|Sister Claire-Odette Rasoanatoandro, SNDS|
We who haven't done that can do nothing but look on in awe at the tight bond that the marriage of a person with Jesus becomes with age. We think that it takes a lot just at the start. It is also clear that it takes a lot more to see it through to the end. Some do, some don't. Even those who don't are changed for life by the experience. I know.
If you want to know more about this funeral and about the spirituality that reigned over it, click here
I started this reflection by making a comment about the box. I want to make you aware of my dedication to simplicity in matters of rites of passage. The very first article that I posted on this blog was based on the futility of extravagant wedding parties. Over the years I have had the opportunity to tell people that matrimony is just as valid when you put out $100 as it is when you put out $50,000. I could have said the same thing about funerals. You're just as dead in a $100 pine box as you are in a $10,000 mansion of a box. The grave is still going to be 6x4x6. So, put it on paper. Tell your family that a pine box is good enough.
When EFR Dion died, we didn't go wild with the funeral expenses. My dead father didn't seem to mind at all. We didn't care that there were some who made snide remarks about the cheap looking casket. We knew that in a couple of days we'd never see that particular item again anyway. I couldn't figure out what their problem was. It wasn't their box.
I personally am still flipping the proverbial coin about whether or not to have a traditional wake or a burial at sea or a cheap $100 cremation. I am torn because I know the spiritual value of a wake. I know that one or two people are going to come to pray for my sorry soul. I know that more than that will come to be nice to my wife and children. We're all familiar with that. People who haven't seen one another in 35 years like traditional wakes. They get to check out how much older everyone else looks than they do. Who knows, two people who thought they really hated one another come together, shake hands and wonder why they've stayed so stupid for so long and walk away from the whole thing in peace. I've seen that happen. It's easy to do when you look at the dead guy and realize that you could be next. Then, of course, I know that there will be some who will come to check to see if it is really me, finally. You know, I don't want to disappoint them. So a wake is nice.
The other thing is, I wonder if it is true that my soul will be able to check out those who come and those who don't. I wonder about that because it could be fun to see how they act. I could check out if they are crying or not. If they are, I could nudge them and tell them that I told them not to do that. That would be cool. I often wonder about that.
If my soul could check that out, I would sure look around to see who is really praying the rosary and who is not. I could see if my son is really using the rosary that used to belong to EFR Dion some 85 or 100 years ago. I don't know what I could so about it, but it would be fun, one way or the other.
The BOX? Oh, yeah, the box. That's all I want, is a simple box. I'm only 5'4", so get it measured and save on materials. It could even be plastic for all I care. Maybe by the time I die, wood will really be expensive. So, hey, cheap, make it cheap. I mean, for what's in it, you don't have to impoverish yourselves. Like chairs. For what goes in them, why are they so expensive? So, whatever you do, don't be felony crazy and go out and spend 30 - 40 thou on a stupid funeral.
I think I've about talked myself into a traditional wake. Hmmm, that also make me think about something that is absolutely essential to a traditional wake...cigars...expensive cigars...Cubans, gotta have Cubans. Look, if they're too expensive, maybe you could just put me out on a slab and after the wake, just put me in the oven. That way you could save a pile of scratch because you wouldn't have to have a grave or anything like that. Just a $25 plastic lined cardboard box. Then you could have the Cuban cigars that every traditional wake has to have. Pheew! I'm glad I didn't forget that.
Hey,wait...now just wait one single minute, I got a better idea. Let's buy the cigars now so I can have one before I die. That way you'll know that you won't have to cry at my funeral.