Beam me up

[Before I tell you this, can I just tell you that the comments on the previous entry have had me in stitches for hours? Next year I’m going to suggest that the students analyze the rockingness of my readers.]

Yesterday, for some reason, the family was congregated here in my office and the subject of a ring of mine came up (do not ask me to explain; I can’t), and Chickadee immediately piped up, “Can I have it when you’re dead?

It doesn’t matter how many bushes you have, people. Chickie is not going to beat around even a single one of them. FYI.

Because I am mean and horrible and also because the little glint she gets in her eyes when she asks me these things disturbs me just a wee bit, I answered, “Absolutely… NOT.” And she was, of course, CRUSHED.

“Why NOOOOOOT?” she asked, full pout ready to descend.

“Because…” I tried to find just the right answer. The one that would convey all of the love I have for her. “… I’m going to be buried in it!” I concluded, twinkle in my eye matching the one she’d been flashing me just a minute earlier.

“You’re going to be buried IN A RING?” asked Monkey, making the shape and approximate size of said jewelry with his fingers, clearly flummoxed as to how I would fit in such a thing.

“I’m going to be cremated!” I replied. “And then STUFFED IN MY RING! And buried that way!” Now we were all laughing.

“I sure hope they have a REALLY HOT OVEN for you, dear,” said Otto, chuckling. “I mean, you’re talking about REALLY being cremated.”

“Yes, well,” I continued, “like I said, I’m going to be cremated. And then I’m going to be VAPORIZED.” The children were holding their sides with laughter, by this point, and Otto and I were both giggling uncontrollably. “And THEN!” I finished, “I’ll be buried IN MY RING.”

Death is a solemn topic we discuss with the proper reverence around here, people.

Also: Keep your mitts off my ring.


  1. Megan

    Aren’t there some rather odd businesses out there which will compress all your ashes down and make ’em into a diamond or something? Could be GoogleMyth of course but then, THEN you could be cremated, vaporized, crushed and finally really and for truly buried in your ring!

    Now, my grandmother used to claim she was going to be beeyewtifully preserved in Lucite and we could keep her in a chest that had been in the family for ages (which is now, naturally, known as the coffin). She suggested we could even rotate her now and then for a new view… come to think of it, my family is a bit strange…

  2. Anna

    Yes, Megan, I was about to post the same thing. Ick.

  3. Ani

    Oh darn Megan beat me to it.

  4. Jodi

    Almost as tactful as the funeral home director who, after my co-worker sent in her mother’s obit (terminal brain cancer), e-mailed back and said, “She’s not dead yet, right?”


  5. StephLove

    I walked by a funeral home with my 3 y/o yesterday and she wanted to know what it was. I did my best to explain. Then she wanted to know who would bring her body to the funeral home when she was dead. I paused and she answered herself, “Someone who loves me?” “”Yes,” I answered. Then she named a preschool classmate for the job. I’m wondering if I should tell her mom or not (we’re friends but not close friends). Cute, creepy or both?

  6. Ariel

    My brother wanted to be cremated and his ashes sprinkled on “whoever it would piss off the most”.
    We all laughed at this, but then six weeks later when he got into a car accident and died and we were trying to figure out what the hell to do and the guy from the funeral home brought up cremation we all started laughing so hard.
    He was buried instead and I feel bad about that, but he was only 19, so it wasn’t like he’d left a will, you know?
    And there were so many emotions and people who felt they had a say in the matter.
    But that was my brother :) He still makes me laugh and it’s been 9 years.
    SO ya. Cremation. Death. Awesomely funny topics, in my book:) OF course, I have a unique family.

  7. MomCat

    You’re sounding like Gollum, dear Mir.

  8. Ariel

    Also, in my family, if we wanted a picture or a piece of furniture Grandma would say “Put your name on it and date it!” so whomever was on there there the earliest got first dibs. But you know, if your taste had changed and you didn’t want it anymore then it went to the next in line. Kinda creepy, I guess but it worked well! There was no squabbling after she died.
    Much better than my sperm donors(father’s) side of the family who’s creed is “Take everything you can get your hands on, contest the will, cause it should all be mine anyway!”
    I swore off of funerals after my grandpa on my fathers side died because they’d ignored the old man for 25 years (I’d met him 3 times, I think) and then when he was dying gathered around his bedside begging him not to die. They went to court and took POA away from his companion of 30 years, who was a nice lady, and barred her from being there as he died and from the funeral where they got up and lied about how much they loved him. And then they kicked his companion out of the house they’d lived in and sold it. I maintain my mother was impregnated by aliens, and I really don’t have any genetic material from that side of the family. They are EVIL!

  9. Ariel

    And OH! Speaking of rings- My mum had a ring that had been my grandma’s and she let me wear it as my “something old” and my “something borrowed” at my wedding this past July :) It was sweet. And then she gave it to me at the end of the night.
    Such good times:)
    Nothing is too terrible as long as you get to keep your sense of humor, right?

  10. ellbee

    Careful, Mir! My mom has a family heirloom ring that I plot about EVERY time I see her. She never wore it when I was little–which was smart of her, considering the rate at which I appropriated her costume jewelry–but now she wears it all the time. I’ve tried threatening to snap off her finger, distracting her while yanking on the ring (oh look! A dinosaur!) and soliticiously asking about her health if she’s EVER sick (you dead yet? How about now?) I’ve yet to get my hands on the ring, but it will be mine, OH YES it will be mine.
    Sometimes daughters never grow up. :)

  11. Gaylin

    Years ago I told my mom that the only thing I wanted when she bit the dust (yes I said it that eloquently) was a small engagement ring that had been my great grandmothers. My mom gave it to me for my birthday that year, now my older sister is jealous. HA HA HA
    Now I have asked for other things, I turn 50 this year, I may just get that wooden potato chip bowl I have my eye on!

  12. Lori N

    Ah, someone else with my kind of gallows humor. My husband just doesn’t understand my side of the family on this.

    Here’s a story that I think is hilariously & my husband thinks is horrible as an example.

    While my dad was ill & dying he and my mom received ALL TWENTY of the rose center pieces from a luncheon they had organized, but couldn’t attend, due to dad’s poor health. The attendees had wanted to send my parents the flowers as a thank-you gift. After Mom had put all the flowers on the kitchen table, my dad remarked that it smelled like a funeral home & perhaps he should just lay down in the middle of them & send everyone a picture of him lying there.

    Every time I think of his passing, I remember the look on his face as he told this story — it was lit up like a mischievous kid about to pull his best prank — and I have to smile. I still wish he had taken the picture. ;)

  13. JJ

    My mom has many beautiful rings from my dad, and I remember quite well when my sister and I (in our late teens/early twenties) were asked to decide who would get which ring when “the time came.” My parents lost their parents all at about the same time, and the divvying up of assets and possessions caused 2 siblings in my dad’s family to never speak again-my uncle died without ever making up with his sister. Since then, my parents made us divide everything up and put everything in writing with access to all necessary files and documents for both me and my sister. They didn’t want us to go through what they did with their siblings.

  14. Karate Mom

    Those are the kinds of conversations that keep a family fun!

  15. Celeste

    When my dad died, we had SUCH a good time making fun of the funeral direction. Who wore polyester leisure suits. In 1990. We even gave him a nickname (his first name WAS Ed but this wasn’t his real last name): Ed Skved, Friend of the Dead. Poor Ed…he did take good care of Dad for us, and he didn’t charge extra for the entertainment value.

  16. JennyM

    This reminds me of a story my mom tells about her grandmother and a joke her grandmother used to tell. It’s more of a pun, Great Grandmother being the genteel southern lady that she was — and I honestly don’t know if it’s something she made up; I’m guessing probably not. Anyway, she’d make a lemon pie, and then she’d turn to whoever was with her and say, “Why is this pie like my hand?” And whoever was with her would dutifully say, “Why?” And, dissolving in gentle southern older lady giggles, she’d say, “Because it has meringue on it!”

    (Get it? Say “my ring” with a deep southern accent.)

    So, it became a family “thing” and now my mom will make a pie and say “Hey guys, why…” and we’ll all interrupt with, “BECAUSE IT HAS MAH RANG ON IT!” in unison.

    Ah, good times.

    Are you sure you wouldn’t rather be buried in meringue?

  17. jess

    Meh, that’s not too morbid. I already have my mom’s initial wedding rings. (Long story short: they had little money when they got married, so they got this little set that I think is wonderful. My dad work his ring to work at the factory every day and the design wore off, so when they could afford it, they purchased a new “anniversary” set.) Mom asked me some time ago what I wanted when they died, and this was the most important to me, and since they weren’t wearing them, she gave them to me. We’re very practical people. :D

  18. Nicki

    Huh. My kids already have all of my jewelry divided up. And since I plan on being cremated, and I’m realistic (I can’t take it with me) I rather like the idea of them having these little keepsakes that they are to revere every day until the day that they die. I’m thinking I should have some clause in the will about them being polished daily and kept under their pillow while they sleep, in a vault when not worn, you know…the usual.

  19. Little Bird

    There is this company that will take a bit of your loved ones cremains and turn them into a lab-created diamond. It is, for all intents and purposes, a diamond. I think they only come in yellow or a bluish grey, but still diamonds! I keep threatening my mother with this. That way when people ask about it I can tell them it was her, not hers.

  20. Marla

    Well that brings up a funny story with me…..every time I go to my parents house, which is every week cause of shuttling my kids to there……I find a new piece of antique furniture and ask if my sister has claimed it yet…..if not, I tell my Mom it’s mine after they die. I’ve been staking my claim on stuff since my sister took the huge antique dining table when she got married even though I was the oldest(not married at the time). I may be just a tad resentful even though it’s been 14 yrs since she got married.

  21. Jomama

    Ah, filial respect and piety. Barley has informed me that he and his brother will get a dog someday, when it is “just us” meaning when dander-allergic DH and I are “gone.” He’s already planned the white picket fence around the front yard to keep the pup safe.

  22. Dawn


  23. Mit

    Gee – and I only covet the cast iron waffle iron. Perhaps when I go home this month – I should look around.

  24. Chuck

    My mother’s engagement ring (as well as my grandmother’s) both went missing soon after she moved into her current residence (a memory care place.) We should have not let her wear them, we now realize, but she wore them all the time and she pretty much left all her other posessions behind when she moved in there. Overall it is a very nice place but it only takes one bad caregiver. Anyhow it has taught me not to place too much importance on stuff, but I also hope the person who took my mother’s rings (since I’m pretty sure that is what happened) spends a long time in Purgatory.

  25. Shari

    Too funny! Our girls have started putting dibs on my jewelry as well.

  26. The Other Leanne

    Wow, what a bunch of great (morbidly funny) stories!
    Just got back from the attorney to finalize my mom’s new will. He turned out to be quite skanky and wanted her to fill out a “personal property statement” with the will (ka-ching!). I pointed to the wedding rings around her neck and said, “Her most valuable property is on this chain around her neck, and I think when the time comes we’ll just leave it there.”

  27. Katie

    I’ve already told my mom I want her Italian plates and her Longaberger baskets. Hmm, maybe I should take a look at her jewelery….

  28. David

    Good Lord! Not a subtle bone in her body, that girl! Still, this post made me think. Eons ago, I began absently collecting diamond jewelry as a sort of “act of faith” that I’d eventually find that perfect someone to surprise with them from time to time. Well, time passed, and here I am now, a confirmed hermit with jewels and I don’t think anybody in my family even knows I have them because I’ve never referred to them except as my “rock collection”.

  29. Little Bird

    I had almost forgotten this, but I’ve got a good friend (some years my senior) who has a rather large collection of Bob Dylan albums. Signed. Given to her by Bob himself. When she told me the story about them, I informed her that she would be willing those records to me. She agreed!
    Now let’s just hope she remembers.

  30. mom, again

    (David: my spouse has never given me any diamond, not even an engagement ring. He claims it’s because his dad only gave his mom jewelry to make up for straying, so the idea is ‘tainted’. Therefore, you can will all your pre-bought gifts to me and I will treasure them as if you’d been my lover.)

  31. mom, again, again

    My daughter just got married. She bought herself a pearl and cubic Zirconium necklace and her sister a traditional pearl necklace. Her dad and grandma arrived from the east coast the night before. He was recently returned from a year in Afghanistan. He presented my daughter with a black pearl neckalace (cause he thinks she’s still a 14 yr old punk rocker) and her sister with a traditional pearl necklace. He’d carried both all around Afghanistan most of the year, in his backpack, while being shot at and he’d envisioned them wearing them at the wedding. Just then, his mom came in from the room next door, with two small boxes. “When your grandad and I were stationed in Japan, I bought these, hoping to give them to my daughter’s in law. But both your dad and your uncle have divorced, so I want you two to have them. Here is a pink pearl necklace for (the bride) and a white pearl necklace for (the sister) because I know you like things more traditional.’

    So: oldest daughter, one fancy white pearl necklace, one black and one pink pearl necklace. Second daughter, 3 pearl necklaces.

    Me, no pearls. Or diamonds either (see above). I am doing something wrong.

  32. Annette

    I always claim dibs on my mom’s new jewelry pieces. I am the middle daughter. If I don’t verbally claim it, I won’t get anything. Ya know. Because mom likes me least. Woe is me:).

  33. emily

    I did EXACTLY the same thing to my Mom, about one of her rings. I was probably old enough to know better. But at the time, it didn’t seem nearly as tacky as it does now. I just thought I should get while the gettin’ was good.

  34. Becky

    Hmm, when I was a small girl, I’d often ask my grandmother if I could have the glass bird that was perched on the table by the entrance of her apartment when she died. Practically every visit. It’s now in my room back at home.

    Last summer, when my dad had cancer, we all ate dinner in my parents’ bedroom. It turned out they had been watching a documentary about cemeteries and were now inspired about what should be done about my dad’s grave. He wanted us to plant a big tree and visit during the summer to have picnics on him. So far, we’ve kept it to normal visitations.

    We do keep my grandmother’s ashes in our living room (technically, it’s 1/6th of her ashes since they divided her up among her children). She has this very plain wooden box. Every year since she died, we’ve decorated her for Christmas. She usually gets two Santa figures to herself and a whole bunch of golden tinsel.

  35. Brigitte

    I’m loving the stories! Jomama, you’re not alone, our 4-year-old has already declared that she’s getting a dog when her allergic daddy dies (DH was a tad wounded by that declaration). ;-)

    Now I’m imagining that if this cremains-into-diamonds thing really takes off, we could someday be going around carrying our family tree in our jewelry.

  36. Jennifer Morgan

    I actually find it a very intriguing idea…

  37. GrandeMocha

    I want my family to make my ashes into a reef in the ocean.

    Or put them in the cement for the next roller coaster at Cedar Point amusement park. Think of the jokes about grandma having 1,000,000 riders.

    I made my mom promise to find the other woman who wears a 9 1/2 AAA shoe & give her all my shoes.

  38. smarty

    I work in a jewelry store and have customers who buy rings of equal value to leave to each daughter so it’s fair. What does monkey get?

  39. Heather

    Glad to know other people’s families are just as morbid. My husband tells my parents to leave the price tag on everything for the estate sale. My parents think it is funny even though they know he is somewhat serious. I just keep making my mother label things – a box with the number 68 on it doesn’t tell me that it was a wedding gift (brunch plate set) from Miss So and So 53 years ago. Enjoy the humor because it is what gets you through

  40. Katie in MA

    My sisters and I have been begging my mom for her wedding ring when she goes. She insists we won’t be able to get it off (and we probably won’t – it’s tight). It’s just a plain, white gold band and she and my dad aren’t even happily married (although going on 32 years). But we tell her we need it because we love her and miss her…and so we’ll snap off her finger to get it. We always end up laughing at ourselves.

  41. Andrea

    I’m always the one that thinks it is too morbid to ask so I never get anything. Good for Chickadee for staking her claim early!

  42. Nic

    I talked with my parents about the dust to dust, ashes to diamond thing and they were not interested. At all. Then, years later when my mother had terminal cancer, she saw an article about it and loved the idea. I was ready to run with it but my father squashed that hard. Something about think about how often you lose an earring, and wouldn’t it be so much worse to lose your dead, cremated mother in an earring. Hmph.

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