Thursday, August 6, 2009

When I die!

"When I die I am going to be cremated and put in a urinal!" That is exactly what my friend told me. He was dead serious. I am not sure but maybe he meant urn, but who the heck knows? I have been thinking about death for some time now. It is an interesting topic and one that should be considered by all people. I am not saying let's join David Koresh or Jim Jones type groups, but we should all consider what should happen when the day comes. And you can bet your dollar that it will come (key spooky music - dumdadumdum).

There seems to be someone passing away in our Reserve on a fairly regular basis. It's not just the people who you would expect to die but young people as well. I didn't really want to hurt anyone's feelings by saying those old people, but I bet you knew who I was referring to. In any case the survivors, aka the family of the deceased are left to fit the bill. Not that there is anything wrong with that. After all it's family. One of the things people don't talk about is the cost of dying. It is expensive to die! I never hear Neechies complain about costs. They just pay it. I think we shouldn't leave our families with the costs. Caskets are nice and so are headstones, but boy they sure add up. I know, I know it's not polite to talk about money. Okay then, I'll stop.

My uncle in Muscowpetung had a nice Wake (some people call it the A-wake). They would sing Traditional songs in the day, have his casket open and people would talk about him. With dusk the casket closed. The church official or the priest was pure crap. He was not from the area and went into a spiel about other religions and other stuff. That much I remember of his sermon. What a creep. Kind of spoiled the whole event. That's what it is an event. The Wake. You come around, visit, have fun, console each other, eat food, drink tea and coffee, have dessert and then go home after it's all over. Some people stay and help clean up. I like those people. People play music and sing those old gospel tunes. I like the Hank Williams Sr stuff, like "I saw the light". But that's what I am talking about, you should consider planning out your event. Make it memorable. Or not.

Music is a big part of the death event. Whether it's the Drum. We can have the Drum in our church now. At least the Roman Catholic church. One of the past priests even use to Sundance at my Mom's cousin's ceremony. Unreal eh? Death is so sudden that you never have time to plan. It is always ad hoc. What kind of event comes out of ad hoc? Fly by night, that's what. So take the time to plan it out. Make it the hit of the Wake social event calender. When my Boy passed away my Cousin Paul came and sang a song for my Boy and me at the Fire. I will never forget that.

I like the Drum too but for me when I pass, I think I am going with a classic song. Boogie Wonderland by Earth Wind and Fire.
That sums up what people should be doing when you go. Of course there is the missing you part but people should be happy that you are on your way to different aspect of life. Speaking of going on, I wonder why people sent money to Billy G. the evangelist. He said if he didn't get money God was going to come and get him. Isn't that the objective? You know be at the Right Hand and stuff? I guess people didn't want him to go to heaven, Oh, well.

There is an interesting group of people that don't want to pollute the Earth, so everything is in their death is friendly to the Earth. They don't use chemicals in the body, or metal in the casket. So in the end you are just left with Earth. Kind of cool.


  1. Funerals are the third largest personal expense you will have, first the house,then the car. From the Practical Environmentalist site.

  2. Talk about a "Death tax".

    I've visited one Native cemetary with spirit lodges. I am not sure if it was Ojibwe, Odawa, or both. Somehow I remember something to the effect that they did not use the caskets and burial vaults there. The structures built over the graves, roughly the size and shape of dog houses, are really not that permanent either.

    The Dakota, and probably other Sioux, had a rather environmentally friendy way of "burial", with putting the corpses on elevated platforms, and the remains were quickly taken care of by scavengers and the elements.

  3. Swan Lake Reserve has houses over the grave sites. It is actually pretty cool to look at. I saw in Pequis Reserve people like to light up the grave site with those solar lights. I kind of like that. I remember as a kid grave sites were spooky. I wonder why that was? It should be a place to visit loves ones.