Jacob told Joseph he wanted to be buried in Canaan with Abraham, Sarah, and Leah. That wasn’t an unreasonable request considering Joseph’s position and wealth. So when Jacob died, Joseph and the family, along with a group of Egyptians took his body to Canaan and buried him there with fanfare.
Joseph, when he was dying, said he too wanted to be buried in Canaan. His request wasn’t entirely reasonable at the time. He acknowledged that, and asked that WHEN they were able to leave Egypt, he’d like them to take his bones. He knew his family didn’t have the means to make that happen right then. In fact, it took about 400 years before they were able to take Joseph’s bones out of Egypt.
I’ve heard of people who make outlandish requests of loved ones concerning funerals, ashes, or distribution of stuff after they die. I’ve known people who go to great lengths and expense to fulfill last wishes, too.
Why? Do those facing death have such a need for control? Do they think they’ll be forgotten if they don’t continue to pull strings after they’ve gone? Do the remaining loved ones think the deceased are watching them to be sure they obey them?
Here’s what I believe Scripture teaches: absent from the body, present with the LORD. (2 Corinthians 5:8)
It doesn’t say present with Grandma. It doesn’t say present with a telescope pointed at Earth.
We sometimes place unreasonable demands on our loved ones. And we make them feel guilty if they don’t do exactly what we, or some deceased loved one, tells them they must do. Sometime it’s just not feasible.
Friend, the things that happen to your body and your stuff after you die will be up to the living. You won’t know. You won’t even care. You’re going to have enough on your mind for eternity to think about who is feeding your cat.
If you are facing death, let me take some pressure off. Let go of trying to control your loved ones. Love them today. Gift them today. Make memories for them to have when you are gone.
And, if a deceased person has placed unreasonable demands on you – let it go. If you must, honor them in some other way. Trust me – they really don’t care right now.