I’m a real strange guy sometimes (other people may have a difference of opinion) but who do you know that listens to a song on an Ipod and thinks, “Man, that would be a great song for my funeral!”

I said that exact thing to my wife tonight and she looked at me with that ‘you are gone’ kind of look.

Now I’m not obsessed with “getting my halo” but isn’t it at least human to think about it now and then?
Maybe it’s even normal . . .

Or maybe I’m just in love with all the wonderfully and mortally-challenged euphemisms associated with “sleeping with the quiches”. (so much for the overuse of adverbs, right?)

I’ll admit that thinking about caskets and what to wear for that “eternal suit” is out a bit there (Wake me in my favorite “Jazz” shirt with Ornette Coleman on it, please) and may actually signal a need for serious professional help but I’m thinking about this from an entertainment angle.

Alright, many “earth baths” are dreadfully sad.
With all the nasty diseases that plague this planet there are arguably more “sad” deaths than “happy” ones, if you know what I mean.

Maybe I feel the way I do because of the way my mother died; which unfortunately is the same way my father will die.
That really sucks and there’s nothing remotely funny there.
But some of the memories are funny; and we need desperately to remember some of those. We have to.

I want people to walk out of the church after my service and say, “Man, what an awesome funeral! Great tunes and I never laughed so much in my life!”

I sell Lenny Clarke cigars; maybe he’d do my eulogy for a box of Arturo Fuente Chateau’s.
I can only hope.

Death is just way too serious a thing for me, I guess.

I honestly think that when you “mail in your final warranty card” you also put an end to all of the never-ending bullshit you could never deal with when you were actually breathing.

Obviously, breathing was something you immensely enjoyed doing but hey, that’s all over now, buddy.

Maybe you get gills in the afterlife.

It’s all just a big maybe because no one really knows (except for maybe Smith, a closet theologian at heart)

I don’t mean to make light of taking part in singing with the angels but it is part of the overall human experience.

All I ask is that my family sees me off with a few laughs, as long as I go somewhat naturally.

Is that so wrong?

Once again, another big maybe . . .

If you’re curious about what song inspired this post
(and you like a cappella religious/gospel music ala Take Six) check out Eventide.

There are a few copies selling for pretty cheap and I have to say the singing/arranging is quite impressive.
Amazing actually . . .
Check out “For All the Saints”, a song you’ve heard many times before but never like this.
I thank my buddy Eliud for the CD.
Made my ride home easy tonight . . .

(Talk about scraping the bottom of the blogging barrel
for a post, huh?)


16 thoughts on “Maybe

  1. My cousin’s husband knew he was dying and made sure the music would be memorable. One of his cousins is Willie Nelson but unfortunately he couldn’t come up to KC to sing, but he sent his daughter who did a kick-ass Will the Circle (be Unbroken). He also had some great old gospel tunes sprinkled in during the service. That was a funeral we all walked out of and said “wow. cool music.” My own funeral music selection has been meticulously fine-tuned over the years, so I don’t think you’re weird at all. We just really, really want our mourners to be well-entertained! (and inspired by our obvious musical genius).

    Maybe we should be thinking about a tip jar next to the casket . . .


  2. Hey! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one to utter that phrase outloud and get strange looks for it!!!! Only mine tend to be quirky Broadway songs… not sure what that says about me… I have also threatened my family with a haunting if there is a preacher at my funeral… I want more of an old fashioned Irish wake… Everyone sitting around telling stories about times I made them grin and some of the stupid things I did to make their days brighter. I want it to be about remembering the good and NOT about the whole “she is in a better place” and “oh we are so sad she is gone” kind of thing.

    Old fashioned Irish wake works for me as well.
    Quirky Broadway tunes?
    Oh my, that gave me a giggle.
    I’d love to know a few that you have your heart set on. That’s classic and unique.
    I, too, have threatened a haunting if “Deacon Blues” by Steely Dan isn’t played.
    Just call me Meester Poltergeist . . .


  3. amazing how many people jump in once someone broaches a subject noone likes to mention out loud isn’t it?
    my funeral will be no quiet affair if i have my way…the service part doesn’t overly concern me but afterwards? let’s party! lots of music and story telling…haven’t thought about the music too much though…i probably will now!
    i’ve told everyone, the girls included, if they cry that i’m gone instead of smiling that i’ve been, i’m coming back to haunt them! i’ll be sitting on the ends of their beds holding my head under my arm! 😆
    my attitude towards death has done a bit of a turn around the last few months… a good way that is…

    Smiling because you’ve been . . . what a wonderful way to look at it.
    I really like that.
    Music and storytelling?
    You must be reading my mind, Moe 😉


  4. I would think that everyone thinks about their death at one time or another. Especially as we grow older, that seems to be natural. I think about it from time to time for sure. I think it’s awesome that you hear a song, it flitters through your ear and lights you up, hitting on all of the things that define you and you want everyone to know how you felt, what life meant to you, how you were happy, and thoughtful. Sometimes, I hear a song like that and it instantly makes me happy. I do think about it playing at my funeral (because I made the music c.d.’s for my father- for his funeral) .

    It will be like sending off the perfect goodbye message to all of my loved ones. Then, they can hear that beautiful song one day, think of me maybe, and smile.

    I know when I hear a song that my father loved, it instantly melts me. If people are talking, I say, “shush! this is one of papa’s songs…” and I just revel in it!

    because I made the music c.d.’s for my father- for his funeral
    I did the same thing for my mother.
    The song I heard the other day just seemed to go right through me, goosebumps and all.
    I’m not a religious music fanatic because I feel the style is harmonically lame and a bit too “royal”.
    Of the few songs that I actually like to hear in church this song has always been one of them.
    What I heard the other day took me completely by surprise.
    I love when that happens.
    And as far as music evoking memories?
    God, yes. Almost daily for me.
    Thanks, Bella


  5. M`
    A quote and no, not by ME!
    “When you’re born, you’re crying and everyone around you is smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you’ll be smiling while everyone around you is crying” Huard H. “Doc” Eubanks

    Good topic-I go down this road all the time just so those left behind get it right and know that I don’t want any of the bullshit.

    We stand firmly together on the bullshit issue.
    I kinda figured. :0)
    Great quote, buddy
    Thanks, Laho


  6. Hey Mikey,
    I don’t know if it’s normal or just some twisted gene that writers possess but yeah, I’m with you on that. I never really thought of the score for my funeral but I definitely have thought about the entertainment line up. Zelda would definitely give the eulogy, preferrably in her high pitched Monty Python voice. I want a fountain with free flowing margaritas. A lot of good munchies. If possible little gift bags for my ‘mourners’ and rather than an urn, I’d prefer they put my ashes in an old peanut butter jar, drive it over to Hollywood and Vine and sprinkle it on the tourists and celeb wannabe’s on a Friday night.

    Since I won’t have a headstone, maybe we could get a sky writer to leave a final message from me in the sky.

    Sorry for going on and on, but you brought it up. 😉

    You can go on and on anytime you want kiddo.
    There’s a bevy of brilliant ideas here.
    Zelda’s eulogy with the Monty Python voice, gift bags for the mourners, PB jar for the ashes.
    I would, however, have to change the fountain from Margarita’s to Guinness.
    I’m thinking you knew that anyway 😉


  7. Nah, it’s natural to think about it occasionally. Besides, after a heartwrenching event like a funeral, wouldn’t anyone want the departing to be more of a celebration where people leave with catchy tunes going through their head, a smile, laughing eyes and happy memories in tow?

    My thoughts exactly.
    As far as “natural” goes, I think it’s all part of the inner workings of the psyche


  8. Ive done it too. Hear a song on the radio and think, ‘hey, this sounds about right for me!’ And my dad has always told me that he wants a Metallica song at his funeral, and he wants to be dressed in his biboveralls, because he ain’t a suit wearing man when he’s on Earth, he sure won’t be one when he’s dead.
    Great post, Michael.

    Metallica, huh? Wow, that’s one extremely funky dad.
    I’m really curious about what song he’d pick.
    Does he have a few picked out?
    Let me know. This could be good. 😉


  9. I have no idea really but I oughta get a thinkin’ on it since I’m where I’m at but you did bring up some memories of our friend Dave who died of leukemia. At the funeral home they played Pink Floyd’s “Wish you were here” and everyone there was looking around with bewildered looks on their faces.

    This is the same Dave that used to joke about how he’d like to be buried and have his friends and family put some speakers near his grave and hide in the bushes with microphones and if anyone came near to start whispering, “Dave’s not here”.

    We had alot of fun with Dave. Miss ya bro.

    Peace, love and fun funerals.

    It’s sad that we lose too many of the good ones, ya know?
    Dave sounds like the kind of guy that was a total blast to hang out with.
    I want a bumpersticker on my casket that says “I’d rather be breathing”, maybe even a mood ring for good measure.
    As far as “Dave’s not here”, I disagree because he most certainly is. :0)
    He lives on all because of a simple comment or two. How cool is that?


  10. Finally, someone who wants a funeral like how I want mine- awesome!

    Funerals are way too drab and somber these days. Instead of eulogies, why not have rap battles about the person’s life? Hell, (no pun intended) why don’t we roast (make fun of, not literally roast) the dead guy? Instead of lowering the casket into the grave, why not fire it from a cannon?

    Sadly, nobody will be as jaunty and upbeat as I would want them to be. All the hot girls would be crying their eyes out.

    Why not actually “roast” the dead guy? It’s a thought.
    Firing from a cannon is just sheer brilliance. Sign me up.
    Hot girls crying? Maybe for you . . . :0)


  11. A few songs come to mind for myself…..
    Life is a highway by Tom Cochrane, Saturday night by Bon Jovi, Sexy noises by Salt n Pepa, and of course I would love for James Morrison to play trumpet – just jamming with a great band while everyone sat around and did the whole “Remember when she…”
    I think thinking about death is not really much different to thinking about life, after all, without one we don’t have the other….
    Hope your weekend was a good one buddy

    No Bon Jovi or Salt and Pepa for me, kiddo, sorry
    It that’s what does it for you, rock on!
    Interesting what works for different folks


  12. Everytime I visit I come away with great ideas. Now I have to go plan my grand departure. Yes, I want them laughing in the aisles…no tears. You guys are crazy, we must be related.

    Must be. 😉


  13. Closet theologian, eh? Well, I’ve been called worse.

    Music for my funeral? First choice: Mozart’s Requiem. After all, it’s in D minor, and we both know what that means. But it’s too dman long, and nobody would sit through it anyway.

    Second choice? The Adagio from Barber’s Cello Concerto (not to be confused with the Adagio for Strings–too overplayed). It’s quite poignant, and short enough so as not to make everyone at the funeral glad that I died in the first place.

    But those are MY choices. What I suspect will happen is that someone will remember that my favorite group was The Byrds, and play a song by them called, “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better (When You’re Gone)” 😉


    The Byrds rocked, dude. I say an all “Byrd’s” funeral.
    How cool would that be?


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