There’s no denying I’m on my last lap and heading home.

I’m healthy and happy, but I know I’m edging closer.

I enjoy telling family stories. Mistakenly and often I think my children and grandchildren will find it interesting to hear them. My stories are met with eye rolls. Clearly I am a dinosaur.

Thus, I have developed my own story about my final homeward journey.

I want a long and detailed obituary in the Sunday newspaper. I’m writing it myself. I can’t trust that anyone will include information not typically remembered about me, such as my wild 35 years living and working in Arizona. I don’t trust anyone to know I study the English monarchy for fun.

No funeral. I can’t count how many funerals I have attended grousing all the way. Instead, I want my family and friends to eat unlimited lobster dripping with butter on the coast of Maine.


In all my earthly homes my bed has been my heaven. I love clean sheets, warm comforters and lots of books stacked up beside me. Knowing this, where do I want my ashes? And ashes it will be.

I could ask my family to take me to an oil rig near Houston where I spent many of my early days with my geologist father. No one wants to do that, I know. See above where I talk about going to funerals.

My husband has a nice family plot in Westbrook. If I go there I know his father, aunts and grandparents will welcome me with a cup of tea in fine china. My mother is buried in a remote cemetery in Grafton, Vermont. Thing is, her sister is buried next to her and I don’t see myself resting comfortably near Aunt Marge for even a day. My father is in Cochise County, Arizona. That’s out. Too hot. Too many cacti and snakes and no ocean.

I love the woods and big bodies of water, but the idea of being scattered anywhere makes me nervous. I’ve been scattered this entire lifetime and I’ve had enough of that.

If I choose to be made into a locket I see the ultimate outcome, and it feels like a landfill.

I want to be in a plain brown box above the fireplace in the home of one of my children. Knowing them as I do, I stand a chance to last the longest with my daughter, Marcy. My free spirited son Andy will probably live on a beach in Bali. From my perch in the living room I will be able to see my great-grandchildren and watch them play Monopoly around the coffee table.

When the box becomes too burdensome even for Marcy, someone can get a trowel, dig a hole and bury me in my rose garden. There I will be emphatic in letting my family know I still love them. They will know this by my show of white and orange roses every spring.

Meetinghouse is a community storytelling project hosted by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

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