Lindsay and Dan have already beaten me to it but it’s inevitable that a death like Heath Ledger’s – unexpected, too-soon and to someone we almost felt we ‘knew’ – makes us think about our own mortality. Gosh, what a downer.
It’s been years and years since I was really frightened by the idea of dying (unless we’re talking slowly and painfully in which case the fear remains, I assure you) but the idea of how we will be remembered does worry me. A funeral is, naturally, a limited, inadequate way to ‘remember’ someone - the real remembering, the real impressions people leave behind, stay with friends and family years and years after you’ve taken off the black clothes and felt guilty about chucking out that little program that tells you what dreary psalm is being read in what order. But talking about legacies and the like is both depressing and boring, whereas talking about funerals is fun, fun, fun. So, just in case I should plough my car into a light pole on the way home or, heaven forbid, fall asleep in the bath and drown myself, I’m relying on the blogging community to ensure I’m sent off just right.
1. Music must be Nick Drake’s Day is Done (to make ‘em cry), and either the Flaming Lips’ Realise or Belle and Sebastian’s There’s Too Much Love (to cheer ‘em up). If there is an organ or a harp involved in any way, so help me I will get out of the coffin and beat the offending musician to death that they might serve me in the afterlife as some kind of slave or, if they’re cute, sex object.
2. Will someone please, please, please read my favourite bit from The Great Gatsby (The bit that starts “And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock.…” and runs onto the end).
3. Burn me up, ensuring I am dead first, or, if possible, please feel free to donate my body to science on medicine or, hell, a lonely necrophiliac. I won’t give a toss.
4. No church. Lots of booze. Try to restrict the sobbing to a single aesthetically-pleasing tear or two.
5. Tikki must attend, if at all possible and in the unlikely event she is still alive. If someone can find her a fetching little hat to wear I’d be most appreciative.