Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Death...Cruisin style

There are, of course, two things we all must face in our lifetime:

taxes and death

Yep, no choice in either one (well, i suppose you could choose not to pay taxes, but I don't really want to eat bread and water for the rest of my life or acquire a new friend named Bubba).

Since God invented accountants, let's just say, that worrying about taxes isn't all that necessary...send to the accountant...POOF, it's done.

But death, on the other hand, is something to worry about. There are many things to consider when facing the inevitablity of one's own demise.

Although cremation makes the most sense from an environmental standpoint...I just can't bring myself to go against religious mandate in this area (even though I'm not exactly what one would call religious).

Of course the first thing to consider, is what to be buried in. I have never been one for those fancy cadillac caskets. Just seems like a big waste of money, because let's face's never going to be viewed by anyone after the funeral, and if I can't enjoy it...well, what's the point.
A nice plain pine box for me, thank you.

Now here's something that has always struck me as odd. Why is it that loved ones assume that putting someone in their best suit or fanciest dress is the way to go when dressing the body for burial?

I suppose it's one thing if this is what the person spent most of their time wearing...okay, that makes sense. But for me? My favorite item of clothing is blue jeans. Wouldn't it be strange not to bury me in my most beloved piece of clothing?

To bury me in a dress would just be absurd. For crying out loud, I didn't even know you're supposed to wear a dress when attending an orthodox Jewish shul...why on earth would I be buried in one?

But here's the dilemma...and any woman will understand this. What if, on that fateful day, I can't get into my blue jeans. I mean, what if the mortuary employee is given my favorite pair of jeans to put on me, and I'm having a "fat day"?

How humiliating would that be? I guess the good news is, I'll be lying down. When I was in junior high, all of us girls would lay down on the bed and force each leg into our skin tight jeans, pull on, and suck it all in while trying to get that zipper up. I guess I can only hope that I will have dieted plenty before my demise, as to not have to face this one last humiliation.

Next, the funeral service itself. Why is it that even your mean Aunt Beatrice, who abused every family member by making them kiss her smelly face and eat her dry boiled chicken for years, becomes a woman of valor on the day of her funeral?

Me?...I want it all out there...the good, the bad, and the ugly. In fact, a sort of Broadway show would be nice. Okay, maybe off need to set my sights so high. You know, like a one woman tribute show to ME. (But who would star...any thoughts?)

The music is always so somber at these things. I'd like some show tunes, of course, with a chaser of Beatles music. If people want to dance...all the better. The show, I mean funeral, should end with Gloria Gaynor belting out "I Will Survive". Now that's a funeral service!

After the funeral, the tradition is to go back to someone's home to delight in deli and reminisce about the deceased. Don't get me wrong, I love good deli. In fact, I don't really mind attending funerals, because I know I will be going back to someone's home to stuff myself with deli and babke.

But here's the deal...while deli is always a sure-fire hit...I say, why not be daring and fun and alive at the after funeral gathering.

That's why I propose In and Out Burger. I know that some of you reading this from other than the left coast, may not be familiar with In and Out. Let me just say that they are thee best burgers this side of heaven (well, I'll let you know for sure when I get there).

And here's the best part: In and Out has a special cookout trailer that will come to your home and cook their delicious burgers right on the spot for you!!!

That's deli at my after party...burgers, fries, and diet cokes will abound.

Quite frankly, this is something that each and everyone of us needs to consider seriously. Don't leave your loved ones wondering what to dress you in, how to memorialize you, and most of all...what to eat at the after party.

I say, even in death...leave 'em laughing, singing, dancing, and eating well.

(Humor is a way for me to express feelings about death and grief, that I have known since the age of 10...I hope this post is taken in the good spirit it was intended. It is not meant to be hurtful in anyway to anyone who is grieving or has gone through the journey of grief).


Irina Tsukerman said...


Actually, when my grandmother passes away, one of the visitors later told me it was one of the most light-hearted post-funerals he's ever attended. On the way back from the cemetery, we joked around a lot and had a very good time. And that's not because we didn't love grandmother... it just so happened!

Mia said...

You are truly hilarious!!!

cruisin-mom said...

Irina: I think you joked and had a good time BECAUSE you loved your grandmother. Sad and crying is not the only way to grieve. Memories that bring you joy and laughter are also part of grief.

Mia: Thanks, glad it made you laugh and didn't offend you.

Hope you both had a good Passover.

torontopearl said...

Randi, a "fat day" indeed. I LOVED THAT depiction; I thought you were going to talk about being bloated 'cause of PMS or something like that! You really are hilariously funny, and any good women's magazine (or even not such a good women's magazine) would love to feature your words in a column. Go for it, Randi.

This post sure shows that you don't take life -- or death -- lying down!

Ezer K'negdo said...

I would be honored to "play" you at your funeral. Assuming you go first, that is ;-) - hey - would you play me? You are much funnier . . .

I agree there are many ways to mourn and/or remember someone.

Forget in the coffin, I want to fit into my old jeans NOW, 3 kids later. My husband keeps telling me to throw them out, but in the words of Theodore Herzl: "If you will it, it is no dream" :-)

Hope your passover is as much fun as your posts!

cruisin-mom said...

T.P.: Thanks for your kind compliments (sending you those weekly checks is obviously working).

E.K.: it would be my pleasure to play you...when else will I ever get to be a Rabbi's wife?!! Yeah, I hear you about those jeans...can you say: "suck it in"?

Head over heel said...

Hahahaha....Your story just top each other.... I love them. Yes, yes the fat days, they come at least once a week and J. has to convince me very hard that this is not the case, so fare he is doing quite a good job.

Sweettooth120 said...

Ezer Knegdo - I have a dress that I bought 14 years ago, that I swear I will be able to wear again. I refuse to get rid of it. It's just too damn sexy and a great way to help me reach a goal. (ok, I haven't been able to fit into it in 10 years, but I am optimistic.)

CM: Very funny post. And btw, skin tight jeans in the late 60's? I thought it was all about bell bottoms? Now, I remember doing that in Jr. High too, but that was in the 79-81. Nothing like lying on the floor and forcing your zipper up.

cruisin-mom said...

HOH: Good for J!!!

S.T.: Doesn't every woman have at least one dress like that just waiting in her closet?
1968, we wore tight jeans. Bell bottoms were earlier in the 1960's, like when Sonny and Cher first arrived on the scene. We also wore "crop" tops!

Ezer K'negdo said...

Sweettooth: My jeans are almost as old. And I WILL GET INTO THEM, DAMMIT!! You know, when I win lotto or cheeseburgers become kosher. Hey, you never know!! :-)

CM: crop tops are back - and they are selling them at BABY GAP. it is kind of sick. I don't need my toddler to look like Brittney Spears, thank you very much. College is one thing, but for TODDLERS? OY!

cruisin-mom said...

E.K.: I actually remember wearing crop tops when I was about 8 or 9. Only differnce was our pants came up over our belly buttons!

Sweettooth120 said...

EK - crop tops for tots, what about platform shoes for tots? You know how hard it was to find flat heel shoes for my daughter. Now that she is almost 7, it's almost impossible.

CM - so I am guessing that the best showtune to play at your funeral will be "One" or though this isn't from a play....the theme from "Flash Dance" hee hee.

Personally, I love "Mame" and what a bonus that it's so close to my name. How easy would that be to just add some letters. : )

PsychoToddler said...

I used to do orthodox taharas on men (basically preparing the body for burial), and we used to put them in very simple cloth clothing for the funeral.

You could go that route.

cruisin-mom said...

S.T.: I was 9 when my brother was bar mitzvah...I wore white patent leather shoes, with a 1/2 inch heel...thought I was bitchen.

P.T.: woah...interesting job...good precursor to being a doctor?

Neil said...

Of course, yours will be specially made kosher in-n-out burgers...

cruisin-mom said...

why, yes, of course, Neil.

Another meshugannah mommy said...

Ahh - no in and out burgers here in the great midwest. Love the concept, though!

Jake said...

Yes... but you do have "Steak and Shake" in the Midwest, a decent comparison.

Randi, we're doing stuff on CNN today about how taxes actually lead to another almost inevitable for a lot of people: divorce. Apparently, when spouses find out how much they REALLY have, they figure it's time to call it quits. Divorce filings shoot the roof from 4/15 thru 6/15.

cruisin-mom said...

AMM: Come visit...i'll take you!

Jake: Steak and Shake, haven't heard of it.
On divorce and taxes: do they call it quits because they find out their spouse really has nothing, or because they find out their spouse is really Donald Trump and figure...I'm gettin' outta here and taking half of everything?!!!(well at least in California)

Jake said...

Both... some spouses see the money isn't there and feel they could live better alone. Other see their spouse has big money and may have been hiding it with a mistress, etc.

Mildred Garfield said...

Hi Randi

I am so glad I found you. You are so funny. I'll be visiting you often to see what you are up to.

What an imagination! LOL

cruisin-mom said...

Mildred: I'm thrilled you found me. I have visited and commented on your blog...I love your take on life!
Thanks for stopping by here...and I will definitely be visiting you too!