Friday, January 25, 2008

Korpi, the Musical

I saw a commercial the other day that reminded me of my mortality. It was a commercial for funeral insurance. Although I wasn't intrigued by the sales pitch for something my life insurance already accounts for, I was interested the the "gift that was mine to keep" if I "called now." It was called a "last wishes planner," basically, a pamphlet in which one could fill in details of one's own funeral, so that your survivors don't have to guess what Michael W. Smith song to play.

With recent tragedy all too fresh in my mind, and never really thinking about how others will react in the event of MY passing, I became really interested in getting that free gift. So I did a quick "Google" search for "planning ahead for a funeral" and clicked on the first link: a .pdf document that was a similar version of the one offered for a "limited time" to the "first 100 callers" with "no obligation."

I've decided to answer the questions here, so that when my time comes, whenever that should be, there will be a cyber-record of my intentions. At first I thought this to be a morbid, ominous task, but then I thought it might be kind of fun, if not necessary, to plan my "dream" funeral.

As Churchill said, "Plans are useless, but planning is invaluable," so here it goes:

Type of Service: Funeral, Memorial, No Service, or Other
I'm going with the traditional "guy in a box" arrangement. I've heard its very important for some people's closure to see and touch the body. Since the service is really for the survivors, this is an unselfish decision.

Location of Service: Church or Temple, Funeral Home, or Other
I guess a math classroom would be a bit unconventional or crowded and the Rocky Mountains always poses a risk of bear attack on the attendants, I suppose I'd opt for a Temple . . . or at least a church. I'll let the Catholics and the Baptists fight over who wants to host me.

Location of Reception: Church or Temple, Funeral Home, or Other
I'd definitely like a change of venue for the after-party. Once the burial is done, it be neat if everyone met at someone's house to relax, eat, drink, and remember what a great guy I was.

People to Give the Eulogy: If David Letterman is not available, and if Abraham Lincoln is cannot make it, and if Ray Romano doesn't really know me, I'd like some good, close friends have a word: Trent, Gordon, Lauren C., and Dad. Don't make it sad, guys. I'll be listening, and I'll need a good laugh.

Music I'd like Played or Sung:
This would be cool to play these songs before and during the ceremony. I really like a lot of songs, many of which are even appropriate! This event could almost be a musical, especially if the people giving the eulogy decide to sing it! Or perhaps this could be the background music for a PowerPoint photo Montage, that would be a crowd pleaser!

Sonata Arctica-"This Ain't Your Fairytale"
Iron Maiden-"Die with your boots on"
Andrea Bocelli-"Time to Say Goodbye"
The Beatles-"Let It Be"
Conway Twitty-"The Rose," "Sweet, Sweet Spirit"
Bon Jovi-"Never Say Goodbye"
Midnight Oil-"Forgotten Years"
Guns N Roses-"Knockin' on Heaven's Door"
James Blunt-"Goodbye my Lover"
Michael Card-"Joy in the Journey" and "El Shaddai"
Los Lonely Boys-"Heaven"
David Gray-"Shine," "The Other Side"
David Kauffman-"Be Still," "Out of Darkness"
Monty Python-"Bright Side of Life"
Roger Miller-"You Can't Roller-skate in a Buffalo Herd"
Nat King Cole-"Unforgettable"
REM-"Everybody Hurts," "The Great Beyond"
Seether-"Broken," "Rise Above This"
U2-"Beautiful Day"
Don Henley-"Heart of the Matter"
Fandago USA-"Charanga"
Tina Turner-"The Best" (pretty selfish, huh?)
John Denver-"Sweet Surrender," "I want to live," "Flying for me," "Looking for Space," "Perhaps Love," "Season's of the Heart," "How Can I Leave You Again," "Goodbye Again,"It Amazes Me," and any others
The list would go on, and on, and on . . .

Being raised Catholic, I'm not really a Bible scholar, but I think the verse about "walking through the valley of death" is a good one. There's another I recall from Jeremiah about "I have gone before you . . ." or "I have plans for you . . ." Something from the Old Testament about how far the outhouse should be from the food-prep area is probably inappropriate, as would Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. I vaguely remember a verse stating "I have prepared a place for you . . ." Some Ogden Nash poetry would be nice, or some Shel Silverstein. For sure the poem "If," by Rudyard Kipling. Please also read the poem I wrote for this occasion. I'll file it under "Kevin's original funeral poems."

Arrangements at the Altar:
Flowers: daisies are all too appropriate, Gerber variety, please
Photograph: If one looks descent, use it. The one from the Algebra 2 show would be humorous. I'd like one of me with my kids, though.
Religious Image: infinity symbol, equation: e^pi*i + 1 = 0, cross

Flowers and Monetary Donations:
No Additional Flowers or Wreaths from guests
Monetary Donations to establish a memorial scholarship fund for future math educators

Burial Instructions:
Dress me in the only suit I own with my "Archimedes is my Homeboy" t-shirt beneath
Put a picture of my wife and kids in my suit pocket
Celebrate the occasion, 'cause I'll be watching.

That's it. That felt both necessary and weird. Excuse me now while I go knock on some wood.


Anonymous said...

i enjoyed reading this and cried as well!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you wrote this for us, and I hope your selections haven't changed in 50 years when I am ready to plan your funeral.