Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Planning a Funeral Like Comedian Mindy Kaling

Has anyone in your family left detailed funeral/memorial plans?

In Mindy Kaling's book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?", she devotes an entire chapter to planning her own funeral entitled: "Strict Instructions for My Funeral". True to Mindy's comedic form, some of her requests are undoubtedly amusing. Yet, she also lists some serious requests which are typical in funeral planning.

Mindy opens with, "You might think this is presumptuous, but consider it a favor to you, because at the time of my death you will be so distracted with grief that your ability to plan will be compromised." This is incredibly accurate. Families truly have a difficult tiime planning a funeral while grieving.
 
Mindy suggests a "dress code"; mentions who is allowed to attend "no current wives or girlfriends of my exes"; decor "No candles. I hate candles."; and what type of music she prefers, "I hate original music" and "no assembly of past members or anything is allowed to sing" (referring to her a capella group from college).

Discussing the reception Mindy says, "There should be food at my funeral. I hate getting invited to something and there's no food. Something tasteful and light. No pasta....no hot food at all. Small savory finger sandwiches, scones, coffee. Basically an English tea." What she describes as an "English Tea" is strikingly similar to the most common foods served at funeral receptions -- cookies, coffee, punch and tea.


She has strict "guidelines" for speakers at the funeral. "Don't let them turn this into a roast for me. You know how I feel about roasts." And she insists, "please, no religious stuff...I'm not making some big atheist statement but I want this to be solemn because people are so upset I'm dead."

Mindy also recommends that guests be given a "gift bag" at the funeral which will include four items:
  1. A photo of her at her "most beautiful." (This is the most common type of photo used in newspaper obituaries.)
  2. "An energy bar or trendy body spray from whichever company is sponsoring the funeral." (Here is an interesting idea, as so many people need help funding a funeral that some type of sponsorship could be a huge asset.)
  3. A drawing she made as a child of "an astronaut."
  4. "A letter from the president talking about my impact on the creative community."
She closes the chapter with "Do all of this and you will know that I will rest in eternal peace." Who wouldn't love to have such detailed instructions to follow from a loved one? 

The rest of Mindy's book is a clever and fun read. However, this funeral chapter was truly the most inspiring because people simply don't plan ahead often enough, and we all wished they had. Hats off to Mindy for this inspirational piece.

Has anyone in your family left detailed funeral/memorial plans?
Will you leave detailed funeral/memorial instructions for your family?  Why or why not? Please share.



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