Getting My Affairs In Order

Lawyers and financial planners are always telling middle-aged people to put their affairs in order in the event of their untimely death, so that loved ones left behind won’t have to be burdened with making those kinds of decisions while going through the grieving process.

I haven’t done it yet (don’t have a family attorney), but I can see the benefits of doing so.  My grandfather recently passed and apparently everything was in order enough that my grandmother (and Mom and aunt) were able to finalize all the funeral preparations and other legal procedures within three or four weeks.

But, while I haven’t set down to write out a will, or put my memorial wishes in place, I have got a few details already sorted out in my head.  These things came along in a very organic way.

For instance, several years ago, my friend Jake and I were talking about acronyms and death.  I’m not sure why those two topics were discussed so closely together, but Jake wondered what sort of acronym could be made to put on a person’s epitaph.  We thought about it a while and I came up with:

Every
Person’s
Intimate
Truths
Are
Placed
Here

Jake thought it would be very cool to put just his name and that on his gravestone.  No other identifying markings.

I liked it, too, but have always known that I’d prefer to be cremated.  As much as I love taking pictures of cemeteries, I also think burying my body in the ground is a waste of valuable real estate.  We humans are already running out of space, so by the end of my life expectancy we’ll probably have even less.

But I’ve recently seen a very cool way to give back to the Earth.  It’s called Bios Urn, and your ashes will be combined with a seed and other necessary ingredients to be planted and eventually grown into a tree.  I like that idea a lot, but since then I’ve heard that you could have your ashes used in fireworks, which would be VERY cool, too!  So I’ll have to think a bit longer about which one I’d rather do.  Maybe I can do both . . . SWEET!

The one thing I hadn’t yet planned out is what to let my “final” words be.  At my grandfather’s memorial, the little card given out to mourners had a very nice poem on it telling people not to mourn for him, because now he’d gone on to God (he was a religious man).  I know other people have eulogies said, and some people even do a video of their final words, usually given to kids or loved ones, but none of those really call to me.

But I have finally heard the song I want played at my ceremony.  It’s a song by the band Train (who you all know by now I LOVE!) off of one of their most recent albums.  It’s called “Sing Together,” and even though I’m not a “singer,” these words perfectly express how I feel about everyone I’ve ever met (in person, or otherwise).

Each one of you has had a hand in helping to shape who I am, and I truly appreciate you and all you’ve been to me.  So, please sit back, click this link to hear the beautiful song, follow along with the lyrics below, and imagine that I’m singing them to you . . .

If I go before I say
To everyone in my ballet
Let me take this chance
To thank you for the dance

If I run out of songs to sing
To take your mind off everything
Just smile
Sit awhile with the

Sun on your face
And remember the place
We met
Take a breath & soon I bet
You’ll see
Without you I would never be me
You are the leaves of my family tree

Sing together
If you knew me from the very start
Or we met last week at the grocery mart, just
Sing together
It’s the least that I can do
My final gift to you

When I pass the pearly gate
I will find some real estate
Where we can settle down
And watch the world go ’round

And send down all the love we got
And let them know we got a spot
For them to be
And it’s so free

The sun on your face
And remember the place
We met
Take a breath & soon I bet
You’ll see
Without you I would never be me
You are the leaves of my family tree

Sing together
If you knew me from the very start
Or not at all, you’re still a part, just
Sing together
It’s the least that I can do
My final gift to you

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