Rumi Morkin: Funerals Outside The Box

Traditionally, funerals are held this solemn way:
close friends and family pay respects, the churchman has his say,
the body in a casket lies displayed as if in sleep,
two days at most if not embalmed – no longer, it won't keep.

Reception over, with respect the burial takes place;
quiet mourners stand, the widow's tears flow gently down her face,
upon the casket earth is piled, fresh flowers laid with care,
in one short day he is no more, remembered hence in prayer.

But fashions change, embalming's now a true "reviving" skill;
some people plan how they should go, it's stated in their will:
to seat them by a table, fully dressed, wine-glass in hand,
their families remember them this way and understand.

In Puerto Rico's drug fights, a young man of twenty-five
shot dead, his body was embalmed, preserved as if alive;
he sat upon a kitchen chair, legs crossed, eyes open wide,
his girl-friend said, "He looks at me as if he never died!"

Bill Standley of Mechanicsburg, Ohio, loved to bike,
he planned his funeral well ahead, exactly as he'd like:
astride his Harley Davidson, with Plexiglass around,
one last ride through the town then lowered, all into the ground.

Jazz player 'Uncle' Lionel, of New Orleans fame
was known to all, they wanted to give honor to his name;
his blood removed, his veins filled with formaldehyde instead,
well-dressed, he stood receiving mourners, "Is he really dead?"

You ask - should loved ones be exposed to treatment such as this?
To some it may seem wrong, but there's a point we should not miss:
if this is what the person wants and family agrees,
they'll go out with a bang and celebrate death as they please!