Tuesday, November 01, 2005

don't fuss about me when i'm dead

Two years ago, I was interviewed through email by Mr. & Ms. Magazine about my views on death and dying. The answers I wrote were published in a two-page article entitled Morbid Thoughts, or some other predictable title, in their Halloween issue. I essentially talked about how I wanted my wake to turn out. I wanted everything to be all black—black candles (no garish light bulbs please), black wooden coffin, black curtains with no frills, and black pedestal. I also wrote that I hated to have any religious iconography or symbols near my coffin. If they had to put something in the middle as decor, it should be my watercolor painting of a nude, crucified male figure with a looming hooded shadow of a demonic executioner at the back (this painting, by the way, now welcomes cobwebs and dust in a forgotten corner of an unused room in our old house). I clearly stated that it had nothing to do with religion or Christ. It was my critique on how society crucifies and humiliates people who do not conform to its shitty version of truth.

I wanted the wake’s piped-in music to be that of Secret Garden’s, the Norwegian New Age group who composed and popularized You Raise Me Up before Josh Groban mangled it. No eulogies. No sappy tributes. Anyone who would start eulogizing me should be stabbed and buried two days before my actual interment. I’d rather that they recount all my foibles, idiosyncrasies, stupidities, and silly anecdotes. I wanted laughter during my wake. Lots of it. I also wanted to lie in state without any clothes on, but thought it too gruesome because it would expose the undertakers’ stitches. But if it’s really laughter I wanted, then I guess lying there in the nude is really the way to go.

The tomb should look like a classical mausoleum complete with statues of Greek or Roman gods in wrathful or sensuous poses. I wanted my angels to be the bulols or the anitos or any of the tribal deities of the Philippines. If they couldn’t do enough research to recreate these tribal gods, I’d settle for the quirky creatures of mythology’s netherworld. I only wanted black or red marble to be used. And I wanted the masonry to look massive and intimidating.

These all seem too pretentious, pompous, and absurd now. I have already said that I want my corpse to be donated to a medical school to be put to good use. That’s better than rotting away in some dark grave, if you would ask me.

But really, I wouldn’t give a hoot about what they would do with my body after I die. As far as I’m concerned, that body, that thing that used to be me, will be nothing but parched flesh, dried up blood, and excess hair. There’s nothing to it, really. They could just wrap me up in some stinky bed sheet and throw me into the river for all I care. It doesn't make any difference, as long as the bed sheet is black, of course.


At 5:31 PM, Blogger rmacapobre said...

je voudrais mourir rapidement et sans (pain). so youve come back (du océan)? ^_^

At 9:13 PM, Blogger transience said...

never really understood the drama of dying. especially if it involved me. it's the beginning, innit? i just hope to come back richer and more beautiful.

welcome back, sweetie.

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you remind me of somebody who said:

i wish to be buried upside down, so the whole world can kiss my ass!


i'd love to go to your send-off party.


At 3:01 PM, Blogger snst_blvd said...

im with you brother. i dont really care what the world will do to me when i die. i dont even care if they cry or not.

At 5:51 PM, Blogger Abaniko said...

when i die, there's one thing i don't want them to do: put me in a casket. i'm claustrophobic.

At 1:45 AM, Blogger Nelson said...

right on! i had seriously thought of making a living will saying what to do with my body when i die: i definitely would want--and insist--to be be cremated, and scatter my ashes in the ocean. i wouldn't want a funeral wake, but rather a sort of remembrance party. everyone should be laughing! madonna's 1993 girlie show concert will be shown in its garish entirety on a wide plasma screen tv. i want people to celebrate life, not grieve over death.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger rebel_heart said...

I love Secret Garden(!) and the all black funeral thing.. I dig. But me being the rebel of conventional, I'd go for a hot pink and black funeral. :P
your corpse to a medical school.. sure bout that mate? I've been to an anatomy museum, let's just say you might find yourself in Heaven but missing a limb.

At 7:58 PM, Blogger DLAK said...

I use to work at a graveyard burying people. Around here you have to put the coffin inside a concrete vault, the vault was supposed to seal but sometimes they dont. After putting the dirt back on the grave you stick tubes into the grave and fill it with water, this is done to settle the dirt. We could always tell when the vault didnt seal because air bubbles would come up out of the grave, and we would call them 'floaters'.

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Saint Eroica said...

i just want to die beautiful and still fabulous... jesus chris, i don't want to think of my own funeral! i have to wait for all my enemies to die first before i go! ;)

At 11:46 AM, Blogger bullish1974 said...

you scare me.

At 3:45 PM, Blogger post said...

when i die i just want to die.

At 11:55 PM, Blogger bing said...

i could agree with that - that body, that thing that used to be me, will be nothing but parched flesh, dried up blood, and excess hair. There’s nothing to it, really.

i guess one must not be concerned with how he would die or what he would look like when he dies. he must ponder what happens next after he dies.

really glad you swimming vacation is complete...

At 9:25 AM, Blogger dulceamore said...

imbitahin mo ako ha?

At 6:56 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

RMACAPOBRE--oui, je viens d'arriver de l'ocean. nageant la me plait beaucoup.

moi aussi, je veux mourir rapidement sans peine (is that the right word for pain? j'ai oublie)

TRANSIENCE--the drama of sex is a lot more exciting. and i don't mind being involved anytime. but in a way, dying is also like fucking. or am i making any sense? i guess not.

LIWAY--yes, i heard about that guy. you just reminded me of a perfect burial position. i'd send you the invitation to my send off party. wear something bright when you go there, ok? oh, and bring tequila or vodka instead of mass cards.

SUNSET EYES--right. it's not as if we'd care (or know) what they'd do when we're gone, right? i want you in my wake, sunset. will you be there?

ABANIKO--let me make a suggestion. it would be grand to lie in state on a four-poster bed, like some old, rich Italian mafia guy. that's swell! yeah, let's all chuck caskets. they make you look like a manequin in a display window.

NELZ--now that's what i would call a total death party! i'd love to be there when it happens. it's much more productive to celebrate life (with lots of booze, of course) than brood over death.

REBEL HEART--wow, you also love Secret Garden! that's so cool! have you heard their latest album? it isn't out here yet.

yup, i'd love to donate my body to a medical school. and i don't care if they mangle it. and who said something bout going to heaven? hehe.

DLAK--i love being buried in a watery grave. it's like being in a fishbowl again. but i'd rather use those tubes to communicate with people on earth.you know, like a telephone line to the outside world.

i swear, you had the coolest job in the world.

SAINT EROICA--suggestion: why don't you start killing them one by one now? that would ensure that you'd die without any enemies.

BULLISH--sometimes, i get scared of myself, too. especially when i look in the mirror in the morning.

KAY--yup yup. it all boils down to that, really. just die and don't worry about anything else.

BING AKA JULIET--"he must ponder on what happens next after he dies."

my ultimate dream is to blog about what happens after death. now that would be so cool.

i wish it had just been a swimming vacation...

DULCEAMOR--oo naman, akbar, you're invited to my wake and funeral. gusto ko, kanta ka at magperform ka as stand up comedian, ha? promise? pasalubong ko, asan na?

At 9:55 PM, Blogger Sidney said...

I saw a lot of people dying and it is no fun. Saying a last goodbye to someone you love is very painful. I have done this too many times myself and I speak out of experience.
I am not so sure that you will speak the same language when your time will come.
Believe me, your loved ones will not laugh but cry!
A wake must allow people to say goodbye in a quiet and gentle way...


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