Planning for the End – A poem for Parsha Vayechi (Aliyah 6)

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And he commanded them and said to them, "I will be brought in to my people; bury me with my fathers, in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah…

I got COVID last week and despite the stigmatism
that comes along with the name and the ominous

black line on the at-home test that convinced me
I must have Super COVID, and despite the fact that

we had to cancel an annual trip to Florida (despite
the fact that visiting Florida isn’t really on my bucket

list anymore because, well, read the news) and despite
the fact that we’d passed the point of the plane tickets and

hotel room being refundable, it actually wasn’t that bad.
Though, I thought it was an excellent opportunity to

begin planning my own funeral. I got some of my
closest friends involved. They had plenty of ideas.

One of them thought it should be open casket and
there should be snacks inside. (I think he forgot I was

Jewish and we don’t do that. [that is, we don’t have
open caskets. We for sure have snacks.]) I wanted to

make sure there was lots of laughter. I’ve never been
to a funeral that didn’t have laughter and I’ll be dead

and gone before we start with mine. Another person
suggested there be air holes in the coffin. I’m not sure

why, but I didn’t say anything. I started to divide up
all my stuff too. My son can have all my cables and

dongles…he’s always asking for one, so he might as well
have the lot. Pretty sure my wife wants to turn my

office into a nicer sitting area. That’s fine. The only real
requirement is they continue to feed the cats multiple

times a day. And, oh, like Jacob, please bury me at home.
I’m not sure what that means yet. Jacob had no doubt.

His grandfather had already bought the cave. His last words
reminded Joseph to lay him to rest there. Before I take

my last breath, may I speak with the confidence of Jacob.
May I know my answer to forever.

These poems are offered free for your enjoyment. If you use them as part of an event, meeting, educational or liturgical setting, please consider tipping the author.

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