Dying to get into the party
“Honey, what would you think if I turned you into a pair of diamond earrings after you were dead?” I asked husband-head nonchalantly the other day.Husband-head leaned over to smell my breath.”What would you think if I turned you into a football?” he countered.Actually, the idea of lots of men in skintight pants holding me in their arms and running around didn’t sound so bad …But I asked because I had recently seen reports on television and in national newspapers that said people were getting very creative in the field of funeral planning.Not that husband-head and I are expecting to check out anytime soon, but the idea of planning your own good-bye party sounded infinitely more entertaining than planning a wedding.According to the reports, people are now designing their own personalized funerals – from video tributes chronicling their lives, to party themes, types of food offered and flowers.”Think outside the pine box,” is the new funeral catch phrase.So I tried.”I think I’d want to be sprinkled over a pizza and served at a city council workshop meeting,” I suggested.”I think you should be filtered into a wine bottle and put on sale,” husband-head retorted.I asked husband-head what his last wishes would be.”I want to be scattered over Lambeau Field,” he said dreamily. “Or put in Brett Favre’s shoe …”But to assist people in making these personal arrangements, funeral planners are now the latest trend.”Think wedding planners without a bride,” a USA Today article stated.Think of “Franc,” the wedding planner in Steve Martin’s 1991 movie, “Father of the Bride,” planning your funeral …It seems a lot of people have gotten quite creative in personalizing their funerals, the reports said. Many are designating themes for their funerals that range from funky to futuristic. One person had a disco party in which all the guests were asked to wear disco outfits. The deceased was probably laughing his or her butt off from the other side – at least, I know I would.With the Bee Gees’ hit disco tune “Stayin’ Alive” playing softly in the background …John Lucas, who worked on the original “Star Trek” series, had his remains shot into the final frontier of space after his death in 2002.It’s true. A lipstick-sized capsule of remains shot into space costs about $5,300, while those who want their ashes to go to the moon can expect to pay about $12,500.”Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars … let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars …”And if you remember that song, you might want to start thinking about some arrangements yourself.For obvious reasons, cremation – which has gained in popularity – is the obvious choice for some of these themed farewells. But those who choose a traditional burial can also get creative.Cowboy types, for example, can now get a Western-themed casket, featuring tooled leather corners and stirrup handles with inlaid turquoise stones.Another man, who used to drive an ice cream truck, had the cold truck lead his funeral procession and popsicles were handed out at the end of the service.The report did not specify whether the deceased was actually IN the truck …But the best was for those who wanted to keep their loved ones near and dear to their heart – or maybe to sell them at a pawn shop if they had gotten cut out of the will.We’re talking about a company called “LifeGem,” which will take a person’s cremated remains and fashion it into cultured diamonds that can be worn in rings, necklaces, pendants and earrings.”What if I made you into a cool toe ring?” I asked husband-head enthusiastically.He thought about it for a moment.”What if I made you into a jock strap?”Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her columns runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at www. heidirice.com.
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