“What will people think?”

Today at work we were having a lighthearted — yeah, lighthearted — chat about death and what our funeral wishes were. We also touched on wills — both the living and the very dead kind — and heaven. I think I may have been the only one interested in heaven but I’ve always been an optimist.

Some said cremation was the way to go, others thought burial was the best option. (For the record, I’d like to be buried some place pleasant in a simple casket.) One colleague said — with a wink — that he had some very exciting plans for his burial but he didn’t want to share them. Apparently the plans are so spectacular they’ll make the news.

Our chat today got me thinking about wills and why they’re very important.

When my younger sister died suddenly over a decade ago she didn’t have a will — who does at 28? She certainly didn’t expect that she’d need to worry about her final wishes for a very long time.

But one thing I knew for sure — there is no way she’d want to be buried in a wedding dress, as is the custom in my culture for unmarried women.

Not much older than she was at the time, I had to be very pushy with some of my extended family members on the matter. (Not my parents though, they understood and, of course, they knew their daughter.)

“What will people think?”

I didn’t care. I was more concerned about what my sister would have thought about a “white-wedding” funeral. She was much more a Doc Marten girl than the blushing bride type. It is a sexist custom and a whole bunch of other things that she didn’t care for. Plus she’d think it was just plain creepy.

I did my best to make sure she would’ve been pleased.

A month or so after the funeral I drew up my own will stating that I be buried in something I loved taken from my closet; and absolutely not a wedding dress. I didn’t elaborate further but I have a feeling that my final outfit will include sneakers.

We Elias sisters love our shoes — I tucked my sister’s favourite pair in her casket: the going out fun ones.


  1. Very lovely, Christine and brave too … it’s hard to defy the old ways as absurd as they appear to us today. Your sister was very lucky to have you.

  2. We Elias sisters love our shoes — I tucked my sister’s favourite pair in her casket: the going out fun ones.

    That made me choke up, friend.

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