Did you ever envision your own funeral? Ever wonder what’s going to be said about you when you’re gone? Are people going to cry genuine tears of grief or are they merely there for the spectacle or out of some twisted sense of obligation?
Here’s my story….
I think I died a long, long time ago. It didn’t happen all at once but seemed more like some sort of evolutionary process (if you can say that about dying). It was like little pieces of me just decided to stop working. One by one, my body seemed to be shutting itself down and it did it with all of the emotion of airline pilots as they go through their pre-flight checklist.
And so on and so on until all that remained was a faint pulse and a semi functioning brain. The brain in question was filled with fears about what was going to happen next. Where would my soul, if indeed I had one, wind up? What was to become of me? What kind of life had I lived? What was to be my legacy?
I don’t know how long it took. I suppose it could have taken years or it might have only been a matter of seconds. The exact moment in time probably doesn’t matter. But all at once I just stopped caring and there was nothing but darkness.
Darkness and silence.
And then the moment passed and while the darkness remained, the silence was broken by the sounds of my own funeral. I couldn’t see the faces but I was able to recognize some of the voices. The voices belonged to whom I considered during my lifetime, of friends and family. They were also of acquaintances, some long since forgotten and some still fresh in whatever was left of my mind. I struggled to hear what they had to say about me, about my life and how I conducted myself. I expected to hear about how they felt about losing someone who was near and dear to them. The old adage about speaking kindly the dead entered into my thoughts and strained I to hear each and every word.
I don’t know if one can suffer such a thing a disappointment after they have died. I do know that the words that I struggled so hard to hear at my own funeral didn’t offer me any comfort. There was no platitudes or praise forthcoming. Only complaints and sour stories about how I lived my life. The wretched and horrible deeds that I did during my lifetime took center stage during these overheard conversations. The re-enactment of many an episode where I caused pain and suffering to my loved ones were told and re-told. My unscrupulous business dealings were talked over in hushed conversations among my former partners. Not a kind or soothing word about me has been spoken. If any are, I can’t hear them.
I wish to myself that I had lived a better life. I wish these people that were near and dear to me had spoken up while I was still alive. Maybe I would have taken heed of their words and changed some of my ways. Maybe I would have learned something. But as for now, in my state of death, the voices don’t stop.
I offer up feeble prayers to whatever God I had chosen to ignore during my lifetime. I beseech him or her to make the voices and the words that accompany them go away. My prayers go unanswered.
Since I have no concept of days and nights anymore, the voices inside my thoughts are ever present. They get louder and louder and echo like cannon shots across the great divide. They repeat the same things over and over. It is impossible to drown them out or make them stop and I am forced to “live” with my own death for eternity.
In conjunction with this.