December 22, 2008
Death does seem to be in the air.
After my grand aunt’s birthday yesterday, and her unexpected death early today, it seems another distant grand aunt is on death’s door. Don’t get me too morbid though. I could just see that they have led long lives and they are suffering due to the complications sometimes accompanying old age that it seems death would be a most fitting and inevitable solution. Then again it must just be me being so brave and totally unafraid of death. In fact to me, death is about the sweetest thing that could ever happen to me in this life. Of course I can say all this with utter confidence for I know where I am going. And I am nonchalant about my own death not so much out of excitement to where I am going in the afterlife but so much because I want to escape so many things in this present life.
That’s the truth. The hard core truth.
So anyways I have been thinking about my own death and how I want it. Of course I do not speculate on the time it will come. Die young or old really doesn’t matter much to me so long as I know I’ll die. I cringe at the thought of immortality in an imperfect world – as wonderful as that may sound to others. There has really got to be more than just this life.
So anyways, I thought that my physical body must by all means be sold or donated to medical institutions. That way even in death I have contributed something. Of course assuming I died in excellent condition. Otherwise maybe parts of me could find itself in organ donation banks. The point here is I really do not give much damn about my physical body. In fact I am quite scared of the though of worms eating it. So I would rather it be put to good use in the name of science or otherwise cremated or if the funds does not allow it then burned.
This may very well served as a last will and testament except that I am writing about how I want my death carried out.
I know dying is expensive so as long as I have zero death plans that would cover my death expenses I want it to be as inexpensive as possible. I do not wish to lie in a casket and be viewed upon by people. I do not want their last memory of me to be some girl lying still in a coffin looking all white and ashen. I want them to remember me alive. Which is why I prefer not dying ill. So I want my wakes if I can call them that to be like a gallery show. Pictures of me, my journals, my mementos etc. displayed in walls and stands for everyone to see. I want the atmosphere to be like that in a gallery. Hushed yet comfortable. Not grieving. I want people to rejoice over the fact that I have moved on to a much better place and maybe get them thinking to following me there soon.
I want my death to be a relieving of memories – good and bad, and as I know it will turn out to be a reunion of sorts then make it a fun reunion. The point is: I do not want anybody to see me dead. Except maybe the anonymous medical students who would tinker away with my body.
Then being the business person that I am I got to thinking maybe I could profit from this idea. You know, maybe I could offer contemporary thinking people – those not bound by so many religious traditions, to actually buy my idea. Of course it will be up to them if they really want their caskets viewed but the main idea I will be selling is the though of having a gallery of sorts about you displayed on your wakes.
Mine really doesn’t have to be an overnight wake. It can have opening times like galleries. And I can even do the catering for the guests. So as to spare the dead person’s family of the grief of thinking about what food to prepare etc. hmm.. is this not a grand idea? I don’t know how sellable it would be though as death is a touchy subject for a lot of people.
But picture death this way. A person dies and his or her body is either embalmed into a coffin to be buried in a cemetery or cremated. Another option is donation to a medical institution. That part is not for me to decided upon. The part where my business comes in is the wake – so called wake that is.
The room is arranged as to a gallery – photos and mementos of the deceased are gathered and arranged ala art gallery style. Comfortable chairs such as sofas and high stools are strung about the room to accommodate guests yet mostly people are encouraged to wander around and look at the displays of the deceased person colorful life. They may see his travel photos, his growing up photos, the music he likes, his interests, his hidden talents and hobbies etc. The whole experience will be like relieving the dead person’s memory. Most people have set of friends who know only an aspect of their whole persona. This will be the chance where officemates get to know the deceased as more than just the stiff boss and see that he was also a piano player. You get the picture. I believe this would spur up more anecdotes, a couple of tears perhaps but happy memories as well.
I think it is a most fitting tribute to the deceased to be seen this way.
I can just picture my funeral parlor. A big building with a grand lobby leading to several rooms. And the entrance to those rooms would have huge portraits of the deceased face. And inside would be the “gallery”. And then it is the deceased choice to either have a coffin there where his dead body could be viewed or none at all (in case he doesn’t want to be remembered as dead as well).
I do not really know if this mars some religious belief but if a person is contemporary enough like me perhaps I think this would be well appreciated. Of course a person has to be alive and well to decide on having wakes such as this. And in order to make such decision one has to be comfortable in accepting his death however unexpected it may arrive.
And of course my contracts would have to be premediated. Most of the time. I have to be sure that this is the dying person’s wish and that it is clear with the family. I will never dream of fighting off a whole clan of grieving relatives over a dead man’s final wish. Full information of the family has to be condition. Meaning they understood the rationale behind such a wake and they know how much it would cost. Also the pictures and mementos must be available right after the death – again however untimely it may come. Afterall for me no death is untimely. All deaths are not accidents however accidental they may look. So everyone has to be prepared to die sooner or later.
Do you think this idea might actually work? Again the talk of death is a morbid topic. I know. But if you are comfortable with it then I think more than looking at it as the termination of a life, then maybe you can reformat your thinking into looking at death as the oppurtunity of a lifetime – pun intended. It is the chance to explore what no one for certain knows. What is out there. What is heaven really like? If you believe in heaven and are sure of going there. What is hell like? If you believe in it and think you are going there. Is reincarnation really possible. Is death just a dead end.
Well whatever you believe. As for me, this whole confidence in discussing my death wishes stems from the fact that I for sure know I am going to heaven and I have such high hopes about it. Where does this faith sprung forth? From knowing with absolute certainty that I am saved and I have a mansion prepared for me in heaven because I have accepted Jesus in my heart. I may not be a model Christian but I am sure of my salvation. The thought gives me comfort. The absoluteness and certainty of it gives me security.
How about you? What do you believe in? And are you ready to discuss your death plans with me?