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Brandi Jewett, Forum News Service, Published April 08 2014

Jewett: Putting the ‘fun’ in funeral

I’ve always thought it weird that the word “fun” appears in funeral.

I’m fairly young, so I haven’t attended an abundance in my life, but I can’t recall any that I would categorize as anything less than depressing.

When I’m sitting in one, my mind always tends to wander to my own departure from this world. The thought of having dozens of people sitting in a church wailing doesn’t really appeal to me.

That’s one reason I want to write my own eulogy and fill it with my misadventures. In life, I’m all about making people laugh, so if there aren’t some chuckles and even a few hearty guffaws during my funeral, then I don’t think it will be an accurate representation of who I was.

They say you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but does it count if I’m poking fun at myself? I’d really like the world to be able to share one last laugh with me about the time I ran into my parents’ suburban with a riding lawn mower – though I hope by the time I kick the bucket that won’t be the crowning achievement in my comedic life.

Part of me wants to request the “Chicken Dance” be played during the processional, but I think that may be a little too ridiculous – even for my funeral.

Then again, who needs a traditional funeral? The phrase “celebration of life” sounds a bit hokey, but I think it sets a good scene.

I don’t need a parade or anything, but I think beer is a must and fireworks of course – it’s not a Jewett family party unless something is on fire or exploding.

Plus, in addition to placing your ashes into an urn or even compressing them into a diamond, there are companies that will put them into fireworks as well.

This makes sense for the sake of efficiency – people get a show and your ashes get spread in the process. Anyone who knows me would tell you that I am all about being efficient.

And after the funeral/kegger, there’s a whole host of things my body could do if I don’t end up being shot into the sky.

Digging a hole into a rural hillside and recreating an Egyptian tomb or placing my body inside the ribcage of a fake fossilized dinosaur would cause quite a stir if I’m dug up 1,000 years from now.

I also could become an anatomy lesson for medical students or go chill out on a body farm – a facility where decomposition is studied. I’d like to be the body that just hangs out under a tree feeding the woodland critters.

Perhaps, I could be part of the Body Worlds exhibit. My body tissues would be converted into plastic and put in some sort of pose for education – and likely amusement – of the generations after me. I wonder if my relatives would get free admission to see me?

Or, I guess there’s always the old standby of being buried in a coffin or kept in an urn, but where’s the fun in that?


Jewett writes for the Grand Forks Herald.