Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just What Your Funeral Needs

A few pictures of some of the more flamboyant sights at the National Funeral Directors' Convention in New Orleans. I call that top one origami urn. There appeared to be a language barrier between myself and the sales dude so I can't tell you what it is really called, but I think with some papier mache, twine, and couple of beers we could make this happen at home.

I loved these tree balls. Again it was the language barrier, but I did catch that they take very little time to dissolve. A reminder from me and my funeral buddies: cremains are inert. You will not be fertilizing your tree with Uncle Gerardo's ashes. They will just be peacefully co-existing. See my previous post and you'll find where you can procure some horse manure for fertilization.

This is a closeup of the jaw-dropping glazes on the snazzy handmade art urns. I wonder if Mama would mind if I made her into a lamp.

And the Steinway shiny black casket would be good for the man we call in my family Grandaddy Babe. Babe has created multiple generations of Star Trek fans in our family. I think it only appropriate that we bury him in something that looks like what Mr. Spock was briefly laid to rest in.

An SUV hearse for when you need that extra room. Or is it the horsepower? Driving in snow? Who do they think they are kidding? This is all about the bling.

Speaking of bling: a gold casket because you are worth it and you want to look like Liberace in your final moments above ground. Earth to gold casket maker: we are NOT pharaohs. If this can convert into a hope chest, a 7 foot mirror, and a dinette set, then you have yourself a deal.

For some reason, they did a big reveal on that hearse below. I think it is this year's new model. Call me an old fuddy duddy, but I think your brother would get over his car fixation at death and be satisfied with the lovely horse drawn caisson at right. Or with you giving him the ole' fireman's carry to a shady spot under a nice tree free of golden caskets and horse manure. But truly, if it makes you happy... go for it.

As for me, funeral conventions make me happy. I like the death work I do because it makes people less anxious and helps them through their grief. I like many funeral directors because many of them are characters. That's like looking in a mirror but the reflection has an uncanny knowledge of anatomy, life insurance, cremation regulation, and how not to stop a fistfight at a funeral home visitation. I like all the things pictured on this page because I may not want it for myself but I am glad there are many, many options out there.
I still want to be wrapped in a quilt and laid right down in the ground so the earth can take me back a little at a time and a I can be a tasty treat for worms and microbes. Maybe one day plants and a tree could grow up right through me and take a little of me back above ground for a new life as a leaf, or a seed, or even a petal.
That's what I like but it is hard to exhibit that in a convention center.

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