A funeral-free month is pretty good going. Well, it seems to me to be that sort of time of life. I mean dying.
Please don’t think I’m being flippant. Or disrespectful. All the lovely people who’ve been passing on out of my ken this last while had jolly good innings and lives well lived.
What more can you ask for or expect? Who wants to go on forever with bits wearing out, falling out or just clapped out.
It’s the finality of it all that does make you think. I freely admit I’d like my demise to be like going under an anaesthetic – and just not coming to!
Past medical operations would have been a sort of rehearsal. You could somehow get the mind-set for this. But perhaps I’m just a control freak fantasising in an arena where control is not a player.
I do think in this day‘n’age we should treat dying people like human beings. There has to be a more civilised route to the inevitable than seems to be practised for a very significant number of individuals.
The worst case scenario is the long lingering one, enduring a concoction of pain, incapacity and indignity. This doesn’t do anything for the experience of parting, for any of the participants involved. And even a good death – as in an instant one – is still tough on the extant nearest and dearest.
Control freak here is somewhat stymied. Should I be leaving instructions now as to do’s and don’ts relating to potential medical conditions, likely or remote?
Is there some formula for this, from those in the know? Seems to me it’s a lot about pussy-footing.
As far as one’s estate is concerned, the law after all provides. If you can’t attend to this for yourself you at least know in advance what will happen if you die intestate, since it’s all taken care of by statutory prescription.
Pomp and ceremony
Enough of the hard nuts to crack. One thing you can have some say in is how your passing is to be conveyed and conducted.
I’m not much into pomp and ceremony for a bag of old bones. Quietly dispose of mine, please!
If my, by then, escaped spirit can at best live on happily, with some affection, through my family and passions that seems good enough to me.
But as far as our last physical remains are concerned, we can at least ensure that any working parts can be recycled, and decide on green burial or cremation – or whatever - for what’s left by way of the inanimate.
I’d go for the eco-friendly myself. Why anyone wants to spend fancy money on fancy coffins I can’t imagine. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the ancient Egyptians and the Chinese dynasties who thought they could take their worldly wealth, and even their private armies with them.
Where did all that come from? Where did they think they were going?
Wanting to ‘do the right thing’ by the deceased is entirely natural. Celebrating life is surely the name of the game, and less of the well, you know what I mean… shall we say, the well-meaning.
Perhaps indeed we should drop the whole ‘funeral’ concept.
The bottom line is that bits have to be disposed of and boxes ticked. There are procedures. Fine. But isn’t post mortem closure, the acceptance that a life is over, inaccessible, gone, better realised when celebration is the order of the day and memories can be channelled into friendships and good causes?
All this is not to deny the truly dreadful occasions of appalling tragedy that can and do strike any of us at any time. Death is as random as life.
All the more reason to make the most of what we can!
Ninety is now the new seventy.
Have we got our list of Must Do’s Before We Die? No.
Have we Got Our Affairs in Order? No.
Have we worked out The Meaning of Life. No.
Are we up for those ‘extra’ two decades? Yes!
OK. Where do we start? There’s no great rush… or is there!