Resources for Loss

"Instructions for My Funeral" by Javier Zamora, contributed by Jose Larios (2019)

I chose this piece as it provides a perspective that is focused on the life of the lost rather than their end. All throughout, the poet attempts to bring joy and levity to the experience of the bereaved at his funeral--he does not want them to carry on his soul as a weight. In his writing, the poet blends in his personality; his choices for his funeral reflect what he held dear in life, mainly his ethnic identity. This influence of identity on how one chooses to die, or be remembered, is incredible.


"Instructions for My Funeral" by Javier Zamora

Don't burn me in no steel furnace, burn me
in Abuelita's garden. Wrap me in blue-
Douse me in the cheapest gin. Whatever you do,
don't judge my home. Cut my bones
with a machete till I'm finest dust
Please, no priests, no crosses, no flowers.
Steal a flask and stash me inside. Blast music,
dress to impress. Please be drunk.
Bust out the drums the army strums.
Bust out the guitars guerrilleros strummed
and listen to the war inside
Carouse the procession
dancing to the pier. Moor me
in a motorboat
driven by a nine-year-old
son of a fisherman. Scud to the center
of the Estero de Jaltepec. Read
"Como tĂș," and toss pieces of bread.
As the motorboat circles,
open the flask, so I'm breathed like a jacaranda,
like a flor de mayo
like an alcatraz--then, forget me
and let me drift.

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