Monday, November 8, 2010
Attending several funerals during my lifetime, I have reached a point in my life where I have written down or discussed details that I want to have at mine. Now in my situation, I have a couple of scenarios, basically whether I am killed in the line of duty or if it were happen at another time.
Thinking about it happening on the job certainly gives a whole different perspective of the ceremony and events that would transpire. I don't know if there isn't a firefighter that hasn't pictured themselves, being the one buried, at another's funeral. Especially when a line of duty death has occured. We can all picture our own families, as we watch others go through the experience.
I have pictured my body in the casket, riding on a fire engine, the folding of the American flag, the flag being handed to my family. I have pictured my children's faces, tears flowing from their eyes. I can also see my family react as the bagpipers play Amazing Grace, then being handed my helmet. The final salute of white gloves, paying tribute to a fallen brother.
A common thread, at firefighter funerals, the Chief officer's are quick to seperate the Chiefs from the other ranks. My funeral, I want rank exempt, everyone is equal, no one and I mean no one, is more important because of their rank. Everyone is intermixed with one another, standing shoulder to shoulder. It is about brotherhood, not titles.
The fact of the matter is, if my life is cut short, firefighter's will be present. How I die, clarifies the magnitude of the event. I just want people to remember, my service is not for me, its for my family. They are the one's left, mourning, alone, needing to know that people care.
I told my wife the other day, if there is one thing they could do, something that really resonates my personality. Live music, hell have a band there, celebrate, share stories, listen to some of my favorite songs. Have the bagpipers jump in with the band, letting loose, using their music creativity. Smile, laugh, shake your head, whatever you wish, know that I enjoyed life.
Now I also realize that my body can only be on a fire engine in the event that I am a line of duty death. That is how I want it, if my death occurs off duty, have the fire engine lead the hearse. If at all possible, I would love the pipers and drums to lead me into the Cemetary. A slow march until I am brought to my final resting place.Then near the end, after all is said and done, the sole bagpiper playing amazing graze, followed by the whole band, then the solo piper playing as they walk off into the distance.
I understand that some of these requests and wishes won't be followed through. Again it not about me, but, if were up to me. This is how I would celebrate my life.