Let me be clear: If I have the ability to haunt folks after I’m gone; I’m doing it. I’d never thought about this possibility until the memes came out about Prince haunting Madonna after her pitchy, amateurish, damn-near-insulting performance of Nothing Compares to You at the Billboard Awards. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve always loved Madonna, particularly before her botoxed-obsessed days. My teen years were spent rolling around on the blue carpet in my bedroom singing “Like a Virgin”. She liberated me and a lot of young girls back then with her songs built around the theme of female acceptance and freedom.
She still touts a message of freedom. After most criticized her Prince tribute performance, she responded, Anyone who wants to do a tribute to Prince is welcome to. Whatever your age Gender or skin Color,” she tweeted. “If you loved him and he inspired you then show it!!!!
Homegirl done took it too far with that one. She needs to grab her carry-on, get the hell off the “freedom of expression train” and onto the “reality check platform.” People, DO NOT get your ass up in front of a church or on a stage and break out into a performance just because you loved a person. If you can’t carry a tune or catch a beat, show your love by sitting your ass down. Love is not ALL you need when you are performing in front of others. You also need talent. Now if you want to sing, dance and cry in the shower: get your bubble concert ON; but don’t you dare mess up somebody’s special moment because you done got caught up in da feelings and want to channel yo inner-Mahalia. Leave. it. alone.
This is serious, ya’ll: you can’t mess up somebody’s farewell—their last curtain call. If you do, you deserve to have your butt haunted—just as they say Prince is going to haunt Madonna. Out of the kindness of my heart, I am providing a list for my friends and family of what they best not do after I transition–unless they want me to Freddie Kruger haunt the hell out of them.
- Do NOT tell everybody my personal business.
If there is a topic you would not have talked about when I was alive; don’t start talking about it now. You know how nosey people are: the minute you announce that I’ve died, some folks are going to be asking “what happened?” I don’t care if you found me butt naked with a circus clown on a tricycle built for two, you tell them heifers that I died in my sleep.
- Don’t Put Me in Some Outfit That You Know Good-and-Well I Would have Never Worn When Alive.
What the hell is it with the bows? As soon as a woman dies, everybody was to tie a big-ass bow at their neck. And no hats. They always end up crooked as hell when someone bends to kiss or hug the deceased, leaving them looking not only dead, but dead and sloppy drunk. Dress me in death as I like to dress in life–okay maybe not that skanky since we are in a church.
- If you can’t make me look good, just close the damn casket. I swear, I spent too much time being slowly baked under hair dryers and UV lamps, and accumulated too much debt at department stores to go out looking a hot mess. Don’t let my last impression ruin all that hard work.
- Think CAREFULLY about who you allow to participate in the program. I don’t care that Deacon Brown knew me since I was 10 and sang at my mother’s funeral. Age has messed with his memory and he forgets the words to songs midway. Please don’t allow him to freestyle Amazing Grace. Also, you know how half our family likes to pontificate endlessly? Do not have them speak at my funeral. Somebody, else will end up dying by the time it will take dem fools to finish.
- If I die during the summer, the church must have air conditioner. There are too many wigs, weaves, girdles and stockings at Black folks’ funerals to even consider otherwise. No—seriously.
- If I didn’t like them in life; I like them less in death. Treat my funeral like a nightclub—don’t let eeerbody in. Don’t you allow some heifer, who was always nice-nasty with me, to be sucking on Starlight mints and rocking back-and-forth at my funeral, so she can go back to her other hateful friends and critique my Homegoing like an Old School Concert or movie.
- Lastly, my repast needs to be off-the-chain. Look, no finger sandwiches in the church – and no harp music. I prided myself on throwing a heck-of-a party. Honor me and continue that tradition. Serve the food that I liked and make sure you have plenty (no greater sin to a Southern woman than running out of food. And you know my peeps are greedy—prepare). Play good music. Also, there is no reason that the alcohol shouldn’t flow. It’s a party, after all, to celebrate my life, and when did I EVER have a celebration where cocktails weren’t involved?
Thanks for for your attention to my wishes. I’ll see you when you join me in Heaven. Or, if you mess up, I’ll be seeing you right back here. BOO!
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more