Brilliant, Angry, Funny, Real

Connie’s Pre-O-Bitch-Uary

1. At my funeral, if I have an open casket (which is dubious at best), please DO NOT say, “She looks good.” I don’t look good. I look DEAD.

2. Don’t say I passed. I am not a kidney stone. I’m dead.

3. Don’t say we lost her. I’m not lost. I’m dead. You can’t find me unless you die and maybe not even then.

4. Don’t tell my kids I’m in a better place. How do you know? Have you ever died?

5. Don’t tell my family not to be sad. They are sad. I’m dead. They miss me. They can cry. It’s okay.

6. Don’t tell my kids they will get over it. They won’t. Yes, they will get on with their lives. But they will still have times of sadness. Grief is recursive and there will times that they will feel the loss again and again like when they married or on Mother’s Day or their birthdays.

7. Don’t say only positive things about me. This ‘don’t speak ill of the dead’ is a bunch of shit. I’m a human being. Sometimes I was a bitch. Maybe even a lot of the time. I know I could be condescending, arrogant, impatient, self-centered, superficial, materialistic, pompous, holier-than-thou, stuck up, anal-retentive and egotistical. Not to mention stubborn, self-righteous, and critical.

8. On the other hand, don’t say only negative things about me! I was funny, loyal, loving, generous, kind-hearted, thoughtful, smart, grateful, tolerant, fair-minded, dedicated, and patriotic. I tried my best to be a good wife, mother, daughter, family member, friend, teacher, citizen, and Christian. I recycled and adopted pets from the Humane Society.

9. When you write my obituary please include three pictures of me. One at three, one at 24, and one at the age of my death. I want people to see how cute I was as a toddler. How beautiful, thin, and blond I was at 24, and how I looked as I aged. Every wrinkle, roll of fat, and gray hair was earned by blessings, challenges, joys, and sorrows. I earned all the scars both physical and emotional by living life loudly and passionately and overcoming obstacles.

10. I want a huge party after the funeral. With lots of booze. And a chocolate fountain. And music. Loud, rock and roll. The stuff you can dance to. Play lots of Warren Zevon. I have a Warren Zevon playlist on my iPod. Favorite songs of his include “My Shit’s Fucked Up” and “Keep Me in Your Heart.” Play some Jon Bon Jovi, too. Especially “It’s My Life” and “Have a Nice Day.” Tell funny stories about me. I was always able to laugh at myself. If you were a student of mine or knew me professionally or knew me as a child or woman, tell my children stories because they know me as their mom; not as a woman or a teacher. At the funeral have someone with a beautiful voice song “Ave Maria.” Bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace” would be a nice touch. Celebrate my life. It was a good one filled with so many blessings.

–Connie Hammond Saunders

Blessings to Fran for sharing such wisdom. It was written by a friend of hers who is in remission.

Explore posts in the same categories: Humanities, Humor, Journal, Quotes

3 Comments on “Brilliant, Angry, Funny, Real

  1. Fran aka Redondowriter Says:

    Hey, I’m so happy you are passing on Connie’s O-Bitch-Uary. I’ll send her your link.

  2. eden Says:

    Loving this! I just posted it as well (w/ writing credit & links to you & to Fran).

  3. Jennifer Says:

    How funny that you should post this on today of all days. Tomorrow we head to CT to attend the funeral of my husband’s paternal grandmother (“Gram”). Today we were there with my husband’s Aunt and Uncle taking the things left to us by Gram and all of us sharing stories about her life – about her funniness, her controlling nature, her love of being a grandmother…It was really nice to have some time to do that before the funeral. Aunt K shared an especially funny story about Gram and her husband and a pan of pot brownies. Reading “Connie’s O-Bitch-Uary really brought it all home. Thanks for sharing it. I made me laugh and cry – something I expect I’ll be doing a lot of in the next few days.