Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Because you never know

"'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
-Benjamin Franklin, 1789

Death and taxes. Inevitable. (How about death BY taxes? Some would say that's about to happen, too, but that sounds like the start of a political rant and I've lost all enthusiasm for those.) Funny that these two things we all know are so certain are the things we are so poorly prepared for most of the time. I mean, after all, you know you have to file by April 15 every year, and yet we still file extensions and fuss over it another six months. Human nature, I guess. And no surprise that so many of us shuffle off the mortal coil and leave it to others to pick up the pieces. When the eternal footman holds your coat, by the way, no extensions can be filed. Unless you have a really, really good CPA.

I had my little glance at mortality a few months ago when I joined the melanoma club. Made me take notice of things left undone. And lately it seems like people are just gone all too suddenly, unexpectedly. Napa lost a really good man this week, just 56 years old. (RIP Chris) There are no guarantees of living to your dotage (universal health care or no) - no guarantees of waking up tomorrow for that matter, or even making it to the other side of a busy street. We're all just hanging by a thread. So a person should be prepared.

To that end, I blog my last will and testament. Not a legal document, perhaps, but if it becomes my lot to take the dirt nap on short notice, here's the way I'd like it to play out:

1. Salvage the parts: take anything that's usuable and give to someone who needs it. I believe in recycling.
2. Into the fire: in my view it's an uncalled for trauma to the living to prop up the dead for display in a box. Just burn up the used meat sack and let a nice picture of me - something entertaining - be the remembrance. Apologies to the bottom line of the funeral home and the casket makers. It's pointless, but if you want to scatter my ashes I'll take Shubert Alley.
3. Whistle past the cemetery: graves and headstones are great for genealogy but otherwise just creepy and sad. Who wants to remember the dead by standing in a graveyard? Skip it.
4. Take care of the little ones: Flowers are nice but buy some for yourself, someone who can enjoy them. Money for the grandkids college fund is a lot better, meaningful gift, don't you think?
5. Party on, Garth: A lot of people have "a celebration of life" that is too much like mourning and not a lot like celebration. When I'm having the big sleep I want everybody who knew me - check that - everybody who liked me, let's say - to have a great big raging fucking party. A party with a lot of loud music and loud laughing and very loud drinking. A party where the cops come two or three times, like a fire that just keeps reigniting. That's how to celebrate, I say. So that you have such a bad hangover the next day you feel sorrier for yourself than the poor bastard who kicked off.

That's all there is to it. Simple last wishes. Party it up and move on. The best remembrance for anyone's passing is to take an even bigger bite out of life the next day and live with joy. Because you never know.


Anonymous said...

Can I get an "Amen"?

NapaNest said...

This may be a legally binding post ya know. LOL