Thursday, December 29, 2011

Death and Control

I went to a memorial tonight.  It made me think about what I might like mine to be like, especially if it happened early in my life, like this woman who was my age and left behind a 3-year-old.

By all accounts, this woman was quite extraordinary.  I have no reason to doubt it, I didn't really know her.

However, if it were me, let's face it, I'm far from perfect.  I'd hate to have a bunch of people stand up there and paint a picture of me that wasn't completely accurate.   I think it would be fine to admit that.  Then it's like you loved me despite my imperfections.   It would be even more telling for those who attended.

I'd also like to make a video to be shown.  Originally I was thinking of a "If you're watching this, I'm dead."  But maybe that's not appropriate for a church.  Perhaps I should make one like that and ask someone to post it to YouTube for me.  But I have an idea of a video that I think I ought to make and have on standby.  It would be timeless and really reflective of me.

They had a cool version of Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) playing when we arrived.  They also played Sarah McLachlan's "Arms of an Angel" and "Shiny Eyes" (lyrics) by Flatfoot 56 during the video.  Shiny Eyes was a kind of upbeat sounding song, until you paid attention the lyrics, a warning and a suggestion they provided before the video started.  Her husband a played a song he had composed for her that was cool that talked about when he saw her again that he'd never let her go.

I've always thought "You're Not Alone" by Amy Grant was one I'd like at mine.  It's actually talking about the end of a love, but the chorus talks about, well, not being "alone in this world" and I like the notion of that having a double-meaning, both of other people surrounding them who love them and that God is also still with them.  So now I'm not so sure, but I do kind of like it.

"Slow Me Down" by Emily Rossum is also good.  I suppose if I were going to leave real instructions, I'd probably have to look at the songs on iTunes and make a real list of possibilities.

Yeah, I'm liking the video idea.  I'd have to find some time when no one else is around to record it.

Anyhow, if there's a funny side to all of this, I've been recently wrestling with control issues (or feeling out of control).  And then here's a situation where you could say whatever you want, but when the time comes, you really don't have any control.  I could leave a list a mile long and they could say "Forget it.  We are not cremating you and putting your ashes in a a flower garden in our back yard."  (I'm not suggesting that.)

If there was one thing I'd really like there to be in my service, whenever it is, is a really well-executed message of hope, one that's woven into everything.

I have a whole other set of thoughts around what memorials are really for.  I'm tempted to write a second post on that another day.  But for now, enough about death.
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