I got an email forward with some cool (or at least semi-cool) gravestones (they are after the jump). But rather than just post them, I have decided to preach to you about the business of death. I used to dig graves (for real) and spent time hanging out with undertakers. See, while the funeral is going on, all the people involved in the business of managing your grief have to hide. They usually sit in trucks far enough away form the service to not be noticed but close enough to be able to move in when the service ends. Here are some facts about the process that you can do what you want with. I know not all cemeteries work the same way, and I know that laws vary from state to state, but overall, keep in mind that undertakers want to prey on your grief in order to make money. Don’t hate on them, just be prepared for it.
- Make your burial wishes known ahead of time. If you have kids, then make sure you have everything paid for in advance and that your family members (who are all fucked up because you died) are not bumbling around trying to figure out what you wanted, etc.
- Don’t want stupid ass things. Remember, you are dead. Everything to do with the funeral is about the living, who will presumably miss you, so if you are gonna choose songs and plan things to that level, don’t ask for ballet dancers and the moon guy from the old McDonald’s commercials.
- Be clear about what’s gonna happen with your actual burial. This is where the screw jobs come in. After the jump, the things you most need to know!
Caskets – caskets make the living feel better. You will be dead. If you are in the cheapest casket they offer, you will be just as comfortable as you would be in the top of the line one that costs 10 grand. If your loved ones go in to buy, they are going to essentially be put into a sitch where they are buying a used car while they are in shock. They are gonna want to ‘give you the best’. This will cost them money and you won’t be any less dead. So if you have the loot, buy ahead of time. Otherwise, specify you want the cheapest thing they have.
Vaults – depending on where you live, you may have to buy a concrete vault to go around the casket. This is to prevent formaldehyde from leaking into the ground. You will be given options on how there are cheap ass ones or the ‘top of the line’ ones that will be air and water tight. If you live in a climate where there is frost, this is a lie. 100% lie. EVERY VAULT WILL CRACK. Water will get in. And even if it didn’t (at least for the first few years) your loved one is still going to turn into a sort of….stew. It is not pleasant. SO don’t let the fucking vulture undertakers use the word ‘preserve’ or ‘protect’. You aren’t making a fucking mummy. Don’t waste your money.
Cremation – Hands down the best option IMO. It is cheaper, you can still bury the ashes if you want to have a marker in the cemetery, or you can send your loved ones on a nostalgic trip somewhere to scatter them. Or your family can keep them. And if your ashes get mixed up with someone else’s, don’t worry about it. This is a mental thing, not a physical thing. You can’t make a cigarette out of what you find in a ash tray, and you can’t make your uncle out of what’s in his urn. Just go with the flow.
The Entire Process – Remember, all of this is not for you, corpsey. It is all for the living. They are sad (unless you were a dick) and everything that happens surrounding the service (wake, funeral, graveside, etc.) is designed around letting the people who cared about you let their shit go. And in that respect, funeral directors know their shit. Let them guide you. Just don’t let them rob you.
So – now that you know how to die in a considerate manner, I will show you the gravestones, and tell you that the best thing I ever saw on a stone in my cemetery was actually on quite a few. It was popular in the mid to late 19th century:
Listen all you passers by.
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now soon you will be.
Prepare for death and follow me.