Making funeral plans without sadness is extremely difficult. Bert & I stumbled upon how to plan our funerals without feeling sad the entire time. If this doesn’t make sense you may want to start with learning about our friendship. https://straitontrack.com/straitontrack-empowering/
April 25, 2019, This date doesn’t have major importance except this is the day Bert and I started making funeral plans without sadness. The weeks before my family and my Aunt’s best friend passed away unexpectedly at the age of 63. Someone that was so full of life and a constant presence at our extended family events. Our families have been intertwined for more than 80 years.
Bert and I were traveling from Orlando to Destin for a Yoga retreat. An almost 6-hour car ride after I already flew in from Iowa, so this was a true act of friendship and a bonding moment.
Turn up the Music
The trip started off uneventful with George Strait on shuffle and a promise for a Planet Smoothie (which I never did receive). My blood sugar was lacking, we had already solved other life problems and the George Strait song “ You’ll Be There” came on. Next thing we know, Bert and I are planning our funerals. Yep, making funeral plans without sadness. You see my Aunt was being asked by her friend’s sister to help plan the funeral. As they set out to do this between the shock of the loss they didn’t know what her wishes were. Would she want to be buried or cremated? Would she want a Catholic funeral?
I told Bert that listening to my Aunt tell this story about how could she know someone since kindergarten and not know what her wishes were was heartbreaking. Death is a scary thing to think about and plan. We all think we will be in our 90’s so plenty of time but not 63 and sudden. Solemnly we vowed to make this easier on our families and plan our funerals.
Laughter & Tears
I started crying, Bert laughed at me and then Randy Travis on radio and Bert crying and I started laughing at her. You see, that is how we roll, we never cry together. Soon tears turned into laughter and the planning began. It just happened between tears, fears and laughing. Sometimes laughing so hard we almost peed our pants! Some of the laughings were because who plans their funerals driving to a yoga retreat! This is how it started, making funeral plans without sadness. We did all of this planning and then just like everything was normal we moved onto the next thing.
Bert’s Funeral Not a Big Production
Bert doesn’t want a big production. Let’s face it she would go out quietly that would make her happy. There would be no formal funeral. At Bert’s mom’s funeral, she remembered people coming through the line saying to her father “ I didn’t know you had this daughter” Bert is the middle kid and the joke in her family she was always forgotten, well this proved it. So, with that Bert doesn’t want a line of people that her daughters have to stand in line and hug (Bert hates hugs). This pandemic also proves another theory of Bert’s that hugging isn’t good. It would be just her family and friends going out to her favorite restaurant followed by eating a bag of potato chips (Party Size) for each person.
Bert wants lots of music played so her kids are happy as she doesn’t want them crying. Another thing Bert hates is crying. If you have advice on how to keep her daughters from crying let Bert know as this is a big goal of hers! She HATES her kids being sad! The last item about her funeral BK will be there! Even though she said I wasn’t invited.
Bert’s Music List
How do you like me Now – Toby Keith
Should of Been a Cowboy – Toby Keith
Digging Up Bones – Randy Travis
I Lived – One Republic
This Ones for the Girls – Martina Mc Bride
Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
Bert will be cremated and her last wish is this…. The girls have to rotate who has her jar and she wants them to drive her around, going all of the road trips with them. She must be in the front seat cuz NO one puts mom in the backseat. Make sure you buckle her up! Bert doesn’t like to break the rules.
BK’s Funeral a Party!
BK’s funeral would be a party. Bert has been given instructions to not have a formal greeting line. When people come in, my sister Dana will be at the door to offer them a drink. If she is still standing:) Lines are awkward. What expression do you have on your face? How do you stand? “Who is that lady with the grey hair and wrinkles, oh shit, I graduated high school with her!” How about the comment “The last time I saw you were at your Grandma’s funeral”
Let’s make the environment comfortable to talk to catch up and laugh. Yes, death is sad and friends and family will be devastated but it is okay to laugh, smile and cry. Right now someone in my world commits to take my place as the “WOO (Winning Others Over)” in the room and bring people together and work the crowd! Bert has NO WOO so this will not be her! right now I have Bert in training to have WOO in case I go first.
What to Wear to the Funeral
Let’s talk about your attire. Our family friend always had a bright smile on her face and was cheerful. When I went to get dressed for her visitation I put on bright colors as it made me think of her smile. I quickly changed as black is the more “appropriate” color. Not at my funeral, you all better wear what makes you think of me or happy. Okay, maybe not dress up like me when I am a slob. Yes, you can wear yoga pants just dress it up a little and where big jewelry or high heels!
My food will be a tailgating theme. You better have my Mom’s roast beef sandwiches with all the juice! Nachos, wings, Sterzings & Prairie Farms French onion dip and whatever else you all want.
The memorial will be designated to Organizations Assisting Women on Building their Careers & Single Moms.
My goal is to have people saying “That was my Crazy Aunt Brenda”
BK’s Music List:
Let There Be Peace on Earth
Be Not Afraid
Little Red Corvette – Prince
Any 80’s Rock Songs – Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Poison
I Got a Car – George Strait
You’ll Be There – George Strait
Here For A Good Time – George Strait
Can’t Hide Redneck – Tracy Lawrence – This Bert’s request as this song reminds her of me
If you run out of songs just play George Strait, 80’s Rock & Prince songs.
Bert and I love our lives and we plan on being around awhile. This post is serious about our funeral planning. Sure, there are more details to come but its a start. Next time you are in a car with the sunroof open with one of your best people turn up the music, talk about life, and make funeral plans without Sadness.