After the premature death of a good friend of ours we were having a conversation on a topic one normally prefers to avoid.
A burial / cremation.
Strange or not, but there is still a taboo which adheres to the burial or cremation. Like what to do with that old Bag o’ Bones whilst every one will exchange at some point in time his or her temporary existence with the eternal one, voluntarily or not.
My wife said something like well, burial seems nothing to me I’d rather be scattered and then preferably in a place where you and the dogs come by regularly. I told her that sounded all right with me and then she went on, if it’s okay with you, then wait until it snows and / or there is glazed frost, you could mix my ashes with sand and scatter over the bridge in the ditch so I’ll be of some use after my departure.
There was a pause, in which we mused on that noble thought.
Then I said: I would like to follow an ancient ritual as the Vikings used to do by setting a ship ablaze and then float off my remains together with my most cherished possessions to Valhalla, but then again, to me that seemed, apart from the navigational perils when specifying Valhalla as its final destination, to be quite an expensive one.
Yes, my mother said, sitting in the back of the car and practical as always she added that it must be quite a nuisance to other users of a shipping route when everyone would be sending burning ships along.
Everyone agreed on that, and I felt the accusatory glances prickling in my neck, as it was again a little selfish thought.
Ok, ok, ok, I hastened to say, how about another ritual as I was told by our neighbor.
My wife looked at me suspiciously and asked thoughtfully at what ritual I was referring to.
Well the story of them dogs and a sausage I said, and before she could stop me, I told it as I heard it. In the postwar period, there was not so much money, so creative thinking was quite common among the population. When the father of my neighbor then was asked how he had arranged his funeral, he replied he had bought a big sausage for that purpose.
A sausage, his son (our neighbor) responded shocked, but father, how would you settle a place in the cemetery with a sausage, what were you thinking?
Cemetery? Who said anything about a graveyard here? No, sonny, stick a sausage in my bum and the dogs will be dragging me out of the streets straightaway.
The whole car shook from the collective laughter that followed.
Yes, in these parts the people have quite some humor though it is sometimes a little macabre, but laughing is healthy as they say.