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March 11, 2012

Damn You Hippies! Now I Have to Re-plan My Funeral! ~ Kelly N Patterson

Photo: Kelly N Patterson

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had my whole funeral elaborately planned out, down to the musical score and laser-light show.

All my guests would be required (and checked by Drag Queen bouncers) to wear costumes at my funeral—even my grand-parents, whom I am convinced will out live us all. Champaign, sushi, Thai and Indian cuisine would be served to all my guests by servers, on roller-skates. Cuban cigars, whistles, fire-works, Hawaiian lei’s and neon-glo sticks would be handed out to mourners—think Burning Man meets Irish Wake.

I wanted conga-lines around my LaKota Sioux-carved, teak casket (which is to be blessed by an African shaman). I want my mourners to use my casket for doing the Limbo. The grand finale: My family and friends lowering me back into the earth with Queen blaring Another One Bites the Dust.

My tombstone would actually be a statue of me (at the height of my beauty), Patron Saint of Nicotine, made of flint (to light cigarettes) and sand-based, to serve as an ashtray to anyone who visits my grave (I do not want cigarette butts littering my grave!).

This was the plan and then, I heard about eco-funerals.

When I heard there was a Green Funeral Fair being held at Grace North Church, in “Berzerkely”, California; I just had to check it out—wouldn’t you? I mean, it is hard enough being ecologically correct when you are alive; but now we have to worry about being green when we are dead? Apparently, a corpse can be propped up in bed at home to receive visitors (and perhaps play poker) one last time, before returning to the earth, wrapped in a shroud or in a biodegradable coffin. Jerrigrace Lyons, a “death midwife” whose Sebastopol, CA, business is called Final Passages, has facilitated more than 300 home-based funerals in the past 14 years.

I was told that 827,000 gallons of embalming fluid are buried in the ground every year. I learned that the energy used in cremation is the equivalent of driving a car 4,800 miles. They also told me tombstones are not essential.

“But how would we find our dead people?!” I exclaimed. “Use clairvoyants? Metal detectors?”

The Answer: Corpses can be located by means of a radio frequency tag, as they do at Fernwood Cemetery in Mill Valley, California.

And yes, most people, myself included, assume a body will decompose rapidly and smell terrible, but now I know the eco-secret: dry ice. Other accoutrements of death included St. Brigid’s straw crosses, ceramic life masks, funeral hats and more.

So now I am going to have to re-plan my whole funeral. This may take some time because I will have to insist everyone attend my funeral by hybrid car, foot, cycle, roller-blade or use public transportation; use only biodegradable body products that day; serve organic sushi, Thai and Indian; have compost toilets and then use mourner manure to fertilize the flowers on my grave; and so on…

At aleast I can still have mourners do the conga-line around me and use my corpse (in the perfect shroud that goes well with my eyes) as the Limbo stick. Then, be buried to Another One Bites the Dust.

~

Editor: Kelly Brichta

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Recipe for Kelly N Patterson: ¼ Indiana Jones, ¼ Mother Teresa, ¼ Hunter S Thompson, ¼ Dr. Seuss—with a side of wasabi. Visit my anti-professional web portfolio if you just have to know more….http://kellynpatterson.blogspot.com/

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