My Other Blogs

2006-07-20

Sad Story - Leaving an Impact

I have recently become aware that a few, if not many elderly people are deciding that they would like to be cremated, and have their ashes scattered for a reason that is utterly vile, in my opinion: They do not want any memorial to them so that their family or friends don't have to remember them, worry about them, or ever think about them again. They want to quietly disappear. To me, this feels worse than suicide. This seems like the desire to make zero impact on the world.

I can see positive thinking reasons why someone might choose cremation: To avoid unnecessary financial burden on the family. To avoid their grave being idolized for their accomplishments.

But if someone wants to be forgotten, that marks more than just their means of burial or disposal, it says something to me about their life itself. It seems to fly in the face of things like "When ye are in the service of your fellow men ye are only in the service of your God." If there is one type of Immortality we can count on, it is the immortality of the influence and effects we have on other human beings, especially our descendants. This is a positive and wonderful thing. We should try to maximize that, and by doing so, become obedient to the commandments, and glorify God. It seems selfish and greed to the extreme to not want to give to your fellow man, and to pass on leaving no place for your family to come for solace and closure.

I hope some people, even if they are young, will give their last wishes some serious thought in a selfless, not a selfish way.

If, or when I die, I desire to receive a Masonic funeral administered by my Lodge. I want my body to be prepared in proper and full Temple clothing by or overseen by a member of the Church, I will probably have a few particular coins to be placed under my tongue (just in case), and I require that my Masonic Apron be deposited upon the coffin according to the standard custom of my fraternity.

I want to be remembered by my descendants, and my friends. I want to make a difference in people's lives today, so that much of the future may be benefited in some small but exponential way by what I have or will accomplish.

Old people: Get it figured out, please. I can't chew out the people I know who convey these notions to me, but I can chew you out as strangers. Get it right, for your family and friends. The funeral is not FOR you. Its about you, but for everyone else. Don't steal that from them.

** EDIT: I forgot to mention, I want to be wearing black slacks and a black suit jacket with my Temple clothing, not the silly white ones they have taken up using in the Temple.

8 comments:

Old Coot said...

Dear whippersnapper,

Bite me.

Sincerely,
An Old Coot

kenji jb said...

its a good blog, although its only d first that ive read, and wish to read more...hehe, when i die, i wish people to say that i have left a legacy for good...oh, by the way, how will i join the Gnostic bloggers?

Jeff said...

Kenji,

Thanks for the positive feedback. I've emailed you to discuss the possibility of you blogging with us. Thanks for asking :-)

Nicholas said...

Too bad she can't read. But, I personally don't care what she does as long as she doesn't smell up my frontroom too badly.

—the son of a crematee

Becky said...

So... Are you real L.D.S.? I'm confused, are you a "branch off" of the church?

I have to agree with you, when I hear that they don't want a funeral or anything, all I hear is "woe is me!"

Jeff said...

Yes, I'm real LDS... Just a bit of an odd one :-)

Susie said...

In the Old Northern heroic code, honor after death was even more important than life itself. If you could preform a deed great enough, you would be remembered, and have an immortality of sorts. This was Beowulf's intention when he went as an old(ish) man to fight the dragon alone with only a sword. And, even though he lost that battle, we still remember him today, and so to us he is not dead, but alive and well, and will be for many years more.

Although I'm not sure we should seek out personal glory quite as earnestly as Beowulf- there is something to be said about the life of someone bent on making an impact on the world.

Jeff said...

Susie,

A friend recently pointed out to me that sometimes it can be even more noble to be willing to live your life for someone, rather than to merely be willing to give your life for someone. It is harder to change habits, and break addictions (alcohol was the example given), in order to live in such a way that you can impact someone for the better, than it is to simply be willing to die a hero, and a martyr. Of course, being willing to do both is the ideal.