My name is not Maud. I didn't attend this funeral today looking for a Harold. I read her obituary in the paper. This young woman was but one year older than me. She had never married. From her picture, she looked just as boring and wholesome as I've been known to be referred to. I was curious, how was her family handling such a sad loss? What would the funeral service be like for such a lovely young woman with no husband or children to mourn her passing? It was my day off; the funeral was just across the valley in Herriman so I decided to go.
It was a very nice service. Her only sister got very emotional as she spoke of her deceased sister's selfless acts of service, despite her health problems. She identified five things that served as examples for how we should all live and which her sister never failed in emulating: Friendship, Service, Hard Work, Forgiveness and I forget the last one (five thousand pens cluttering up my desk at home but not a single one in my purse) but all gave me pause to reflect and consider my own life.
Her five brothers also took part in the service and also got very emotional as they spoke of how proud they were of their sister who always put the cancer patients she cared for first as well as being a favorite aunt to her nieces and nephews. Her father spoke and anyone could tell just by looking at him that he was a good man who had raised his children well, loved their mother very much and was a good provider for his family.
There was no graveside dedication as this young woman had requested her body be donated to science at the University of Utah. I couldn't help but be impressed at both the courage of the deceased in donating her body to science and in the way the family was handling her last wishs with such grace. In the midst of such melancholy circumstances they managed to find dignity and closure by pulling together. What a lucky young woman to have been born into such a family.
As the years have passed with no opportunity to meet anyone, I've given a lot of thought to what my own funeral will be like and how my own family will handle it.When I was taking anatomy at the University of Utah, I'd often cheer myself up with the thought that if I didn't make it through this grueling course alive, I'd want my own body donated to the anatomy lab with a little note tied to my big toe, "A C+ in Mark Nielsen's class can really kill you".
I could never do that to my own family-request my body be donated to science. Even though I was already dead, Mom would kill me for denying her the opportunity to weep and wail over an open grave. When it's my time to go, I don't want anyone to be sad for I know certain things to be true and I'd want to reassure my family that I'll be going to a better place where I'll be welcomed with open arms. Who knows, maybe there's already someone waiting for me there on the other side. I even got bored one night a few months ago and wrote my own obituary. That's the curse/blessing of being single-lots of personal time.
I'm not afraid to die. After the hell of this life, honestly, how bad can it be?