He Died With A Smile And A Song

 

On Thursday a friend of mine passed away.

By worldly accounts, he was probably the richest man I ever knew.  He was a founder of the Ultramatic bed and, along with his wife, one of the largest personal contributors to Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, ON with a stunning two-storey glass and steel encased lobby named after them.  He owned several high-end cars, and a handful of custom Harleys.  He loved his gold rings and his flamboyant attire, and was more of a fashion statement than I’ve ever seen on the cover of a magazine.  His own circle of friends included celebrities and he had a long-standing friendship with Canadian icon Gordie Tapp of Hee Haw fame, who was the spokesperson in many Ultramatic bed commercials.

But it won’t be his material wealth, his bling, his vehicles, or his famous connections that I will remember about him.  It will be his spiritual riches. Continue reading

It’s My Funeral So Everyone P-A-R-T-Y!

The Life Of Marianne:   Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

People get ready!  We’re gonna have a party!  Only God knows when it will be, where it will be, and how it will take place but my death will happen.  I won’t have much control, if any, over any of those things but what I do have some control over now is planning the party that will take place after it.  Yes, I said party.

I don’t want some dark and gloomy funeral where everyone is crying over the loss of me in their lives.  I want better than that, more than that, especially for my own children.  Yes, I know there will be tears, I know I have family and friends who will be sad at my passing.  But I want the overriding theme for all to be a celebration of the wonderful, meaningful, and even corny & quirky things that made me me, and how that me meant something positive to them.

The inspiration behind this plan came from two sources.  One was my mother.  Long before she even became ill, she would joke about her funeral being a party and what a fun time it would be.  After she got sick and as she knew her life’s end was nearing, she took the reigns and told us her wishes for her final days if they were possible.  She got what she wanted.  My brother, sister-in-law, and I held her hand as she took her last breath in a hospice here in Guelph where I live now and she had previously lived.  And three months later, we threw her a party at the place that had been her home with her husband, my step-dad, for some years.  It was a beautiful sunny May day, along the waterside, and we truly did have fun celebrating the awesomeness of my mom.

Some of my other vision for my funeral came to me while reading “Who Will Cry When You Die?”, a book by one of my favourite authors, Robin Sharma, the man behind “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”.  It was then that I started to actually put my thoughts to print so should my death come unexpectedly, my family would know some of my wishes.  The first thing I started to write out was a playlist of songs.  Music is the soundtrack to my life, and when I’m not sure what it is I want to express to someone, I often turn to lyrics to help guide me.  On that playlist are some of the songs I want dedicated to my loved ones.  Others are on there because they’ve had some meaning in my own life.  There are some sappy ones on it because like I’ve said before, a dose of sappy every now and then is good for the soul.  But there are a lot of happy ones too.  I want people to smile, sing along, and even dance.  Remember, it’s a party.

This post idea came from today’s Daily Prompt:  Festivus for the Rest of Us.  I could write a whole other post on all of the songs on my funeral playlist, maybe I will one day.  And yet another post on the rest of the details I have planned out like location and food and such.  But I’ll finish up this post on a music note.  I have picked one song to be the theme of my funeral.  One that has some life lessons in it.  A song that many will have heard and will remember seeing in the comedy movie it comes from.  A song that talks about death in an honest way, but at the same time in a lighthearted manner too.  A song that makes me smile every time I hear it.  That song is:  “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” from Monty Python’s “The Life Of Brian”.  Here’s an excerpt from the lyrics I love:

“For life is quite absurd, and death’s the final word, you must always face the curtain with a bow,

Forget about your sin, give the audience a grin, enjoy it, it’s your last chance anyhow”