Updated: Jul 8
***TW: In this post I will be talking about death and the macabre. If you're in a space where this subject is too heavy and a detriment to your mental stability, don't do it to yourself bb, we'll catch up in the next post.***
So my mama sent me a TikTok the other morning about something she wanted for her memorial. Yes, my mother has a TikTok, and you heard that right, she is making memorial requests like she at the damn club. Luckily, my mother, for the most part is in perfect health. However, we don’t shy away from talking about her dying, really thinking about it, and imagining the potential life where she’s no longer a part of it. It’s heavy shit, don’t get me wrong; it was a weird place to start a Thursday morning. However, in the spirit of Easter festivities which on the Christian side is a massive memorial celebration, let’s talk about death a little shall we?
Later that day my wife, who’s dream job is to be autopsy technician, decided she, too, wanted to also talk about the macabre. It’s been a super overcast skies all week, my depression is still throwing her raggedy ass in a circle, and this was the kind of Edgar Allan Poe-type shit they want to end the week on. Ok fine. So Dana has always said she dreams of having two funerals one for her parents and one for her soul tribe to her fav drink beer with lime and get up on the mic and tell their most memorable stories with Dana. Jumping back, out of all the times we’ve had this conversation, I have never understood why she always feels like she’s going to die before or without me. And to that I say, the fuck you are, madame! Same day, dammit, we took an oath and I’m not playin’ with her.
Anywho, so yes death is one of those topics we tend to shy away from, and it can be sad, but it can be fun as well. Across the diaspora, our death celebrations are epic displays of our rich cultural traditions, things we should look to fondly as the celebration of making it to the ancestral realm. That notion is probably going to take some time to make happen. However, something we do look forward to in the funeral, or The Fune.
The Fune is a magical place where a myriad of grief-stricken attendees manage their grief the best they can; it’s something like a sad family reunion with spectators. It's a place where the person you sit next to directly influences the experience you will have. It’s a place where you know many people are going to ask, ‘Who did the body?’ and say things like ‘They look good’ or ‘Look just like they’re sleeping’ with such predictability you could bet on it and win! At The Fune, you can also expect some of the best food you’ll ever have in your life. The Fune is considered one of the SBGs, Sacred Black Gatherings where the best of Black Soul Food is to be had; other notables being Thanksgiving, Easter, & the Family Reunion Cookout... And that’s just scratching the surface.
Anyway, their musings got me thinking what my afterlife celebration would be like, so I wanted to share it with all of you. I imagine my memorial to be more of like a chill get together outside by the beach where everyone wears their flowiest, most comfortably stylish clothes and have a picnic with dope music, THC in every possible form, and plethora of snacks. I imagine it going from sad to happy and back again with everyone thinking of some random fact I told them, or the funniest thing I said to them. I also see looks of twerking happening whenever certain songs come on that they knew I’d cut up to. I would want people to openly communicate with me, ‘cause you know the Witches gonna be in full effect and celebrate my transition as that and not an ending. I want my memorial to give Coachella meets Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic vibes, and I want everyone to feel like my energy is present in every way. When you’re there you should feel like a free-spirited, super-chill baddie with a need for experiencing rich bitch luxuries, and that’s how you’ll know I’m close. I want everyone to feel like they’re being hugged and gassed up by the super friendly drunk girl at 3am.
I’ve found myself thinking of this romantically in the sense that, there’s so much beauty in honoring our dead. Now I’m not saying go out and prop your loved one’s corpse up in the club because that’s what they wanted, but by all means have a party. Honestly, if my vision doesn’t come to life I’m cool with that, but only non-negotiable is me wanting my ashes scattered in my favorite place, the ocean. I want my ashes scattered there because if I’m released there, then there isn’t a single body of water I won’t be a part of. As a side, you better believe whoever is entrusted with that task will know to check the wind beforehand. What’s not going to happen is my family ending up on the viral circuit because they didn’t think to check the wind before tossing my ashes. All I’m saying is if you’re planning on doing this, be smart about it, don’t get out here embarrassing our spirits!
Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you and encourage you to think about those things. As a mom, I can’t fathom not having this figured out, so making arrangements won’t strain my family’s connection when that time comes. I want more people to talk openly about their death and dying, and actually plan for it whenever possible. It’s the only guarantee we have in this life, one day we will die. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a bomb celebration. If it still makes you a bit uncomfortable to ponder, it’s cool, I get it, but keep it in the back of your mind and remember that death is a part of life and by talking openly about it can be a very healing experience. I love y’all and until that day comes calling, be well and live your lives to the fullest!
And for my Easter babes, pace yourself at the food table, don’t overdo it with the sweets, and take a shot or roll one up for every time you heard someone say, ‘HE GOT UP!’.
The girlies that get it, get it, the ones that don’t… 🙃
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Also, make sure you’re up to date on my novella ‘Situationships & Sippy Cups’. It is available on Kindle Vella in the Amazon store, check it out!!! https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09TZ1BXTB