Sunday, April 1, 2007

Having a Party and You Can’t Come

Because You're Dead

The New York Times published an article about funeral meals (“He Would've Wanted Everyone to Eat” by Abe Opincar, August 10, 2005.) As I read it, I wondered what my funeral might be like.

Perhaps I’m just gloomy today (the oppressive heat and humidity may be getting to me,) but really, a funeral meal for a dead anorectic? I have to chuckle at that. Talk about absurd!

The article stated that in New York it was illegal for friends and family to bring food to serve at a funeral. Maybe I should request to be buried in Pennsylvania?

I draw the picture in my mind.

An open casket. Me, inside it, dead as a doornail, looking pretty in my sexy peach dress. Instead of flowers, platters of cakes, brownies, cookies, tarts, pastries and donuts are arranged at varying levels around my coffin. To the one side, a buffet table is ladened with open jars of peanut butter, pints of Ben & Jerry’s, and jars of Nutella, and a basket of spoons next to each one. To the other side, a table creaks with bottles of IBC root beer and Aunt Rosie’s Loganberry, bowls full of foamy fruit punch, gallons of chocolate milk, a blender for making milkshakes (chocolate peanut butter, of course.) Then, afterwards, long sheet pizzas are spread on yet another table. All the foods that I loved. All the foods that I denied myself. All the foods that I would never be able to taste again.

Sad and ironic, wouldn’t it be? Food at an anorectic’s funeral just seems out of place and somehow wrong. And yet, at the same time, apropos. The funeral meal could send the message, “Don’t let this happen to you or your loved one.”

Personally, I would love to have the above scene. Funerals and wakes should celebrate the life of the deceased. I’ve spent much of my adult life baking and cooking treats for my loved ones. What better memory could I give to those loved ones than one final treat?

I have often thought about writing out my specific wishes regarding my death rites, but I can never decide – cremation, burial, or entombed? Cremation would be poetic, don’t you think? “At the end, she finally became weightless as her ashes were scattered into the wind.” But, there is something about being burned that just gives me the willies.

Burial, above or below ground, just seems like a waste.

Often in my life, I have pondered my own death. Apparently, that isn’t something most people do, let alone a child. The main question I always had was: would anyone miss me if I were gone?
Of course, the positive question would be: Why am I here on this Earth?

But then, I have always focused on the negative. Odd for someone with a perky personality, smiling and bubbly. Just goes to prove what a truly gifted actress I am.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think about death and dying often. Generally, these thoughts come on when I spiral into my eating disorder. Is it my brain’s way of smacking me awake? “Hey!” Whack! “Wake up!” Whack! “Feed me or you will die!” WHACK!

If it is, it generally takes a case of whoop-ass to get me to wake up. The invincibility of youth mentality – show me proof that it could happen to me and perhaps, I’ll change my ways. But it best be compelling proof.

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