Sunday, January 24, 2010

Stylin' in the Afterlife

Let's talk about coffins. An uncomfortable subject, perhaps, but--like it or not--most of us are going to end up in one. Or an urn. Well, except for the woman I once did an estate plan for who wanted her ashes scattered "maybe on a sidewalk in Paris, or perhaps in the ocean, on a sunny day, while the dolphins are frolicking." I'm not even making this up. That's actually what she said.

Not that there's anything wrong with having your ashes scattered on a sidewalk in Paris or on top of frolicking dolphins but you need to: a) pick one or the other. Dolphins or Paris. Otherwise your loved one(s) will argue and/or feel confused; and b) actually NAME a loved one to perform the scattering.

Because I hate to tell you this, but requesting merely that "someone" fly your ashes to a different continent and dump them out pretty much guarantees that your final resting place will be the inside of a vacuum cleaner. Especially if you don't leave any money to pay for "someone's" travel expenses. I'm just saying.

(Stacey aside: You are SO wise. Go on with your bad lawyer self. Really, ya'll, Julie is a for real life lawyer and knows some stuff about this kind of stuff. Heed her words and all that.)

Legal advice over. Back to the main topic. Coffins. Caskets. (Is there a difference, I wonder??) It turns out, they're not all just black and hideous and depressing anymore. In fact, some of them are quite stylish. Like . . .

Julie: The sad thing is that this is the size of my actual purse.

Stacey: I think my purse is bigger. By the time I fit diaper bag stuff for baby and food for the 5 year old who is always hungry but will eat nothing but bananas and peanut butter sandwiches, I need a small carry on with me at all times.

A Laplander Sled Coffin

With this replica of a Laplander sled, Richard Mullard has created his own coffin that will enable him to be buried wearing his skis as if on a final expedition (Top Ten Crazy Coffins chosen by David Crampton, Director of Vic Fern Co. Ltd.)

Julie: So, basically they took a body bag and tied it onto a sled with a bunch of rope. This is a bit too creepy for me. People shouldn't be able to see the outline of your dead body. I'd rather just see it, you know? Otherwise my imagination conjures up all sorts of images that I'm sure are far worse than whats actually under there. So either keep your dead body covered up where I can't see your lumpy outline or expose yourself to the world so I don't spend your entire memorial service wondering if you look like something from the Mummy.

Stacey: Amen. What you said about that. But honestly, all bodies give me the creeps. I don't want to see your earthly shell after your soul is gone. I think cremation should be mandatory. But...yeah...I guess I'm weird like that. (My big sister insisted on an open casket during my father's funeral and that kind of scarred me for life. I just...yeah, I don't want to go there. I want to remember people the way they were. Alive. And shit.)

Some coffins are stylish AND functional.

Check out these offerings from The Old Pine Box --

"The Pioneer may be purchased with a shelf option . . . to serve as storage or display for any of your fine articles. It comes standard with a removable lid that may be stored separately or if a cabinet style is preferred, you may order a hinged lid."

Julie: Is it scary that I actually looked at this and thought "Wow, what an awesome idea!"??

Stacey: Yes. It is. Actually. *scoots to the other side of the blog*

The "Vinters Vessel"

"The "Vinter's Vessel" will make itself extremely useful during your lifetime and after. When needed as a burial vessel, the interior framework slides out to be re-assembled as a free standing wine rack. This will allow your collection to be displayed at your wake, permitting your mourners to do as the coffin's medallion instructs: 'Celebrate my life.'

The "Vinter's Vessel" will house 19 bottles of wine in the lower portion. The upper third of the coffin provides space for your wine glasses."

Julie: Forget that deer statue I offered to buy you a few posts ago, Stacey. THIS is the ultimate housewarming gift, especially if the hubs gets into wine school in California. (Wine school? Is that what it's called? That doesn't sound right. Vinter's school?) A wine rack AND a coffin. How's that for dual purpose?

Stacey: I actually LOVE this! As long as my loved ones cremate me and just use the wine and the glasses to party after I'm dead. I want my people to party after I'm gone. (Because we had good times together, not because they're glad the witch is finally dead. Lol.) And yes, you can get this for me. I'd also like a pony if you're really feeling generous ;).

The "Chariot"

"A simply designed pet coffin with sliding lid and decorative trim . . .Until needed for its ultimate use, the Chariot can function beautifully as your pet's toy box."

Julie: Are there people who actually bury their pets in a coffin? Really? Is that a Northern thing? We just wrap ours in a trash bag. And by "we" I mean my husband. At least, in my mind he wraps them in a trash bag. I'm pretty sure I don't want to know what he really does--because I'm 100% certain it doesn't involve a neat little wooden box with sliding lid and decorative trim.

Stacey: This is why I don't have pets. It's hard enough to figure out what to do with my house plants when I inevitably kill them.

OR, you could forget the traditional and have yourself turned into something really useful like. . . a princess cut diamond ring. . .

Or perhaps a nice necklace.

"LifeGem is a certified, high quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life, or as a symbol of your personal and precious bond with another. Because like the memory of a loved one, a diamond lasts forever."

Julie: People think I'm kidding, but I'm really doing this. I'm having myself turned into a diamond ring. And my husband into matching earrings. For real. I think it's the most awesome idea ever. Who wants to drag around a stupid urn or trek out to a depressing cemetery?

A nice piece of jewelry, on the other hand--well, who wouldn't want that? I think it makes much more sense to leave my daughter with platinum earrings and ring than a yucky urn or the hassle of a cemetery plot.

Stacey: And this is why you are wise and awesome and I turn to you in times of trouble. Excellent idea. I'll do that too.

Stacey and Julie Out!

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