Like most of us, I harbor a secret desire to live forever, but the rational side of my brain threw that out long ago.  Having had several good friends die in the past few years and attended several religious funerals that irritated me, I am curious as to what an atheist's funeral/memorial service would look like.  And what of the obituary?  In all the ones I have read in the local paper I remember none that didn't follow the lines of standard religious dogma, he/she is with the Lord now, safe from pain, etc.  I live in a very religious area, Bismarck, ND.

If I leave this until the end it's likely that some religious member of my family may manhandle their way into this job and wreck it. So to plan for the future how do you plan a atheist's memorial?  Where do you have it? How do you write the obit?  

I just had an angiogram yesterday and, although they are no big deal, it did make me wonder?

Tags: death, funeral, obituary

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Viking burial. The only burial worth having.
My only sibling died a few months ago, and I endured the agony of sitting through the fire and brimstone service that was held. I was warned that death was coming, and I had better repent and be a fine xtian like my brother. It was so over the top that it got me to thinking about what would happen if I die before my parents. My poor friends and non-family loved ones would be forced to sit through the same thing. So I wrote down some guidelines, like, no preacher, no group prayers, no more than one religious song (my family LOVES singing about the zombie jesus, so I'll let one slide), and graveside memorial only. I also requested that my close friends carry my coffin. Women included. I'll be dead, and it won't matter to me, but I would rather not subject my friends to the kind of ceremony my parents would fashion.
I've long picked out this poem that I'd like to be associated with when I'm dead. Snagged from A Devil's Chaplain.

"From far, from eve and morning
And yon twelve-winded sky
The stuff of life to knit me
Blew hither: here am I

Now - for a breath I tarry
Nor yet disperse apart -
Take my hand, quick, and tell me
What have you in your heart?

Speak now, and I will answer
How shall I help you, say
'Ere to the wind's twelve quarters
I take my endless way.

If I get my way: they'll also be reading out the first chapter from Unweaving The Rainbow.

I've signed up to the Organ Donor Register too so once I'm done using them if someone else can benefit from what I was, they may - and a better end I cannot think of.


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