Death is scary. It brings the unknown of the great beyond, whether that's heaven, some other afterlife, or total nothingness, depending on what you believe.
But there is one perk that comes with death: total control of your funeral.
Think about it. You have a captive audience for the whole day. They're all going to be so intentional about respecting your memory that it would really take something huge to upset them.
That, my friends, is a time to push the envelope and take some liberties with that ceremony.
Many Redditors who work in the funeral industry have firsthand experience witnessing recently deceased people exercising that power through wills, parting words, and even pre-death meetings.
Some people have gotten quite creative.
A good amount of people treat their funerals college parties.
They go with a theme they imagine everyone will enjoy, try to inject some sarcastic humor into the planning, and see how it all plays out
Let the Games Begin
"I got a request for the deceased to be dressed up in a Where's Waldo costume and to have 12 other identical caskets in the room so the guests could try to guess where he was by opening coffins randomly."
"Each guest was to play this guessing game and then sit down before the next person could enter so everyone could play the game."
"Problem was not everyone wanted to play the game.....super odd but they paid a lot for it."
Dead In a Faraway Galaxy
"The deceased was a huge Star Wars fan and left explicit instructions for his funeral."
"As funeral organist, I was requested to play Star Wars principal themes on the grand pipe organ for prelude music, processional and recessional."
"As I once described, pall bearers were dressed in main characters costumes and "Obi-Wan Kenobi" gave an inspired eulogy, drawing upon memorable moments from the series."
"Using 'full organ' (all the stops out) for climatic moments, I played the Imperial March at the conclusion of the funeral before those in attendance departed for the cemetery for the committal."
A True Celebration of the Life He Lived
"I'm a florist, and I've created some unique tributes out of fresh flowers, and more."
"I made a putting green two feet across, complete with ball, tee and a club for an avid golfer. I constructed a fish out of various blooms and leaves, placed by a lakeside foliage spray. I've made rainbows and black and white themed arrangements. I put a lot of heart into memorial pieces."
"A few years ago, I was helping a family decide on their tributes for a much-loved man. The wife stressed he was known for his big blue Giant Eagle truck, and most of their friends were from the driver's union."
"I volunteered myself for a watercolor picture of the truck around which I would design a floral spray. It took four attempts, but I was finally happy, and framed it."
"Two days later, I received the most wonderful letter from his wife, and said that everyone agreed it was the most appropriate and important statement about his life. It will sit on her mantle for the rest of her life."
Friends Til the Very End
"My family owns a grave digging business as well as lawn and garden statues, someone purchased an 8ft tall gorilla statue."
"My dad delivered it and asked what they were going to do with it and where they were putting it, the guys said their friends dying wish was to be stuffed up this concrete gorillas a**, and that's what they did."
"They drilled a whole in the a** and put their buddies ashes inside"
There also appears to be a strange obsession with eye sockets and eyeballs. Many funeral workers have fielded requests involving what exactly to do with eyes.
All of them are completely unnerving, of course.
"My husband found out they can make gems out of cremains, and now he wants to be reduced to 2 jewels seated in his own eye sockets."
"I don't want a skull! I don't want to own his skull! I don't want him to watch me with his evil gem eyes!"
"My own will requests that my right eye be removed, preserved and delivered to my oncologist in Miami for him to do with whatever he sees fit."
"Hopefully as a teaching aid to new optometry students, but if he wants to use it for pranks I'm totally fine with that too."
"I survived a very unusual eye cancer and they had to do all kinds of experimental things to repair it when all was done. I jokingly suggested I donate it to science when I went and he said that was an amazing idea. So, here you go."
"I hope whoever deals with my corpse has fun with that request."
One Last Look
"My wife's uncle asked the funeral director when he dies he would like his eyes open in the casket during his viewing."
"His entire life everyone commented on his big baby blue eyes and he wanted them open for people to see one last time."
And finally, sometimes it's not all wine and roses when the close of life comes along.
People live complicated lives full of strained dynamics with family and friends. And often, that comes to a head right at the final moment.
One Last F-You
"One rich guy hated his kids and didn't want them to get a cent of his wealth. He therefore wanted all his money to spent on a mausoleum for his coffin with a rose garden around it and the eternal upkeep thereof."
"He had the city council-approved architectural plans for the mausoleum included in his will and testament."
"He demanded in his will that the remaining funds, after construction, must go to a gardening service to maintain the rose garden and clean off the bird poop from his mausoleum in perpetuity until the money runs out in a few centuries."
"The mausoleum is in Cemetery de Saint Rambert outside Lyon, France."
"My coworker was meeting a client who was picking up his mother's cremains. My coworker has the client sign a release, then hands him the urn."
The man immediately turns around and drops the urn into the trash can."
"My coworker is a 40 year funeral director veteran, and without missing a beat, he says, 'Sir, I can understand your strong feelings about your mother, but I cannot allow you to leave that here. What you do once you get out the door is up to you and God.' "
"Dude picked up the urn and left without a word."
To Reflect What She Was Like, Or Never Did?
"My mom asked the embalmer to put a few stitches in my grandma's cheeks to give her a faint smile.
"At the time it seemed like an odd, even slightly morbid request, but 20+ years on, it's one of the only things I remember from her funeral. It was kind of lovely, actually."
However old you are, now is the time to start planning the big sendoff. Look no further for some ideas to start off the brainstorm session.
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Can you see Harry Potter at a football game in the Midwest? Chowing on a corn dog, throwing back some good ole Pepsi-Cola? Or can you picture the Harry universe living and loving in the great U. S of A? What would casting look like against the backdrop of the great harvest plains? I have so many thoughts and ideas. The first thought, the change would never work. Keep the story alive on British soil.
But, for fun, let's chat about the idea.
Redditor u/Cuish wanted all the Potter heads out there to share what American tweeks would occur in the Potterverse within America, by asking:
If Harry Potter was set in the United States, how would the story change?
I just can't see anyone else saying those words other than the people who did. And it's not that America can't do great fantasy, look at Buffy. Which also benefitted from the Brits. Coincidence?
Pay Upharry potter art GIFGiphy
"Quidditch coach is the highest paid "professor" at the school."
"Harry would probably live in New Jersey. Ron would probably live in Kentucky or Tennessee, and Hermione would probably be from California. They would go to ileverany (I spelled it wrong it's the North American wizard in school), which is in Massachusetts. There would be a train but only for people in Boston-New York-Philly-DC corridor. Everyone else would use flying cars. Outside of that it is a typical American boarding school."
"Airport terminal 9 and 3 quarters."
"Eagles instead of Owls. Sasquatch instead of Centaurs."
"We have owls though? Eagles would be more of a flex but like, owls would still work better as they fly night and day. OK. Eagles would be an option. The useless 1 miles per gallon of gas muscle car of the owl world. Americans are super obnoxious. We suck. I get it. Sorry. Lmao."
"Too conventional. Leave it to the Wizarding World to adopt the mythical Ben Franklin's turkey idea instead. Idk how the heck that'd work as a delivery service, mind you, but still."
RelicsHappy Harry Potter GIFGiphy
"The school would be a defunct military base because we don't have any incredibly old buildings, and the uniforms would be military style instead of robes. 'Murica."
Well those sound like some solid choices. Who doesn't love taco Tuesday? And why are sports always the first go to change?
Happy 5th!Happy Birthday Dancing GIFGiphy
"Taco Tuesdays at the Great Hall."
"And a freaking epic (but pointless) Cinco De Mayo party. For non Americans, it's mostly an excuse for Americans to drink on a Mexican holiday. It gets cringey. But hey, on other hand, tacos and margaritas."
"Nathan Fillion would've been cast as Guilderoy Lockhart."
"They would change 'philosopher's stone' to 'sorcerer's stone'."
"The editors wanted Rowling to change the name to "Sorcerers Stone" so that the readers would know the book is about magic, and not some philosopher with a theory about a stone and sends a random guy on a mission to find it. Most people that are not American underestimates an American's brain capacity. I'm American. We are not as stupid as you think."
The Drop Off
"No train ride to Hogwarts. Instead, parents will be dropping them off by car. A huge parking lot just outside Hogwarts, and instead of Diagon Alley, a large Wal-Mart exists surrounded by nothing more than another parking lot."
"It's hidden by being inside a Walmart parking lot. But when you reach the edge, almost to the building, muggles get all turned around and suddenly notice the Walmart was at the other side of the parking lot. This can repeat until the muggles either get inside a real Walmart, or go away."
Commercial GainFlying Harry Potter GIFGiphy
"This quidditch match is brought to you today on ESPN by Swiffer, the official broom of the Quidditch Cup."
"Quidditch in the old South West Conference was crazy… I remember when Texas A&M offered Eric Dickerson that gold Swiffer and he took it and rode it up to Dallas to sign his letter of intent with SMU."
Nothing here really seems necessary. It was fun to dabble in the thoughts though. Keep perfect as is.
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Life isn't as simple as one may think. It's not always easy to take a step back and look at the big picture, but when there's over seven billion people on the planet, there's no way things are as cut and dry as they seem.
Everyone's experiences are different going through life. We may not be able to see the complexities it if we haven't lived it ourselves.
So we went to Reddit because we wanted to see what's not as simple as people think it is.
Redditor Queasy_Researcher_27 asked:
"What's not as simple as people think?"
There's never a bad time to learn something new, so keep reading to get a different perspective on life.
Driving a bus.
"Driving a bus. It's very tiring focusing on the road for up to 10 hours a day and having to look in the mirror every 5 to 8 seconds while making sure all your passengers are safe and well on top of try to work out what other motorists are gonna do in front and behind you."
"Really, driving in general should be like this but most people ignore most of these aspects and that's why we get accidents involving inattentive drivers."
"Thank you for taking your job seriously, though. An inattentive bus driver would be phenomenally dangerous."
"Getting out of poverty. Especially if you're born into it."
"This. Very few people who haven't experienced poverty, understand how systemic it is in keeping people trapped in it."
"Even grocery shopping while broke is hard....more money you have the easier it is to take advantage of the offers and weekly/daily deals."
"Its not even as simple as being poor. I think finding comfort in poor is a huge part of it."
"I was raised middle class. And being able to go out to a nice restaurant without worry was one of many luxuries that are now nostalgic to me. And even when my family dropped all support and I had to work up from nothing again, I was never comfortable until I was back there again."
"On the flip side, I have no idea what it would be like to be rich rich. Like designer clothes, fancy cars, knowing-the-right-people parties. There's a 'lane' of upper-middle class-rich that Is foreign to me and I have absolutely no desire to push or work to get to that. I wouldn't know what to do with it if I did."
"I'm not saying that those that grow up poor are stuck that way or don't know how to get out of it or anything like that, but there's something so damn nice about what-you-know. I can imagine if all you know is being broke AF it would be so much harder."
Mental health matters.
"Getting out of depression."
"'Just be happy.' Yeah Mom, I like being sad all the time..."
"Relationships! I thought it was simple. You love someone, they love you, that's all you need. Ohh how wrong I was haha."
"Welcome to the club. It's even worse when you have to give up before you even get a chance to truly love the person. You just have to go on with life knowing that you wanted to and were willing. So yeah, relationships, don't recommended those lol."
"Same. I could never understand why my friends would brake and then get back together with there a**hole ex's after what they made them go through until I was in my own relationship and had my own a**hole ex."
Moving on from relationships.
"Moving on, even when you want to."
"There are relationships I've moved past, but doubt I will ever truly 100% get over. Years of time, therapy, meditation, burying myself in my career, hitting the gym and getting in the best shape of my life and even now these people occupy more mental real estate and influence how I go about making decisions."
"Hey man that's natural, it's just what makes us human. As long as people can embrace that it is easier to understand and deal with."
"Relationships form the strongest memories, so it's natural for them to always be there and pop up when you least expect it."
This effects the last two.
"None of us are ready to talk about this one bud."
"Learn English, it's super painful because it isn't consistent and [doesn't] make any sense most of the time (at least for a Spanish speaker)."
"It's worse for someone from a language like Russian, since you have to figure out what the hell an article is and how to use it (Slavic languages don't have them). My wife has been living in the US for 10 years and still routinely messes them up."
"There's also the inconsistency between when to add an S to a word. For nouns it's when they're plural. But for verbs it's when they're singular (third person)."
"And the TH sound can be very difficult for someone who is an adult to master, since vocal cords harden with age to your preferred language."
"Making a movie, it takes hundreds of people to make a film and most of them actually put effort and care into the project."
"I went to a filmmaking summer camp for 2 weeks. While was SUPER fun, it took a lot of effort to put the movie together and I learned just how long it takes to really make a movie."
"Same goes for making games, hundreds of people sometimes who all care very much for the product they produce, however chewed up it gets by publishers."
Making friends as an adult.
"Making new friends as adults."
"Yeah this is me. When i was a kid I was just able to approach someone without thinking too much of it, I'd consider anyone I've talked to as a friend. Idk what age hit me when i realized that we're just acquaintances. Now I just can't go up to someone and make a conversation without an intention, and you also have to feel what that person is thinking. Maybe its just me overthinking this."
Though these things are not as simple as they seem, we are all going through life together. At some point or another, we may find that we need to walk a mile in someone else's shoes to really understand the difficulty of the situation.
Variety is the spice of life. Without the difficulties and challenges that come along the way, life would be pretty boring.
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Double standards are something we all live with and, quite likely, find extremely annoying. Things like men being expected to hide their emotions—or not have them at all—or women being expected to stay home and support a couple's children, everyone is generally harmed by double standards.
This is especially true when the double standard isn't clear until someone violates it and then has to deal with anger, ridicule, or sometimes even violence as a result.
Content Note: this article mentions suicide and sexual assault, reader discretion advised.
Reddit user RichPesaventoum asked folks on AskReddit:
Politicians aren't perfect, even the ones you like.
"Ignoring character flaws in politicians you support while demonizing ones you disagree with over the same thing and similar flaws."
"I hate when people assume that because you are in support of a certain party that you blindly agree with every policy, every speech, everything they do. It shouldn't be that way. We're allowed to be displeased or hate things and yet still support the majority of what they do, or at least see them as the better candidate."
It's normal for guys to like kids too.
"That guys that like kids are pervs but women can love kids. I am a dad to a 3 year old girl and think kids are a ton of fun, but society thinks if I like kids I am a perv or something."
"I had trouble with this when mine were young. Some parents would totally trust me with their kids for a play date when my wife was somewhere, so I assumed other parents would too and got answered with awkward silence."
"Kind of nice to have high schoolers now instead."
So should I care, or...?
"Parents: You need to stop what caring what other people think about you!"
"Parents: Look at you! Imagine what other people must think about you!"
"'why don't you come out of your room and talk to people?'"
"'Look who finally decided to show up!' Tells another embarrassing and degrading story about you"
Everyone deserves rest.
"That poor people are basically not allowed leisure. The scion of some billionaire industrialist can lounge around all day, throw parties and wreck fancy cars and everyone is just sort of okay with that. A poor person wants to sit down for a second, and out everyone comes, pitchforks and torches in hand, demanding they surrender the right to free food for their children or whatever."
"The upper-class advice for struggling people is always 'just give up everything that keeps you from blowing your brains out, and work harder for me'."
"At some point, even luxuries can be a necessity."
Assault is assault, regardless of gender or sex.
"Celebrating teenage boys being sexually abused by an attractive older woman. It's statutory rape, but there will always be scores of men saying things like 'wish that happened to me when I was his age' or similar statements."
"I'd go further, that double standard is part of a larger more inherent double standard."
"Male sexual assault, rape, and victimization being treated as a joke (often times literally if you watch enough tv or movies) if the aggressor is a woman. Underage boys being victimized is terrible don't misunderstand but it's a fundamental part of the wider double standards that enable it."
Girls need armor too.
"Games with male characters in practical armor and female characters in armor-colored lingerie."
"Yes, yes, I know, oversized bosoms draw a lot of male attention. But it's a huge red flag that women aren't part of the target audience."
Just don't hit people.
"'No man should ever hit a woman but if a woman hits a man then obviously he must have done something to deserve it'. Abuse is abuse and nobody deserves it."
It's irritating when you do it, too.
"Hating certain behaviors in someone else but making excuses for the same or similar behavior in yourself."
Greed is always a character flaw, no matter how much money you have.
"Being greedy is seen as a character flaw, but being a billionaire is seen as a great accomplishment."
"Such is the great contradiction of a society that is obviously built to reward selfishness but shames people for being selfish. It's almost like that messaging exists to keep the poors in their place."
"The right people get to be selfish, you don't."
Everyone has emotions.
"Probably that it is okay for a woman to be emotional, but if a man does it he needs to 'man up'. Drives me slightly insane."
"Unless that emotion is anger, then it’s reversed."
Double standards hurt everyone. It can be hard to notice them if you're on the side that benefits from them, though. If you take a look at your own life, you might be surprised to see how many double standards we're all affected by every day.
They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.
Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.
Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.
Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:
And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.
Like Refrigerator Bigjust ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy
"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."
"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."
"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr
Immigrants In ActionDog Brazil GIF Giphy
"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."
"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."
"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas
With A NoteTelevision Bunny GIF Giphy
"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."
"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf
Life Hack!studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy
"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"
"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."
"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."
"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."
"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."
"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."
"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow
Literal Gold Treasurevalley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy
"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."
"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."
"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."
"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."
"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch
The Best Day Of My LifeWill Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy
"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."
"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."
"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."
"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."
"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."
"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."
"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief
Who Throws Away Money?spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy
"A jar full of quarters."
"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."
"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."
"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."
"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980
Filing FeverFiles Workload GIF Giphy
"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."
"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"
"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."
"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."
"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz
This Sucks - In A Good Way!mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy
"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."
"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."
"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs
Tiffany's TrashAudrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy
"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."
"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink
Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!