When I die, keep on like you have been.
Imagine we're doing this work together,
like we did a hundred other projects and efforts:
at the drop of the hat because nothing
worthwhile can be planned in advance,
stringing together what's on hand with
who can be there this time, and
what bare minimum it takes to
tend well to each other. It won't be perfect but
we know the intention will make it beautiful.
Just be sure no one feels burdened.
To put my body to rest, find a simple, sturdy sack -
maybe a big, woven coffee bag
from the bottom shelf of the cafe where
I loved to sit, write, watch people live.
Let me wear the clothes I was born in.
Carry me to the woods, dig a deep hole,
and drop me down to the roots. No need
to be neat about it. I'll be getting dirty in there.
Don't sacrifice flowers by plucking them to die
over my dead body on top of dirt.
Let me be their roundabout feast.
In fact, if it isn't too much trouble,
scatter a few more seeds instead of ashes.
The birds' choir, worms’ cremation, incense
of seasonal scents, sun- or starlight will
complete the ceremony, the sky
a consoling closing poem.
I hope some of those whom I love can bury me
but my heart won't hurt if they can't.
If they think of me for a moment,
with a smile or sigh or song, wherever they are -
that will be an ideal eulogy.
Wherever I am, if “wherever” can ever
be the right word, I'll do all I can
to be a guardian, a guide, a force for good.
Trust that. But if it turns out I'm Gone,
trust that I loved enough in this life to satisfy
any longing for eternity.
May I leave a tidy space and few tracks.
May tears or rejoicing be short.
May someday the remnants of my flesh feed
someone I'll never meet through blossom or fruit.
May I dissolve quietly into everything.