Four of my friends planned their owns deaths. Two of which acted as my mentors, encouraging me to be the best I can be, to follow my dreams and to live to my fullest potential. The irony alone could kill me.
The certainty of death has slapped me across the face and the gross realization that we will be the main attraction at a funeral one day is the cloud that hovers over my daydreams.
While avoiding the stresses of a sluggish commute, I often visualize my friends and family standing at the podium of my local church saying extraordinary words about me and praising my living efforts to please the earth. (It’s funny that we do that- save the best words for last)
I also let other thoughts drudge through my mind…
- What type of alcohol will they douse on my coffin? (Note: It can be Svedka. Save the Kettle One for the after party.)
- Will the church be standing room only? (I hope so!)
- Will the guy who acted as my booty call for three years show face? He told me he loved me onceâ€¦I guess my funeral will be the true testament of that, right?
Such details of my funeral, along with wondering what will occur during my immediate after-life, is a part of me now- I’m my own funeral planner (reminder: not my own death planner). I want everything to run smoothly upon my departure, like it doesn’t now. Life gets crazy and unorganized, but after-life does not need to fall in accordance.
Currently, my friend and after-life coordinator, Meredith, has my e-will, which we exchanged via email. My e-will contains passwords to my online accounts, like my banking, Facebook, and Twitter. It also has phone numbers to people I want to invite to my funeral that other people don’t know, like the booty call.
I even drafted the first two tweets I want posted immediately following my departure:
1) #RIP @daniellebernabe
And then another one instantly followingâ€¦
2) That last tweet was a SERIOUS TWEET!!! This is @mkstrodel. I will now manage @daniellebernabe’s account. Please RT.
Please note, again, that I’m not sending out save the dates here, I’m simply coordinating certain affairs; I’m the type of girl who plans her funeral rather than her wedding. I may never get married, but I willâ€¦ you knowâ€¦
If I die before I wake, I request the following things:
I don’t want an open casket. The enlarged picture of me standing proudly next to my coffin will suffice (use whatever my Facebook profile picture is at the time, I’m sure I thought very highly of it because I’m a narcissist and would never display something unflattering). Since no one will see my outfit, I plan to wear a Ralph Lauren black Jackie O’ styled dress that my boss gave me years ago. I will never wear it alive because I’m too afraid of ruining it, so since I love it so much, I can wear it for eternity six-feet under.
J. Crew has a wedding line, but does anyone know when/if a funeral line will hit the stores? My pallbearers are a pretty important aspect and I want them to look clean and uniform. But I can’t decide if I want them to wear the same outfit or just the same color and fabric. Suggestions?
Speaking of, if you have any interest in becoming one of my pallbearers, leave a comment underneath this story. I really don’t want my father walking me down the aisle on this one. Thank you in advance.
My eulogy readers will wear cotton taffeta in sage. Let them pick the design. My eulogist-of-honor, however, should wear a long dress, not strapless, though. Please!!! Strapless dresses are too risky and overtly distracting.
Oh! And since I will wear black, I request everyone in attendance wear any other color aside from black because, how rude! This is MY day.
Other misc., but crucial, details:
- Plus ones are allowed and encouraged. I want the church billowing with mourners.
- I don’t expect anyone to gather at the gravesite for the actual burial. It’s my least favorite part, but I would appreciate if someone released vultures as they lowered me into my new resting place while “Eleanor Rigby” played in the background.
- There needs to be a champagne toast at the reception, for sure. And every time someone clinks on their glass with a fork, blow kisses at my picture.
- Food can be buffet style, just make it gluten free for my sisters.
- The first dance needs to be either to “Sweet Caroline” or “Don’t Stop Believing.” Not because I like those songs, but because I HATE them and I want everyone to be sadly reminded of my funeral for the rest of their lives when they play. Eventually, I hope people will stop listening to bothâ€¦in my honor.
If the cause of my death warrants a cremation, I want a worldwide honeymoon, starting with Jones on the corner of Formosa and Santa Monica. Tell the bartenders, they’ll understand and most likely participate in the service. Sprinkle a little of me in front of the door so when people walk in they inadvertently bring me with them to for the good times.
Stash me in your purse or wallet and dine at Mozza where I’ve eaten some of the best Italian food in my life.
Take a run with me in Brentwood around the three mile loop I like to call the “path of hope.” Watch out for wayward golf balls.
Fly me to New York and leave a pouch of me under a seat in a taxi so I can ride around the city.
Hop on a plane to Florence and have at it. Start with my old apartment on Via San Gallo, stop by the central market and buy blood oranges and kumquats. Walk down the center of the city and eat pan di stele gelato. Then pull out a map and point to a new city, board a eurostar and let’s go!
With my ashes, embrace the life I lived and create a legacy that is the pulse of your own. If I don’t get cremated, do the same. You live once, don’t fuck it up. Absorb the greatness that surrounds you and recognize that life goes on, if you let it.
My funeral is the last hoorah I’ll ever attend and until then, I’m listening to my deceased mentors by living life to my fullest potential, frequenting Jones, Mozza, New York, running outside with the breeze, living, breathing because I can and want to.
But I ask you one thing, when you cry at my funeral make the tears happy and let them dance down your face. And whatever you doâ€¦DON’T catch the bouquetâ€¦