Rest In Peace of Mind

One of my favorite quotes is Don’t take life so seriously. No one gets out alive. I laugh, then go right back to taking life too seriously. I’m all caught up in the rush and tumble of meaningless nothings ….which will, one day, add up to a eulogy of my life.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on

Why the morbidity? I attended a funeral for the husband of a friend on Monday. Funerals for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are a little different than movie funerals. One, we don’t wear all black. Two, the service focuses on hope and eternity; on the joy we had in the person and on the promise of being with him or her again after death. Three, there are often A LOT of people attending since Mormons have a thing for large families*. And four, family and close friends eat funeral potatoes, ham, and Jell-O salad afterwards.

Item #4 might not be that unique. I mean, who doesn’t love cheesy potatoes?

I really enjoyed the funeral. The man whom we honored sounded wonderful: big into his family, a proponent for hard work, a lover of Doritos and Mtn Dew, sometimes a tease, a man always ready to open up his home for events; sincere, genuine, service-oriented, and kind.

A few thoughts crossed my mind during the service. The primary one was I want people to say those things at my funeral.

That’s a good thing, because I normally come away thinking I sure hope no one says this when I die! …If you know the deceased was a mean drunk who beat his wife, it’s disingenuous to go on about how he loved his fellow man. So, my kids had better not say, “Chelsea loved being a mother. Housework was her middle name. Birds sang and children frolicked. I still can’t believe we all learned to play six instruments and speak seven languages!”

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

I’m aware of a common writing exercise to type up one’s own eulogy. Being a paranoid person, I’m not heading that direction. I do wonder what, specifically, I’d want people to say -as a sort of goal to work towards. If not known for dishes and laundry, what about for writing that elusive book? If not for birds singing, what about dogs barking? Do I want my children to remember my RBF or my real love for them?

I want everyone who wants to, to come. It should feel like a party (with those yummy potatoes!) where no one feels excluded. Maybe I should arrange for a balloon artist.

What about you? Have you thought about your end-of-life party? What would you want said?

©2022 Chel Owens

*Granted, not everyone has a large family. Family is very important, and the focus of our faith.


Here’s what I wrote for the last two weeks:
Wednesday, April 13: Asked for input on “How in the Heck Do You Balance Your Blogging?

Thursday, April 14: Wrote a terrible poem about bad drivers. They’re still out there!

Friday, April 15: Announced the winner of the Terrible Poetry Contest! It was Frank Hubeny!

Later, I shared my inability to open a box for Friday Photo.

Saturday, April 16: It’s Terrible Poetry time again! Frank says we’ll be writing a common-meter nursery rhyme. Parody is welcome! Write one! Contest ends tomorrow!

Sunday, April 17: Carl Jung talks to us about facing the dragon.

Monday, April 18: I’m a Mormon, So I wear special underpants called temple garments.

Thursday, April 21: Updated y’all about COVID conditions ’round Utah.

Friday, April 22: Friday Photo. I shared some smart-aleck’s addition to a driving meter.

Saturday, April 23: Wrote my own nursery? rhymes?

Sunday, April 24: Quoted Desmond Tutu.

Monday, April 25: I’m a Mormon, So I keep sex between me and my husband.

Tuesday, April 26: Wrote a lot of D‘s for Not Pam‘s prompt.

©2022 Chel Owens

75 thoughts on “Rest In Peace of Mind

  1. I think I’ll leave my obit to those who care and will share. Hopefully it won’t be a whirlwind minute or two then a quick retreat to the groaning table of funeral fare and the endless moaning about the dearly departed! Seriously, I’ll settle for stipulating the funeral music.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmm, yeah, and with this good(?) soul not there to put them right, I might not like the criticism. Oh well, something for them to worry about till we meet up- or down- again, eh?
        Music wise, a Fleetwood Mac number to come in and sit down to and an Eels one for when I/we roll out.
        Any music you have in mind for your last show?
        Wow, crazy detour to the dark side here!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. For me, I’m severely tempted to play a death metal sort. If they hold it at an LDS church, however, there can only be hymns. :/

          Of the hymns, I genuinely like “Be Still, My Soul” and “All Creatures of Our God and King.”

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I just focused on the music. Three items. Always Look On The Bridge Side, it’s A Wonderful World and, if they bury me Going Underground by the Jam or if I’m cremated Fire Starter by the Prodigy. I want Vogon poetry specially commissioned for the occasion and lots of long rambling anecdotes. Given I’m utterly sure I’ll be compost sooner than later and there’s no chance of any sort of second coming people can say what they want about me as long as it’s to get a laugh..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with the saying that funerals aren’t for the one who passed.

      Will you write your Vogon poetry and rambling anecdotes ahead of time?


  3. Yes! I set everything up so my children don’t have to worry about anything after I pass. I wrote down that after the rabbi says the prayers, I want my son to play the song “Dancing in the Moonlight” my all time favorite song, along with several other tunes from the 60’s and 70’s. And I want everyone up and dancing. I want to be buried in my favorite pair of jeans and I even ordered a stone bench to go besides my grave instead of a flat stone.Because I want my sons or grandchildren to be able to sit and chat whenever they visit me.I had to sit on the ground when I visited my mom and dad and I didn’t want that for them. My grave is close to a gazebo and in a lovely area. It’s in a Jewish cemetery and across a lake from where my parents are buried.But I want my family to laugh, dance, go out to eat and think of young Lesley, the happy hippie chick, guitar playing rocker girl, loving mom and devoted teacher. I don’t want them to remember me as cancer mom, but as a free spirited feminist who will soar among the angels and watch over them for eternity.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I really believe that funerals/memorial services are for the people left behind so I’ve told my kids they can do as much or as little as they like. There is nothing specific I will want or need. I only specified how I want my body to be handled and disposed of. With that said, rather or not anyone chooses to verbally remember who I was or how I lived I hope if there are words that at least some of it will be positive.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I agree about it’s not really being for the deceased. I just want people to get it right. I’m assuming there will be grandchildren or neighborhood children dragged along with their parents; I would hate for them to hear how fantastic I always was.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with Deb’s thoughts on the subject i.e. that funerals are for the living. That’s how I did my mom’s, and it was basically just me doing it. I’m glad and also lucky Mom had developed a relationship with the “new” rabbi and I knew I could call on her during Mom’s illness. She was, as I’d expected, a great help in that and a comfort to Mom.

      I didn’t realize how special that relationship was, along with other ones Mom had developed since Dad’s death and while I was away from her, until I started working with the rabbi to set up Mom’s service, and especially what I learned about Mom when the rabbi told stories about how the two of them had interacted with each other during that time.

      I was inspired by this funny and not totally unexpected story. The Rabbi called Mom “the informer” because Mom always called her to ask her to contact and comfort one of her (or their mutual) friends who was in need, but to not divulge that Mom had made the request on her friends’ behalf. This story goes to show, once again, how Mom always did what she thought was best and mainly for the benefit of others and not herself, sometimes even when the “beneficiary” didn’t want Mom’s “help.” For her family sometimes that was a burden but for her friends it was most often a blessing.

      That’s why the epitaph on Mom’s headstone puts friends at the start of her list of loving relationships. I hope my friends and family have the same memories of me after I’m gone. I’m pretty sure my kids already do, and I hope my grandkids will, if I’m lucky enough to get some someday, will, too. I know Mom’s grandkids do.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Next time I’m invited to a Mormon funeral, I’m going. Sounds delicious.

    But I don’t want a funeral. Just leave me out in the desert for the buzzards to feast on me. I think I would be delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’d be even more delicious if you died in the desert after attending a Mormon funeral. I should have noted that food is usually for the family and close friends. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I too won’t be writing my own eulogy for that writing exercise but I once saw a show where someone suggested thinking about what others might say about you at your funeral and work backwards from there…. basically, think about what you want to be remembered for and live your life towards that goal…. I think that changed how I viewed my legacy…

    I definitely know I want to be remembered as having spread joy, being relatable and overall rather funny lol…. being complimented as “funny” is something I never get tired of hearing lol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I want lots and lots of expensive flowers (from the florist) and lots of lots of tears and loud wailing at the graveside. On a less serious note, I can’t really see anyone coming to the funeral except for a grieving landlord. The newspaper obit. should read: No funeral, but please remember all in your prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow… I have been honored to be the Celebrant at several funerals over the decades. Some prior to becoming an Ordained Minister and several afterward. I always made it a point to encourage laughter, smiles, and fond memories. Not that everyone wanted to embrace that energy. I would rather not have a funeral for myself. If people want together somewhere at some time and swap tales, then so be it. AND if they wish to have yummy potatoes and ham, then that works for me too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wish I’d been raised more religious. I think belief is probably a great comfort for people. I think there has to be much more about life, existence etc than we will ever know. Sometimes I fear all that happens after we die is that we become worm food. Then again sometimes like, when I look at a mountain or like…how the planets are just a bunch of giant balls orbiting in a circular pattern…it feels like there’s intelligence behind that. I don’t know. Karl Marx said religion is the opiate of the masses and whether it is real or an opiate I guess everyone debates but I think the opiate is needed. I’ll admit I do a lot of dumb things all in the name of “I’ll be dead sooner than I think so I might as well do this dumb thing that is fun in the moment but stupid in the long run.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think being raised more religious gives a child a foundation, especially during those difficult times of life where he really need answers.

      Assuming such an upbringing is necessary or assuming religion is a drug for all the stupid people -but surely not you, Marx!- is erroneous in that context if you are a reasonable person. Anyone can pursue a religious answer to life. Believing in God, as you said, isn’t thinking magic made mountains. God MUST be an advanced scientist. Of course it’s more logical to think one Being could not send creation into existence -God could be an advanced Sentient beyond our ability to comprehend and it’s therefore easiest to define Him within the realm of our understanding.

      There’s a popular question about taking a gamble on whether God exists. Don’t gamble; ask Him. It’s okay to believe in something.

      Oh, and then get a bit more swole and come to Utah. There are women who really really want to get married here, and even some who don’t have kids from a previous marriage. 😉


      1. I still wish I had let that Mormon girl convert me. Also, I regret that time when she brought me to a snuggle couch in the basement where I discovered shelves upon shelves of neatly organized food stuffs. “Wow, you guys must love Costco” said I. “No, you see my mother’s duty as a Mormon wife is to store food in case her husband loses his job,” said she to wit I replied without thinking, “Why wouldn’t your Mom just get a job?” Sigh. Although sorry not sorry, if anything I’m a male feminist for posing the question even if it did go over like a lead balloon.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 😀 Yeah… things have definitely changed. Most Mormon women want to go to school and have a backup career for when kids are in school or all moved out.

          The girl you dated sounds one branch short of a tree anyway, even if she wanted to make you baby BQBs.


          1. She wasn’t very nice. It took me a long time to realize it was her and not me. She was pretty so pretty women get away with anything. Just look at Amber Heard. Johnny Depp is one of the most famous and richest actors of our time yet he keeps a wanton bed defecator in his life because she’s hot. Try looking like Joy Behar and defecate in Johnny Depp’s bed and see how long it takes before he calls the cops, even if it was like an accident after a bad chimichanga.

            Maybe I’ll just stay single. Women are too much trouble. They just want your money and to defecate in your bed. Bunch of money grubbing, wanton degenerate bed poopers if you ask me.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. BTW when Gilbert Gottfried died I read about how he got married to a hot younger babe late in life and had two kids…which is bittersweet because good for him it finally happened but also sad because now he’s dead and the kids are only like 10 years old. This makes me sad because even if my Toilet Gator millions score me a hot younger babe I wouldn’t get to be with her or more late in life kids for very long. I’ll croak and then my younger trophy wife will remarry to some younger d-bag and live in my mansion and will be enjoying all my toilet gator millions while I’m worm food. You scoff but I stay up late worrying about such things.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I believe you do. 😀

          Dude; just settle for a younger babe still capable of childbirth who loves you. My friend just had her last child and her husband is 8 or 9 years older.


          1. That probably is a Mormon thing. All the younger women meet an old man and think they are marrying Abraham or something. I can’t pull it off. Not without an endless supply of Toilet Gator money. I hate to say it but as I get older I look at women as traps to steal what money I do have. Like when I was young if I saw a hot woman walking down the street I’d be like “Wow I wish I could meet here” and now I say “Wow stay away from her that’s potentially half your money walking out the door.” Thus men get older, wiser, etc.

            Liked by 1 person

  10. My parents had written most of their obituaries before they passed. While I could talk about their character, I would have not been able to capture all of the specifics of their lives. It helped a lot.

    I’m not sure if it’s because I’m older and have more time on my hands to think, but I know I want to leave some kind of legacy. I think that’s along the same lines of wanting others to say kind things about us at our funeral. Mainly, I want to feel that I’ve contributed something (even if it’s a small detail) to the betterment of others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Your parents writing about themselves is great for that reason. I’ve attended services for two people now who died at a young enough age that a sibling talked about them. The siblings knew their character from a young age.

      You are leaving a legacy. All good teachers do.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. The funeral you’ve described is very much like those here. We don’t wear black, we celebrate the life of the person, including the funny moments, though mindful to hold that we never speak ill of the dead. Then we gather afterwards for food and drinks and a bit of socialising. But we are a secular lot, I’ve never been to a church funeral.

    I think you have to have the closure a funeral gives, a line drawn after life, but I’m not keen on it myself. I don’t know the details but I read something about David Bowie’s request not to have all that fuss. Presumably his body was secreted away and disposed of. I don’t like coffins and caskets. I might donate my remains to medical research. I fancy being one of those skeletons medical students study in their bedsit and then dress up during rag week and leave on the top deck of a London bus.

    I don’t think guests would appreciate my musical tastes anymore in death than they do in discussion now. I think silence is underrated. Maybe some natural ambient sounds playing: birdsong and a babbling brook. I quite like the idea of a slideshow projected on the wall: a life in pictures. Maybe the venue would be like a gallery where people could mingle and move around. An exhibition of personal artefacts and visual representations of memories. No speeches. No sense of obligation to sit and listen to a eulogy and a lesson. Come and go when they please, open to all, even passing strangers.

    You’ve made me think about it but in reality I’d probably do nothing and leave it to those who remain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t that the truth, that we often don’t bother? I like your ideas so much, though -especially the skeleton riding the bus one!

      The funerals I’ve attended have some display of the person, but I hadn’t pictured those artifacts as being an interactive piece like a museum. I quite like that idea as well.


      1. Yes, there’s usually a large photo portrait of the departed on an easel. The casket is usually sealed so the photo is useful in case people mistakenly attend the wrong funeral. 😆

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m not having a funeral, nobody would come. Getting cremated and told hubby to sneak to the local park and dump my ashes where my dog used to have her dumps.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Never really thought about how my funeral should go. I’ll be dead so it’s not like I will ever see or hear it. Funerals are for the living. My only hope is my writing survives in some way. What people will say or think of me is something I’ll have no control over.

    Liked by 1 person

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