I have heard this expression over and over throughout my career as a funeral director…and perhaps you have too…maybe from a family member or friend. It became my belief that at face value it translates to, “just care for me in a simple manner.” A way in which to suggest; “don’t spend a lot of money on my funeral nor make it a big deal.”
When I was much younger, the phrase was sometimes altered to; “just bury me in a pine box in potter’s field” which was sometimes exchanged with; “a pauper’s funeral is fine with me.”
These sayings served as a permission slip to family members to spend the minimum possible to manage the funeral and burial. A noble gesture for sure.
However, a default connotation of this declaration is that it often implies to the surviving family that the planning of the service and purchase of required merchandise would also be “simple”… as a result, this is where the gesture may have unintended consequences.
Arranging a funeral (or cremation) can be complicated…there is a lot to do…many decisions to be made in a short amount of time…and generally accomplished by an emotionally distressed, tired and confused surviving family.
There will always be plenty of “pine boxes” for your family to select from…but you are the “U” in unique…so it is up to you to keep your “U” in unique by planning ahead…or leave it to your family to gUess.