Death and funerals have been on my mind over the past year. I lost a close, beloved grandmother in January. In March a friend's husband passed away. I hoped he would also become a friend, and we would stay up late discussing science fiction and geeking out about religion and engineering, but he died too soon and his kids will barely know him. My other grandmother, beloved but not so close across the states and miles, died in June.
This has led to family discussions about our funeral wishes. My mother wants the hymns at her funeral to come from an older version of the UCC (United Church of Christ) Hymnal. She understands the reasons for changing words and replacing verses to be more inclusive and less patriarchal. But her beloved father was a UCC minister for decades. She has always found great comfort through devotion to God the Father.
Sometimes people say "funerals are for the living." Well, if you believe the spirits of the departed may attend, that's less true. Even if you don't, there's a lot to be said for remembering people the way they would want to be remembered. To do otherwise is to fail to honor their memory (which could be worth doing in some cases, but obviously not for beloved family members). And it's nice to be able to plan your own funeral, to take the guesswork out of it, to give folks who attend a strong sense of who you were, and to offer your loved ones the best chance to honor your life and cherish your memory.
As Allfather's words in the Havamal say,
You will die, yourself.
But true renown will never die,
The fame of deeds well done." 
I suppose I would want that read at my funeral. And this too, though it's better sung:
I did like, a bit, the idea of Speakers for the Dead, of people whose holy, though not religious, task it was to tell your whole story at its end. They would leave no lies to fester, nor heroism to go unsung. That approach comes a little too close to brutal honesty, though, and funerals are and should be more about feelings than facts. So I just try to remind myself that I can't be remembered as my whole and true self if I don't let it shine through. I don't mind the idea that some distant relative or minor acquaintance will show up at my funeral thinking I was Christian or straight or something and have their misperception corrected. But it's better that people who know me should know all the parts of who I am, even if it's sometimes awkward or uncomfortable to speak up.
Another relevant consideration: I hate church services. Well, hate is probably too strong a word. I dislike sitting still indoors for worship, and I hate sermons. It's not that I haven't heard wonderful sermons; it's just that I tend to appreciate them more in settings other than church. And while I do make offerings on an indoor altar fairly often, I only truly feel connected to the numinous outdoors. Preferably with rocks involved. Trees are good too, but optional.
I was thinking I would like "Warrior Queen," by Kelliana sung at my funeral...except it doesn't really fit. I love the song, but I can't say I especially identify as a warrior or a queen, and I won't be fourteen... so really what I want is for someone to write a song that's vaguely like that one but applicable to me personally and then sing it at my funeral. (Suggestions for already existent songs in comments are more than welcome.)
Then the flipside to wanting to be remembered as my whole self is wanting some of my fragmentary selves remembered in the places that knew them. Some of those places are on the internet, or in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism)...places where I'll be known by a username and an icon, a weakness for Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfiction, a passion for the details of Bajoran religious practice, and an undying love for Kasidy Yates...Or as that bard who kept changing her persona and won the Crystal Fruit that one time, and that short fighter with a penchant for daggers and a propensity for crotch shots...
When I die I don't just want to fade from the internet. I've made a lot of friends here, and I want to say goodbye. I guess I should write up a final post for Livejournal and Facebook, or their future versions...and this place of course, just in case.
 The idea more than the execution, insert Orson Scott Card rant here. ↩
[8b] The Kingdom of Atendveldt (The title comes from A Valkyrie Song by Michael Hrafspa/Mikal the Ram. I have heard it many times around SCA campfires, and hoped to hear it from the bard himself one day, but he's gone too. The song itself is a love story, but the refrain really sticks with me when I think about wanting to respect people's spiritual and cultural frames of reference, and wanting other people to respect mine.) ↩
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