MDF coffins

24 03 2009

Prepaid funerals. It had to come someday, I guess. On the radio the deep, male, serious yet comforting voiceover guy convinces me that I should prepay my funeral and lock in today’s prices. Of course, when you are dead,  you want to know that you’ve nipped that one final potential rip-off in the bud. Now THAT’s organisation. Or selfishness.

You could, of course, give that $10 000 or so to just about any kids in the third world (or village) and give them a fighting chance of making it into double digits before having to attend their own funerals. Heck, I’d be happy enough with unvarnished MDF for my coffin. It’s not like I’d be contracting cancer from the Formaldehyde content, I’d already be dead for goodness sake!

Funeral parlours are a booming business here in Australia, they’ve got nice names too, like “Simplicity Funerals”. It’s the death equivalent of weddings in Vegas! Do you, Edna, take this coffin? This handmade recycled cardboard coffin. The  celebrant guy looks like Elvis.. the jumpsuit Elvis. They always do the fat, cheeseburger momma, jumpsuit Elvis, never the lean, soldier Elvis, or wee-bairn Elvis. Why IS that?

Some funeral parlours, like the one up the road are called “White Lady Funerals”. Political correctness not gone far enough. “I’d like to book a funeral please”. “Ok, please fill in this form and attach a photo.” “ Ohhhh, I’m sorry, it’s a fat grey man. We only do funerals for White Ladies.”.

I met one guy who was an undertaker by profession. Actually it bothered him how hard it was to make friends. As soon as he would say his occupation people would uncannily remember dental appointments, even at midnight. I guess there’s always this unwritten law that if you know an undertaker and times get really tough for them, well, you know? Anyway, I thought he was a great guy, wicked sense of humour, which I reckon would go down a treat at a funeral home.

I knew a colleague too who bought a house in Norman Park very cheaply, chiefly because it overlooked a cemetery. It put a lot of people off. I can’t really see why, you’d pretty much have the quietest neighbours around, except on the odd winter solstice, I guess. I always thought it would be great, you’d never get built out. Seriously, I mean the prices of single-story mausoleums would keep your lucky family mortgaged well into the next millennium, so you could forget any double –storey beauty blocking your city view. Yep, I reckon you could do a lot worse.

They say that fear is grounded in that which we don’t understand. A good reason why we are generally so sensitive about death. Mind you, if you are pretty sure you know what is beyond, it kind of “takes the sting out of it” in the true biblical sense. Death is kind of funny. I thing Solomon got the humour in it. There is nothing that appears more silly than having wasted our lives on things that matter not the slightest iota in the eternal scheme of things.

It’s probably part of the reason that I find worry such a complete and utter waste of time. It is nothing more than being deeply annoyed that you just don’t get to put your ducks in a row all the time.

Breathe deep. Shalom. Enjoy what you have this day and be thankful for it even if that is a bucketful of pain. Whatever the day holds you will either enjoy it or learn from it. Either way it is marrow.

If we uncouple what we experience from what we think we deserve we’d be a whole lot happier and might enjoy the view over that peaceful, quiet cemetery.

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