Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's Inevitable For Everyone

Today's topic du jour?  Death.  But really, not in a morbid way.  And why has this topic been on my mind?  Well, The Mother called the other day to get my 'info' as they are updating their wills, etc.  Of course, this made me think about how my feelings about my own death have changed as I've gotten older.

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.


meleah rebeccah said...

Ugh. I don't ever wanna think about death / making wills. But, it's a part of life, and part of being a "grown up".

And I too, fear a slow / painful death.

I would be an Organ Donor. But I don't think mine are any good.

As for my funeral? I want to be buried in pajamas with my computer.

And - OMFG - I am totally cracking up at the stupid things people say. And the idea of YOU haunting them for saying those stupid things!

Anonymous said...

I've had a living will sitting on my desk for months, I need to find two witnesses-I'm going to ask the neighbors. I've also been planning what I want done after I die-I'm still undecided, but I better decide something before I get hit by a truck and the family doesn't know what to do with me. The older I get, the less the idea of my death bothers me.

I've been to wakes where the corpse looks like a clown did the makeup; wakes where the corpse was so well made up that I fully expected the person to sit up. I don't like the idea of people looking at me in my coffin-especially people who couldn't be bothered to speak to me while I was alive. So I think I'll tell the family not to have a visitation. I did tell my sister that if I died before Spot, I wanted him cremated and put in the coffin/cremated with me, and I said that if that wasn't done, I'd haunt her. You should have seen her face!

cmk said...

I LOVE saying things that make people look at you as if you've lost it--it certainly livens up your day, doesn't it?

I had an aunt that told everyone not to send flowers to her funeral. She said if you didn't think enough of her to send flowers while she was alive and able to enjoy them, why bother to send them when she COULDN'T even see them? She did have a point...

It is so true that age has a lot to do with how we view death, isn't it? Maybe it has to do with us understanding that we have done most of what we will do in this lifetime--NOT to say we don't have more living to do, but we have probably made the majority of our contributions and it won't seem as if it is a life cut way too short.

Anonymous said...

Still, there are people around our age who get more and more afraid with every year that passes. If they'd just stop thinking about the end, they'd have more time to get on with the present.

cmk said...


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