I read an article about how thinking about death affects the way we age. If they admit it or not, people my age think about death and the process of dying. If we are honest, we hope it comes fast and painless.
Death is inevitable. The reason we are born is to die. God is the Great Comedian. In his omnipresent humor, he created the Earth. Then he created humans. On the seventh day, God rested, packed his bags, and left. He’s been on vacation ever since.
God’s Earth has been trying to kill off the human species since its creation. Poisonous plants, predatory animals, insects, earthquakes, plagues, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, volcanoes, extreme weather, and all of Mother Nature are in an eternal conspiracy to kill off the human race and erase it from this planet. Then there are Mother Nature’s partners, other humans, doing her work through wars, murders, accidents, and other deaths.
God just laughs and laughs.
Experts tell us we should prepare for death. It is healthier than ruminating about it. We should tell our loved ones how we feel about them and why. We should leave behind things to remember us. Prepare our wills and other documents and leave them with a trusted loved one. The list goes on and on. Geez, who wants to work that fucking hard?
Death is a business, a big business. The funeral sector is just one big upsell and hustle. The casket, obit, mass cards, flowers, and other items big and small run up the bill. Then, the church hits you up for some big bucks for a religious ritual. It is all facilitated through the undertaker.
We changed how we talk about death. People no longer die. They transition or pass. What do they transition to? Kidney stones pass, not people.
One thing I do like, we stopped mourning the dead. Now, we celebrate the life of the stiff in the casket. Yeah, yeah, some loved ones will weep, grieve, and mourn. After a short while, they realize life goes on without you. They savor your memory.
Wakes are full-blown multi-media affairs with big-screen televisions, tables of photos and mementos, and music. I guess next, there will be cocktails and dancing or gaming stations.
None of us want to die. All of us are going to die. There is no choice in the matter. Death is the great equalizer.
We die young.
We die old.
We die peacefully.
We die screaming in pain.
We die quick.
We die a slow torturous death.
We get killed by murder or accident.
Death is a fact of life. We are born to die.
I left instructions for my death. I do not want a wake. The last thing I want is people gawking at my pancake-made-up face and coifed hair. You want to see me, do it while I am alive. I want to be cremated, hopefully, stuffed with powerful fireworks.
If there is any money left, I want a party thrown to celebrate my life. A fete with good booze, beer, wine, food, and music to dance by. No one leaves until the last drop of alcohol is consumed.
I want to come back as a ghost. Not an evil spirit, but a bad boy ghost. I want to prank all the stupid people in this city who make living in Chicago so fucking miserable.
As a side note, I read that some funeral homes had postcards available when postcards were a big thing. What a wonderful idea. Mourners can send postcards to people out of town with the usual, “Having a wonderful time, wish you were here.”