from the in between. I would want as much joy for my passage as there is at a newborn's arrival.
I would want, in my fantasy wake, first and foremost, a healing place.
My fantasy wake doesn't include cruises to far-off places, although I know my daughter would approve...
It only lets me know that everybody left behind will be alright without me; they love me and miss me...and that it's okay for me to go.
Leaving the rest to their joyful celebration.