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Last Wish

I get some strange calls at times and do end up wondering, ‘why me!’

My girlfriend, who shall remain nameless rang me with an unusual request.

Girlfriend: (without preamble) I want you to ensure they play Jerusalem (aka The Holy City) at my funeral.LastWishVikki

Me: Oh! That’s one of my favourites as well but what brought this on?

G: J and I heard it at a concert on Saturday and I decided I want it played at my funeral (begins humming the tune).

Me: But what makes you think you’ll die before me and what about J? Couldn’t you entrust him with this important wish?

G: He won’t remember and it’s not really his thing. And anyway, I’m older than you so I’ll probably go before you. I know you’ll remember this.

Me: (feeling uncertain) I guess I can do that. Just remember though – this becomes null and void if I die before you. I don’t want you haunting me after.

Here is another strange request!

Right out of the blue one day, my sister made a request. We were reminiscing recently on the fact that she had actually stood in line for the viewing of her friend’s grandmother’s body, when she was merely seven years old. I had refused to join her but it had not deterred her in the least bit.

So here we were years later, discussing that long ago episode.

 

Me: What did she look like?

Sis: Oh, the same as normal – like she was asleep! I peered to see if she was breathing but she wasn’t. I was tempted to touch her but decided against it.

Me: Oh no! I couldn’t do that.

Sis: I’ve been meaning to ask you this (looking seriously at me).LastWishSister

Sis: I want you to pinch me HARD or poke me with a sharp pin when I die.

Me: (blanching) Whatttt? You’re joking of course.

Sis: No, I’m serious! I’ve heard of people getting buried or cremated when they’re actually alive. So I want you to promise me you’ll make sure I’m really dead before they bury me.

Me: I can’t pinch you. What will people think?

Sis: Well – just make sure you’re alone with my body and then do it. I’ve had nightmares of being buried alive so I want you to make sure I’m well and truly dead before they put me in the coffin. Okay?

Me: But, but … What if I die before you (I ask hopefully)?

Sis: I’ll die before you (she declares emphatically).

Me: How do you know and anyway, why are we having this conversation?

Sis: I just know (she states in her no-nonsense voice – see what I have to deal with!) and I want your promise (she looks at me intently again). LastWishJudge

Me: I drawn the line at poking you with a pin – what would I say if I got caught? (Visions of being hauled before a judge who looks down his long, aristocratic nose at me and states, ‘You desecrated your sister’s body by poking her with a pin? What were you thinking of?’ fill my mind. My response of, ‘She made me promise to do so,’ sounds lame even in my mind).

 

My sister is waiting and continues to look at me intently.

Me: Oh, alright! But with one stipulation – you have to write a note to say that you asked me to pinch you and poke you.

 

What is with these people talking about death and making these strange and bizarre requests? And why me?

I then began to ponder on the hymns I would like played at my funeral. Hmmm … Perhaps ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘Nearer My God To Thee.’ Or, ‘Allelujah.’

I approach a relative to suggest he remember to put them in the Order of Service for my funeral.

His flat response: No, I don’t do those things.

Huh! Just like that! A firm and dismissive statement?

Why do I feel I have to keep my word when I have been coerced into making bizarre promises?

I show this post to a friend and she suddenly looks at me with a gleam in her eye and begins with, ‘Could you make sure they play…..

I quickly pipe in with, ‘I don’t do those things anymore!’

 

(C) Wendy Robinson March 2016

Postscript: What would you say in these circumstances? Would you grant your family or friend’s odd requests or would you airily dismiss them? I’m dying to know.

Disclaimer: All photos used are courtesy of the net.

When something is important enough you do it even if the odds are not in your favor. ~ Elon Musk

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Comments on: "Last Wish" (27)

  1. Morbid requests indeed! By the way, could you see to it that they play Slayer’s South of Heaven at my funeral. It’s ok, I know I’m going first! Ha, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think the requests are strange but I think that there are formal documents you can write with that protocol. As a Buddhist, I have a very “Keep Calm” approach about death because you can’t have a do over in many cases. I think your friends are interesting and you should enjoy them for as long as you can.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I feel a bit sorry for you having to agree to such bizarre requests. If you don’t like the idea of using a pin on your sister during the service, perhaps you could discreetly throw a bucket of water over her.

    As for the music to play at my own service when the time comes, hmm… I’m not sure. Perhaps something by Justin Bieber. That would make certain my spirit would flee the vicinity and thus reduce the risk of my haunting anybody.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Gerry OConnor said:

    I think it is an honorable thing to do what the person sants done when he/she dies – whether it sound weird or not !Since that is the last request – go ahead and fulfill it – then your conscience will be cleared !Besides, poking the body to check if it is really dead, makes sense – as there have been cases people still alive, in a coma, have been buried or cremated by mistake !  That body when conscious must die a horribly suffocating death !  Hope this dont happen to me !!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have made up a large binder with all my information, important papers, photos to be used, music requests, passwords etc. I’m done. My daughter doesn’t like to ‘talk’ about such things so I put it all together a couple years ago before I went on a trip. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How can anyone remember everyone’s wishes. Who’s in charge of writing these things down? I like your last answer. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I would do my best to honor a good friend’s odd requests for her final moments, as I believe remembering a life should be a sacred and honest endeavor. Certainly, “Let’s CUT the CRAP’s” organizational skills are a way to achieve this task…Pleasant to meet you, WendysWrittenWords!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wholeheartedly agree with you and I suspect my friends and family know me well and know that they can entrust non-legal matters with me. My name is Wendy and welcome to you and thank you for commenting.

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  8. Great stories Wendy and I have to smile at some of the music played – went to a friends husbands funeral the other week and they played Billy Cottons ‘Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye’. Can you make sure they play that at mine

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  9. I couldn’t help but laugh….you really are having some strange conversations. Perhaps a good come-back would be: “Can you make sure you write that in your will? You do have a will, don’t you?”

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    • That’s a good suggestion! Thank you so much for commenting but I have a feeling my friend wants me to use my grey matter. They are funny conversations and on reflection, both scenarios sounds like scenes out of Seinfeld. ~ Wendy

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wendy these exchanges were a delightful read!! And I don’t think the requests are strange at all although the timing might be off a tad. We’re so uncomfortable this “conversation” yet it’s an undeniable fact of life. I’ve tried to talk with my oldest and youngest sons about my requests and they turn a deaf ear to me and won’t even consider the thought. My middle son, who is more practical would honor my requests but I fear his disorganization would bring on a panic attack even in death. Like Let’s Cut the Crap I also have a list of important documents, passwords, etc. and I was even going to go so far as to create my program so all that will need to be done is having it printed and the actual arrangements.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just spotted your comment Steph. Apologies for this rather late response. I was only recently chatting about ‘last wills’ and ‘power of attorney’ details with a group of family and friends and someone gave a thought-provoking piece of advice. It is wiser to elect a ‘stand-by’ person for ‘Power of Attorney’ just in case the one selected happens to either die or is unable to carry out the duty (early on-set dementia; debilitating accident et al). It made sense! Thank you for commenting Steph and apologies for the subject matter. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Wendy!! I hope you are doing well. You know, these days I’m lucky if I can remember my name, which is code for I thought you already replied to this comment 😂 But I’m glad I found this note today because I keep forgetting to finalize my paperwork. The idea of having a stand by is an excellent one and I believe this is referenced in the forms I have but I’ll have to double check. It’s always great hearing from you Wendy 💗

        Liked by 1 person

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