Archive for July, 2010

July 28, 2010

My Funeral

I strongly want this to be read at my funeral:

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds, it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.

Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow

Since the first time I heard Dawkins speak these words in his beautiful manner, I knew it was what I wanted to be read at my funeral, even though I never really gave much thought to that before. But when I heard these words, I just knew that’s what I wanted. I then found out that Dawkins himself wants this (plus a little more) read at his own funeral.

I’m not planning on dying anytime soon. Life is good and I hope to continue a long, healthy, happy life. 🙂  But I figured I’d put this out there so that when I eventually do pass away, my wishes will be on record. I also don’t want any religious or supernatural traditions in my funeral whatsoever. This means that I don’t want any prayer or any mention of an afterlife or a god at my funeral. (However, what a person wants to do in private is up to him or her). I’m mentioning this because I’ve had some loved ones pass away who had funerals that were very different from the persons they were. So I want it to be clear that I don’t want my funeral to be religious and I want that to be read. Other than that, do what you want. I’ll be dead, so I guess I won’t know what you end up doing anyway, haha. 

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