here is my what-to-do-with-the-body letter. it's behind a cut for anyone who would find it too morbid or upsetting. is there anything I should add?
October 16, 2004
Dear Family and Friends,
I suspect that if you have occasion to read this letter I will have died. For that please allow me to apologize, although, in all likelihood, I could not help it. I hope it wasn’t anything I said or did.
Depending on the circumstances, you may already know that Lisa is in charge of everything. I hope this does not offend anyone, but in many ways I consider her to be my closest relative. Thus, in all matters, she has the final say. Obey her or I will come back and haunt you.
The following summarizes my directions concerning the disposition of my body and the form of memorial following my death. Now I realize that I am leaving less than no money, so some of these may be financially unfeasible, but to the extent you can approximate the following I will be grateful:
1. I do not wish to be embalmed; however, neither do I wish to be cremated. I wish to be buried in a plain wooden box, unvarnished and without ornament or seal. The main point here is that I wish my body to have as immediate contact with the earth as possible, such that I decay at a natural rate. If it were legal to bury me in a paper bag, I’d go for that.
2. Clothe me in nice jeans and a nice long-sleeved shirt. The jeans can be blue or black--doesn’t matter so long as they go well with the shirt. Be sure I have that little silver bracelet on. The one I wear every day. If I died in my sleep at night, it is in the yellow box on the oil can under my bed. Also bury me with the stuffed chipmunk I’ve been sleeping with since I was 7, if he has not already decomposed beyond recognition. And send me off with a book of Calvin and Hobbes comic strips.
2. In order of preference, any of these areas would make an acceptable gravesite:
a. A forested area of the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington state.
b. Anywhere in the Seattle, Washington area.
c. A forested area anywhere in Northern California.
d. Anywhere in or immediately around the city of San Francisco, California.
e. In the Mojave Desert.
f. Anywhere in Washington or California.
I refuse to be buried anywhere other than on the west coast of the continental United States.
3. All services and markers, if you can scrape up the money for any, are to refer to me by the name of Erik Martin Schneider. My beard must remain intact.
4. I am not particular as to whether you throw a funeral, a memorial, a wake, or a big party in honor of my having died. However, if you do decide to do something, make sure to read some Samuel Beckett and some Gertrude Stein. I do not want a Christian service or any service related to a monotheistic religion. Feel free to voice your beliefs aloud, but I do not want the service itself to be religiously based.
If you decide to go the wake/party route, it is imperative that Jaegermeister be served. Only those whose beliefs preclude them from drinking may be exempt from the obligation to take at least one shot in toast to my memory.