Not planning to die any time soon, but a combination of talking to condescending Christians and finding out I need to seriously work on my health has me thinking about the subject more than I have in years. So I’m writing this post as a record of my wishes for those who would be tasked with the arrangements.
Regarding the ceremony, please have one. Ceremonies are good. Hold it wherever you want, run it as you see fit, as casual or as formal as you deem appropriate, invite whoever you like.
– but –
If the ceremony is presided over by a priest (or any religious officer), or if any speaker prays, or says anything about God, or the Bible, or Heaven, or any kind of afterlife (excepting the most figurative sense ie “live on in our memories, through his great deeds etc”), then the following disclaimer must be read at the end of the service on my behalf:
If this message is being read to you it means I’m no longer alive, and religion has been invoked on the occasion of my funeral. This is permissible, perhaps to be expected, but now I must have the last word on the subject, because I am the guest of honour.
For the record, I want it to be known that I do not endorse any attempt to turn the occasion of my death into a religious one.
I don’t believe in God, or the afterlife, or any of that stuff. I am quite sure my existence has come to an end. And if somehow on some vanishingly small off-chance it hasn’t, please know that it’s still far more likely that I live on in a parallel universe, or that we’ve all been living in the Matrix, than that I’m flouncing about in Heaven or roasting in eternal Hellfire.
So anyway… be as happy as you can for as long as you can, because this life is almost certainly the only one you’re going to get. Learn more about science and the natural world, and try to appreciate your good fortune to be alive at such an incredible time in human history.
NB If the ceremony is as utterly without religious reference and iconography as it would be were I organizing it myself, feel free to quote or paraphrase from that as you see fit, but leave off the first paragraph and maybe start at “I don’t believe in God…”