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The Heartbreaking Details Loretta Lynn Planned For Her Own Funeral
Lynn had a fascinating life, and the songs that she wrote about it brought her out of poverty. According to a piece she wrote for Esquire, she married her husband at just 13 years old, and was soon giving birth to her first child. She also used the 2002 article to assert, “Working keeps you young. I ain’t ever gonna stop. And when I do, it’s gonna be right on stage. That’ll be it.”
Indeed, the fierce singer remained in the public eye well into her later years. In 2019, she shut down rumors about her health on Facebook (via Billboard). After tabloids claimed she was in a nursing home, Lynn went live and said, “You’re kidding me! I’m not dead and neither is Willie [Nelson]! Both of us are coming back to life and we’re gonna raise hell.” Even as the singer neared the end of her life, Lynn made sure that the funeral would go exactly according to her plans. New details have emerged about her wishes for her send-off, and the star’s heart and humor is evident in every single one.
Shortly before Loretta Lynn’s death, Radar Online revealed exclusively that the singer had begun planning her own funeral. Their insider said that Lynn was turning “most of her physical holdings into cash so she doesn’t burden her kids and grandkids with having to sell off stuff when she’s gone.” She also reportedly left behind details for her memorial service, which she hoped would include performances from her relatives and Dolly Parton.
Most touchingly, she wished to be buried at the family cemetery located on her ranch. The grounds serve as the resting place for Lynn’s husband and two of her children. According to ESPN, the 3,500-acre estate is a popular tourist attraction and frequently hosts motocross events.
Although official details about the upcoming funeral service have not been revealed, it seems likely that the country star will get her way. According to Rolling Stone, Parton serenaded Lynn at her 90th birthday party. It would be unsurprising if all of her friends and family came together to honor the closure of her life in a similar way.
One of the family members Loretta Lynn will be laid to rest beside in her family cemetery is her late son Jack Benny, who tragically drowned in 1984 at age 34, per the Daily Journal. According to Lynn, Jack was one of many people who witnessed paranormal activity on the grounds of her Hurricane Mills ranch, so those attending her funeral might want to keep their eyes peeled.
Lynn opened up about her son’s experience when she invited the “Ghost Adventures” crew to investigate some of the mysterious sightings of ghostly apparitions on her property, per the Travel Channel. She believed that the ghosts of soldiers from a Civil War battle were responsible for some of them, recalling how Jack once claimed that a man dressed like a Confederate soldier tried to steal his boots. She was a strong believer in the existence of spirits, even claiming that she made contact with one during a séance at her home. “I never was really afraid of the ghost in the house until we watched the show — then I was scared half to death,” Lynn said of what the “Ghost Adventures” crew discovered on her ranch, according to the Travel Channel website.
It’s fitting that Loretta Lynn wanted to incorporate music into her memorial service, as it’s something she turned to when dealing with the deaths of beloved family members. In 2018, she tweeted that “Wouldn’t It Be Great?” was the final song she wrote about her husband, Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn, before his death in 1996. “I sang it to him when he was dying,” Loretta revealed.
In July 2022, the singer marked the anniversary of her son Jack Benny’s death with an emotional blog post about the grief she continued to struggle with nearly four decades after losing him. “Most don’t know that I started covering Willie Nelson’s song ‘You were Always on My Mind’ after Jack died,” Loretta wrote. “It was a way for me to tell him I still thought of him.”
When talking to Billboard about her reluctance to retire in 2015, Lynn vowed not to turn her back on the other great love of her life until the end, and she revealed another small detail about her funeral plans. “When they lay me down six feet under, [then] they can say, ‘Loretta’s quit singing,'” she said. “I’ll have on one of my gowns. That’s morbid, but it’s the truth.”
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