What Food Would you Serve at Your Funeral?
A morbid curiosity
Hitting me like a ten-tonne weight was the question of the year,
'What food would you serve at your funeral?'
A question that flashed through my mind as I made the 'most of my day' by loading up Divinity 2 and connecting with the world of video games. It was a thought that would not leave as I slew the enemies laid out before me.
I asked the friend that I was slaying with and his response was muted to say the least, so I gave up after a few minutes.
Don't get me wrong, it is not like I am in a hurry to head off into the beyond, but it is a bridge that we all must cross in our lives, so why not have some fun? We are born, we live and we die, with the ultimate result being a funeral/wake (depending on your customs).
As much as your loved ones will organise it, I feel as though it is worth planning in advance owing to the consideration that you know you best. Your loved ones are employed to know you better than anyone else but to add the ultimate touch, I feel as though you should have input.
Takes a Certain Type of Personality
I have never been diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
I have been accused of being obsessive, compulsive, especially at work but nothing official has ever emerged. I like to plan, that is true and my wife would echo those sentiments, but it is something that I reject.
To double, triple and quadruple check, rather than simply letting anything head out the door in your name is wrong. I am a professional, working in a detail-orientated sector and so my work should reflect this. It should be of the best quality and the only way to ensure this is by checking what you have done. No first draft is ever going to be the greatest version of what you can deliver.
To think of your funeral and to take control of the arrangements at age 32 could be considered morbid and controlling, but I do not agree. I am simply pondering questions of my life that will ensure that when the time comes, my loved ones understand my wishes and can relax. They will be free to craft a send-off that I would have been proud of without stressing about the details.
More Than One Consideration
A wake is not just about food. There will also be drinks to consider, but for today, we will be focusing on the food, which is traditionally delivered as a buffet sort of affair. Everyone crowded around tables in the pub, whilst finger food is prepared and delivered in the corner. People grab a pint and start to deliver their favourite stories of the person in question. For me this is nice, but I want more.
My favourite food is pizza and therefore that needs to be taken into account. Domino's is my favourite brand and so the catering should be delivered by them.
50 pizzas for 50 people. No more and no less, with any food that is leftover being offered to homeless people in the area. Whilst I do waste food on occasion, it is something that I always feel bad about, with many not able to afford basics and so me throwing away luxuries seems wrong.
Once the pizza has been polished off and removed, there will be dessert. I do not care if anyone is full, there will be dessert and as it is my wake, I make the rules.
No matter how down in the dumps I am, a large Domino's, Garlic Pizza Bread and cookies will always bring me back to reality. It is comfort food through and through and whilst it is horrendously bad for me, I cannot resist, finishing it all off, every time. My wife jokes that the day in which I do not want pizza is the day that I will be truly ill.
So that is the main and the dessert delivered. The money for which will be delivered via my Will, as if I am asking people to attend my funeral and have no choice in the food, then the least that I can do is pay for a meal. Failure to provide the correct meal on the day will result in half the inheritance that my children expect to be spent on the cat. That will motivate them to carry out my wishes and not go off script.
You Never Stop Thinking of Others
As I was coming up with the content of this entry and thinking of what food I would serve at my funeral, a powerful thought emerged.
You never stop thinking of others.
No matter how old you are, you always consider what others are thinking or doing as we get nowhere in life alone. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are a nesting species and enjoy the company of others.
Even in death, my final thoughts will be of those that I held close. Those that I love and those that I cannot live without. This will be how I exit this life and enter the next. It's something that I don't want to dwell on but cannot help but think about every now and then.
When placed in the context of always thinking of others you begin to build a picture of neediness. We are a species that needs each other. Considering the needs of not just ourselves but the person opposite also. This is something that can be forgotten about, especially on the world stage in which the few dominate the future of the many.
We are one species and if we all considered our neighbours, with every action that we take, we could move forward together and not remain stagnant.
A Final Thought
As someone who has been described by colleagues and friends as OCD, I like to know what is happening. Surprises are great but they need to be provided in advance. What I mean by this is that I would like to know the time and date in order to fully prepare for going away. Having someone plan a spontaneous weekend sounds great, but I would like to have been able to pack for it myself, rather than be handed a bag.
Whilst there are more requirements than what food to serve at the wake (the post-funeral drink and sharing of stories), I believe that food is the window to someone's heart. In a world of packets and convenience, those who offer something new for your tastebuds will stand out. They will remember you for creating them a meal that helped their tastebuds to sing.
As you exit this life and merge into whatever is next, you will be left with one thought, your loved ones. Those amazing memories in which you were happy, no worries, just pure unadulterated happiness and so for your funeral, your last act, you want to ensure that everyone is catered for. For me, this would revolve around pizza, as it is my favourite meal, yet different bases and toppings would be required.
You never stop thinking of others, even in death.