23 September 2006

Last Wishes

I'm going to die. You're going to die. Hopefully, we all die with a little dignity and our selfish families abide by the directions we give them (while still alive) about how to handle our deaths.

Not only do I have a living will (I think it's also called an "advanced healthcare directive") but I also have written instruction on my funeral arrangements. Now, you can call me Quasimodo but I got a hunch that my kids aren't made of the stuff necessary to put a pillow over my face should I ever become incapacitated-physically and/or mentally. I've made a solemn pact with my best friend to do the dirty deed for me when the time comes.

Mourning is another matter altogether. All decisions are made by the murky lot known as "next of kin." Chances are, this will mean the girls. My verbal and written wishes are that my useable organs, yup- all of 'em, be donated to live recipients. Farm me out. Take my retinas, skin, kidneys, lungs and heart and give 'em to the next matching person on the transplant waiting list.

Next, I want a quickie cremation and an Irish style wake. Play music, tell stories, drink and eat all in celebration of life. Not necessarily my life, just life. I don't care at all what they do with my ashes. As a teen, I wanted my ashes scattered surreptitiously in a big fountain in the mall. Now, I don't care. Just please don't lay me in a Webber grill and let meat juice drop on my eternal remains. I have these additional requests:

1. Don't cry for me. I'm not in a better place, I ain't with God and I'm not at peace. I'm just gone and everyone will carry on with their lives. This is the way of it.

2. If any of my ex-husbands show up to the wake, be gracious to them and offer them a drink and a chat. Feel free to call them "sons-of-bitches with a lot of nerve" after they've left.

3. Fight over my personal effects. If someone could actually take or give a punch over something that belonged to me-well, that'd be incredible. My life would have meant something.

4. Do not, I repeat, do not, load up into a limousine and ask other folks to follow behind you with their headlights on and drive to some sort of place for a memorial. This is irritating and a misuse of public roads. Limousines, particularly stretch limousines are absoulutely gauche. Nothing says "middle class" like a stretch and I deserve more respect than that. If you loved me at all in life, don't do it.

Yup. I think that's it. The do's and don'ts of death. My requests have been made known. Hold each other responsible, will ya?