First of all, I don't fear death. This doesn't mean I WELCOME death or can't wait to die, I just don't fear dying like I did when I was younger. If I was to die tomorrow, that would be fine with me. The only thing I fear in terms of dying is to die a slow, painful death--THAT I fear. But as for death itself, I am not afraid of the unknown because I am sure there is a better place for me when I'm done with this world.
Up until a few years ago, the thoughts of being an organ donor left me cold. I have always admired anyone who would make the ultimate decision to leave their organs to people who could use them, but the thoughts of my body being hacked up and sent to the four corners of the earth wasn't appealing. Now that I'm older, I am 100% committed to being an organ donor--provided there is anything on my sad-sack body that is still viable. After I'm 'gone,' I will have no use for my body or any parts of it, so whoever can use them is welcome to have whatever.
I think one of the reasons why I'm not worried about what happens to my body when I die is the fact that I have decided to be cremated instead of buried. This, also, was a decision that took some time for me to come to. I just didn't like the thoughts of my body being burned up. After thinking about where I would like to be planted for eternity--and not having an answer to that question--I decided to be cremated and have my ashes scattered, somewhere. We have never been a family that goes to the cemetery to visit on a regular basis, so having a place where my family could go and 'talk' to me just isn't very important. Besides, I just don't feel as if I need to have my own little piece of real estate for all time.
As for my funeral, I haven't changed my thoughts on that. I want my closest family members to be able to say their good byes to me while I'm in my casket, but then I want the casket closed for the wake. It has always bothered me to no end to hear what people say when they look at a body in a casket.
- "S/he looks so peaceful." Yes, people look peaceful in their caskets because they are fricking DEAD--and have no worries anymore!
- "S/he looks like s/he's sleeping." NO! The person is DEAD and looks DEAD!!!
- "S/he looks so good." Again, NO! S/he is FRICKING DEAD!!!! Dead is dead and it doesn't look good.
Of course, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to stupid things people say. BUT, I would sit straight up in my coffin and deck someone if I had to 'hear' those sorts of things at my wake. And I KNOW I would haunt the person who was less than kind to me in life, yet cried hysterically at my wake because 'it is so sad.' HEY! If you like/love me NOW and will be sad when I'm gone, let me know NOW and don't cause a scene at my wake/funeral! If you haven't realized by now, I have very serious issues with funerals and mourners. I have attended far too many funerals/wakes in my time and I have seen it all, so I have very strong opinions about what I do and don't want to happen at my funeral.
Coming to some decisions has really given me a sense of peace--just as we all should have when it comes to our final wishes. And this, despite the uneasiness it causes to most people.