Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Egyptian Burial

I was talking about death and funerals with a friend. He asked me if I had everything planned. The answer is yes: several options had presented themselves. In the end (or after it, to be precise), Barbara can make the choice.

Cremation is a given. No reason for me to clutter up good ground, even if it is in a cemetery. The US Navy covers the cost either way, since I’m a veteran. But cremation is the right way to go as far as I’m concerned. The options are in the disposal process.

Option 1. Barbara collects the ashes in the traditional urn – perhaps a bit larger than most because of my stature. She then keeps the urn on her reading table and uses it in place of an ashtray. That way, friends stopping by and casually peeking into the urn can say, “Looks like Richard’s putting on a little weight.”

Option 2. Barbara places the urn in the front seat of my ’99 Cadillac DeVille – the one with the 32V Northstar engine and vinyl top. She then takes the car to an automotive salvage yard and has it crushed into one of those meter-square blocks of scrap-metal. Bringing it home, she places a nice piece of tempered ¼” plate glass on top and – voila! – it’s a coffee table...a stunning memento of her late husband and his love of coffee as the same time.

Option 3. After selecting a nice cemetery (yes, I know – just ignore the second paragraph above), Barbara has a very large pit excavated, one with a sloping ramp. Again, she tenderly places my ashes in the driver’s seat of the Cadillac. The Caddy is pushed gently into the pit where it comes to rest below grade level. The entire vehicle, with my ashes inside, is then covered over and the turf replaced. Perhaps a tasteful headstone is placed atop the grave mound.

This is the one for me. The Caddy’s gas tank would be filled with premium unleaded. One of my travel mugs could be inserted in the cup holder. A substantial selection of books can be placed in the trunk. My Wagner opera CDs are loaded into the player.

Then, everyone can comment. “He took it all with him.”

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