I woke up in the middle of the night with a complete plan for my own funeral.
It’s odd to have that degree of clarity and not consider it so fleeting that I should switch on the light and write it down on some random scrap of paper on the night table, like the back cover of The Girl on the Train.
But I knew I wouldn’t forget. No chance.
Here’s what I want:
I want the gathering to be in a place with a view of Lake Michigan. I want it to be in the morning. In a minute, you’ll see why.
I want there to be donuts. I want the donuts to be plain, cinnamon sugar, and powdered sugar. No branching out into chocolate donuts or Danish, no cinnamon rolls or jelly-filled. Just those three kinds. The donuts need to be fresh. Dunkin’ Donuts would be great. But not in boxes with that aggravating paper. The donuts need to be arranged on big paper doilies on silver trays and segregated by type.
Then I want there to be coffee. Very hot and pretty strong coffee. Not in those tricky little cardboard boxes either. I want the coffee to be in silver urns, fancy silver urns with the fancy handles and the spigot that could fill in as a pendant necklace for an extremely showy person. I want there to be Half and Half in a silver pitcher and sugar in a bowl. Silver spoons for stirring and cloth napkins, white ones. No tea and no decaf. Sorry, I am not all things to all people.
The cups need to be mugs. Red mugs. And good size, no little teacups for me. A hot cup of coffee in a red mug is an image worth saving. People could take their cups home. Have more coffee or plant peas in them. Up to them.
Then I want people to sit around or stand around and drink their coffee and eat their donut. Dunking the donuts would be a nice touch like dipping a finger into the Passover wine for each of the ten plagues. The donut dunking could be symbolic of something somebody could make up, like my single fault (if there is just one dunking) or my many fine qualities (if there is to be multiple dunkings).
Then anyone who feels like it can say something and everyone else has to listen. Speakers need to speak clearly, enunciate, not stand with the sun behind them and their face in the shadows and, though they may have to put their coffee and donut down, they should try to talk with their hands as much as possible. I will no longer need accommodations for hearing loss but somebody else in the room might. I will be in a small box on a table with my own red mug of very hot coffee with a lot of Half and Half, with a plain donut on a white napkin.
After an hour of this, standing around with people randomly deciding to speak up, someone in a position of authority needs to call an end to festivities. Tell people it’s time to go for a walk or get to work. Invite them to pick up a donut for the road and remind them to take their mugs. Shoo them out the door and do whatever comes next for me in the little box.
That’s what I want. It sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I would want to go to that funeral.