If I Died Today — My Music – Song #1



<<This post is part of my series, ‘IF I DIED TODAY.’ Posts in the series are presented with the hope that we can prepare ourselves for our own eventual end-of-life issues before the end comes; so that we may have peace of mind for ourselves and our loved ones may be undistracted by our personal worries. Let’s be allowed to enjoy the final days together, to the fullest.


Such preparation now frees us in many ways, from the very anxiety death creates in us.  Let’s start the conversation and quell our fear.>>







Some may wonder if I have a preoccupation with my own demise… in short, I do.  I realize this topic of preparing for death, any death, is taboo to a great many.  And, it seems so clichè to say ‘death is a natural part of the life cycle’ — but it is.


Over the past month or two, several (at least 6) of our friends / family have passed away — which makes death a frequent target of rumination, for me personally. Our share of losses has been extraordinarily high in number and in some cases, shocking in the unexpected suddenness.  


When I was in mortuary college, one of the assignments in the funeral arrangements class required each student to draft an arrangement of their own funeral.

Image credit: funeral directors Johnny Moller and Debra Ott Moller with the following message: My new wife and I are both funeral directors in Des Moines, Ia and these were our bar napkins at our wedding in June. - See more at: http://connectingdirectors.com/articles/44508-the-perfect-wedding-napkin-for-two-funeral-directors#sthash.854SNA13.dpuf

Image credit: funeral directors Johnny Moller and Debra Ott Moller with the following message:
My new wife and I are both funeral directors in Des Moines, Ia and these were our bar napkins at our wedding in June.
– See more at: http://connectingdirectors.com/articles/44508-the-perfect-wedding-napkin-for-two-funeral-directors#sthash.854SNA13.dpuf



It was all hypothetical, of course, because funeral directors don’t actually die. Just like doctors don’t get sick and dentists don’t get toothaches…

So I went a little “exotic” and made my service a wilderness-themed affair…this is due to my love of the outdoors and fond childhood memories of summers spent in the Big Sky country of Montana, fishing in the glacial streams, etc. I wanted to be buried inside my Dodge Ram pickup truck – no need to get a box for me (spankin’ new at the time…with all the bells and whistles…a real sweet set of wheels I was crazy proud of), my body positioned in driver’s seat...interred at a place near the Beaverhead  or Big Hole Rivers.  I know…I am a bit of an odd duck. But, it was a ‘fantasy’ funeral, so I went with the whimsy of it and made it as colorful and extreme as I could. It would be the stuff that legends and folklore were made of. EPIC. I had a ball imagining the logistical nightmare my fantasy funeral and burial might create…those engineers were going to have fun digging the hole in that tough, rocky, rugged timberline! I was going to be a royal pain in the ass all the way to the end!   Alas, it was all purely fictional. Nobody in class had come up with anything  remotely as brazen or bizarre as my plan. Ha!

1995 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup - April 2, 2011





HOWEVER, it wouldn’t be impossible to do. I would simply make the inquiries and get an idea of the money and permissions it would require and get the hard part taken care of well before-hand, as is proper and rightly my responsibility to handle…


Speaking of which…there really isn’t any excuse to leave the financial burden on your family if you plan well. That’s the reason they make life insurance policies…buy one that will cover the bases of your death expenses and any debt you’ll probably leave…more units if you have a dependent family to cover. The coverage can be adjusted after children grow up, etc.  The emergency of an unexpected death may arise anytime. Death is something we all must accept; we’d be wise to get these details taken care of as early in our adulthood as possible…it is the biggest gift to your loved ones you can give. SECURITY.   *** Also, for new babies (children or your grandkids) buying a policy may be a very wise fiscal decision which may give them available cash for college later. Those Gerber Grow Up Plan policies are very affordable, too. *** 


That is the whole point of celebrating a life…customizing a memorial service that uniquely befits  and reflects the person’s way of  life. It should be meaningful!










Cartoon of the worst possible thing to say at ...

Cartoon of the worst possible thing to say at a funeral. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I cannot help but laugh now at the idea of myself, riding down in my pretty truck…half-figuring I might be headed out on the Highway To Hell…considering that I typically drove like a bat out of hell…yippee- ki-yi-yay!

Back then, it would have been an ideal tribute to the way I lived my life and the adventurous, ‘fearless’  hot mess  I was.  I have tamed down quite a bit from those heady, wild-child times, regrettably. Downright mundane, now.


Since my life has evolved and changed over time, I tend to be more realistic now when it comes to making any preferences and instructions for the handling of my own funeral. The tribute made in my honor is meant to comfort those I leave behind…it really isn’t mine to enjoy, so they ought to opt to do  as they wish, and I’ll ensure that the funding is provided via those life insurance benefits I have in place. It still doesn’t mean any of it should be boring, sad, or lackluster! I want a GOOD good-bye…there were too many struggles and hard times in my life,  I really expect to get off to a positive start in death, if you please!


Services are made up of various components — readings of religious or spiritual passages, eulogies, rites, music — are some common elements.


Anybody who knows me well, as my daughters do, knows music has been a real passion of mine. From the time my girls were very small, they’ve been acutely aware of my love for singing to the radio or to the songs in my vast array of tapes and CD‘s amassed over the years. Once, while we were on a day-trip, one of them exclaimed, “Mommy must know the words to a thousand songs!”   Actually…probably more like a couple thousand, I figure. Music  has always been a life force with me; it would be odd if it weren’t part of the end of my life, as well.  


I have a compilation of my favorite tunes recorded to a CD for just this occasion! I keep it where my self-written obituary and policies and stuff are safely put away. Of course.


Today I’ve decided to share one of my ‘designated’ songs that might be played; my way to send a heartfelt message to the folks I loved. I felt the sentiment in the lyrics were spot-on,  explaining my hoped-for legacy to leave behind…




I hope you enjoy Miss LeeAnn Womack‘s pretty song  “Something Worth Leaving Behind.”  (By the way, I selected some upbeat music, too, which I will share in future posts of this series)











Do YOU have any favorite songs which speak to the way you feel about how you’ve lived life or the personal legacy you hope to leave behind?


©2014,Colleen S. Thompson.



7 Responses to “If I Died Today — My Music – Song #1”

  1. Reading your post I am reminded of the well worn saying, “The only things certain in life are death and taxes”! As for a song, I can’t think of one. I have, however always loved Ernest Dowson’s poem, “They Are Not Long”: “They are not long the weeping and the laughter, love and desire and hate. I think they have no portion in us after we pass the the gate. They are not long the days of wine and roses. Out of a misty dream our path emerges for a while then closes within a dream”. melancholy but beautiful. Kevin


    • Hi Kevin! Welcome, and thank you so much for sharing that beautiful poem. Here is another post with a beautiful song
      we hope you’ll check it out and let us know what you thought of it. http://wp.me/p3m3ZG-TJ
      We thank you for taking the time to pop in and see what we are about and we hope you’ll return, often! We also enjoy your blog.
      We love to weigh in on the thought-provoking well-written posts, such as the one we saw earlier today. We will be back!


  2. The Clapping Song by Shirley Ellis though Cher did a fun version too.


  3. I think I’ll settle on Kiss and Say Goodbye by the Manhattans. That should get all the tears out of the way.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx
    Address please…..????

    Liked by 1 person

    • David…that’s a “break up song” for a guy and a gal..one of whom (or both) were married each to someone else…???
      But I kinda see your point. I used to absolutely love that song…I remember it well…I was about to go into Middle school (junior high) and they played it a lot for our dances.
      Now…about those tears..what!? Do you think those tears will flow only then? Oh my friend…you know better than that!
      I love you just the same…XXXX CJ XXXX

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shock, Horror that you should point out my advanced age because they were playing this while you were entering middle school and I was working by then. Oh, the pain.
        I don’t want people to cry for me, even at a funeral but it seems to be inevitable so I’ll force them out with this song then go onto something fun. I can sit on a cloud and laugh as I watch people smile at my choices.
        Yesterday I met someone I used to work with slightly who met Ju a couple of times but didn’t know her. She asked where Ju was then burst into tears when I told her. Why? And I felt awful for not crying because it’ a private thing. Ju’s funeral was as fun as a funeral can be, but it seems someone always feels the need to cry.
        I’d hope that if people remember me, they might do so with a wry smile because I tried to make them laugh but because I’m more hermit than anything, it might be a three person affair, and one of those will be the corpse= me!
        Still don’t seem to have received that missing address?????
        xxx Massive Hugs xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        • If nothing else, the recessional song at your funeral could be “The Name Game” Fee Fi Fo Favid … or that silly (must smile cuz it’s such a dumb diddy) song about the little monkey, a rope that broke and they all went to heaven in the little rowboat…who could keep a sad face leaving the hall to THAT song?? I know, I know…I am a bona fide weirdo. Never mind me….XoxxXX CJxxXox

          Liked by 1 person

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