Thoughts From My Teenage Daughter

“Boy, when you’re dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.” – The Catcher in The Rye

Honestly, this quote makes a lot of sense to me. Mostly because funerals aren’t for the dead, they’re for the living. What a lot of people just don’t understand is that funerals are not to honor the dead. Funerals are held nowadays to console the living. No one is putting flowers on your casket or coffin for you. They are putting them there to comfort themselves. The flowers and gifts laid out for you in death are just a silent apology for all of the words that were never spoken. They’re left there for all of the actions that were done, or that were left undone by the people who lay them there. Most people, when you die, are going to cry for you, yes. The question you have to ask yourself, however, is: Are they crying because I am dead, or are they crying because I am no longer there to continue to provide whatever service it is that made them love me in the first place? For someone, you were there child. You provided them with laughter, joy, and pride. For another person, you are there friend. You offered loyalty, honesty, companionship, and maybe even advice. Many people will not cry because you’re dead. Many will just cry because you are no longer there to give advice. You are no longer there to make them laugh. Humans are selfish. Even in the matters of death. -Sara Kristine Slomski


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