Wednesday, March 03, 2010

When a Princess dies. ...

How does one plan a princess’s funeral? There are several handfuls of “princesses” who rule no kingdom, are princesses in name only in lands that are now Republics. Some don’t live in the lands from which their titles derive. They make baby clothes, write books, teach school or are in the military. Their neighbors may not even know them as a “princess.”

Some are aged. Some are mere children. But death is not a respecter of inheritance or “blood.” Princesses die, fading as does the summer grass.

So … assume you’re a princess facing death. How would you frame your final court, your last appearance?

I would like a small funeral. I don’t want every distant cousin flying in to attend a boring service, lie about how nice I was, or how talented, or how stupid or whatever it is they would say. I would rather a small family service, though there are a few friends who may wish to come.

The religion that I nominally identify with has a traditional service. It lasts about thirty minutes. I find it offensive. I’d rather not have it used. Traditionally the minister preaching the funeral dwells on the death state. I do not see it as a comfort to know that when you’re dead you’re truly dead.

I’m not sure what I’d use to replace the traditional service. All I know is I detest it.

I have some music preferences. None of them would be acceptable in a traditional service in that religion. I’d like Watts’ Am I a Soldier of the Cross sung. I’m sure that won’t happen. There are some in my family who would be offended at the words. But it’s what I’d like to happen.

Another tradition is a display of photographs and memorabilia. I can only think of three or four photos of myself that I’d include. I am not truly comfortable with this practice, but I know it brought comfort to family when gramma died. And a funeral isn’t for the comfort of the dead.

There are bits of me that I like. I’m sure they aren’t at all the things my family likes. If they decide to display “things” connected to my life, I’d like my APS gold medals displayed. I’m proud of those. I’d like other bits of recognition displayed. Yes, I know I’m vain. So? And, unusual for me though it is, I’d like my full name on the funeral notice. It doesn’t waste that much ink to print all the given names. I’m named after people my parents loved. Use the full name.

I do not want a grave side service. It’s traditional in our religion. I think it’s barbaric. Put me in the ground, turn me to ashes. What ever … but no service at the vault.

So … pretend you’re a princess or prince … how would you like to exit this world?

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