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Minnesota retiree: From here to eternity, my trip's all planned

  • Article by: Eddie Ryshavy
  • April 29, 2013 - 11:39 AM

Well, it’s all settled. I’m going to be sent to the crematorium.

Every time we attend a funeral or go on a long trip, my wife makes more arrangements for our demise. We returned from a friend’s funeral yesterday and are leaving on a long trip today. The convergence of these two events sent her into overdrive.

She says, “If something happens to us” (and you and I know that the something that might happen is never good) “we should have everything taken care of.” You and I also know that the “everything” is a casket, a cemetery plot and a detailed menu for the funeral lunch.

She says we should do it for the kids. I think the kids would prefer to have the cash, but my opinion doesn’t carry much weight in these matters.

I don’t belong to many organizations, but am now a member of the Cremation Society of Minnesota. I was heartened to hear that there are no annual dues and only one meeting.

At my wife’s insistence, I have also already filed my Health Directive, which doesn’t have much to do with health and pretty much assures that when I’m terminal no one will unduly detain me. It also provides for the distribution of used body parts to anyone interested.

Now that I know my final resting place will be in an 8-by-8-inch box (which by the way is considered by the state to be final disposition) you don’t have to bury me. Just put me on the coffee table alongside the big picture books. You can’t really do that with a casket.

My wife has assured me that this doesn’t mean I won’t get a funeral. I’ve had a few thoughts about that, too. I don’t want some friend or relative blubbering their way through my life’s story and screwing it all up. So I have decided to do my own eulogy. I think I’ll make a videotape so that I can be sure my most endearing attributes are properly highlighted.

It will also give me a public forum to settle a few old scores. What can they do about it then — sue me? They say it’s unseemly to speak ill of the dead, but no one ever said it wasn’t OK for the dead to speak ill of the living.

Now the one area that could use some major improvement is the funeral lunch (and I’m one of the few people who actually likes green-and-red Jell-O.) But my plan is to start with an open bar combined with heavy hors d’oeuvres. The main course will consist of a buffet that would make Julia Child and Lynne Rosetto Kasper weep — with joy.

I’m hoping all this planning will expedite my exit and I’ll be left to rest in peace. If you’re in the area, stop by and see me. I’ll be on the coffee table.



Eddie Ryshavy, of Plymouth, is a retired school administrator.

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