Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What do you want on your tombstone?

When I was in grade Twelve, I took English Literature. It was rumoured to be a really hard class, and the teacher, Mr. Kelly, had a reputation of being a really difficult teacher. We didn't have AP classes in my high school, but this was the closest thing to AP English. There were only twelve kids in the class and we were all girls; we were also some of the most brilliant in our class. It was an honour to be able to take the class.

Turned out that Mr. Kelly was excellent and had a really low tolerance for teenage B.S., which is why students thought he was so tough. I loved Mr. Kelly. He was one of my all time favourite teachers ever.

There was this one assignment that I just couldn't wrap my head around; we had to write our own eulogy.

I have this thing about death. It terrifies me. It's the worst thing that could happen. I hate it when people die. It's so permanent. It's so unknown. It's so inevidable. I hate death and I totally don't ever want to die, so thinking of what I want to have said at my funeral was something that I one hundred percent did not want to ever never want to ponder, let alone write a paper for.

So I didn't do the assignment. I never turned it in. I couldn't do it. This failure has plagued me for twenty-five years. I have thought about it many, many times over the years. I am so disappointed that I couldn't complete the assignment.

I still can't even think of my eulogy other than I want that poem that Matthew read at Gareth's funeral in Four Weddings and a Funeral: W.H. Auden's Funeral Blues. I demand for there to not be a dry eye in the place for my death will be a tragedy and the world will be a worse place when I am not here to grace the face of it. (mostly kidding)

Anyway, other than the Auden poem, and the fact that I want to be chopped up and fed to the sharks so that I can be in the ocean forever, and I want a bench with a plaque on it underneath a cherry tree, I still can't think of the words that I want. I can't write the words.

I have narrowed it down to two:

Here lies Rantgirl 12-8-1971 Death Date
Mother Sister Daughter Wife
That girl had integrity


Here lies Rantgirl 12-8-1971 Death Date
Mother Sister Daughter Wife
She had a way with words.
I wish I could figure out how to combine "That girl had integrity" with "She had a way with words", but inspiration has yet to strike. Considering I have mastered neither - integrity nor words, I suppose there's no rush.

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