Saturday, October 20, 2012

In Case of Death. (Trigger Warning for the Subject of My Death.)

I’m in no hurry to die. But I’m thinking about it and I thought I’d share. I realize that almost nobody knows what I’d prefer in the case of my death.

I’m sure to die! My body is aging. My mind ripening… I celebrate myself on this macabre and gorgeous journey!

At a recent wake honoring the life of a young person who left their body, I realized that I had not thought too much about what I’d like in the case of my death.

But first! A casual short-list of things I want to do before I die:
1. Get a tattoo.
2. More sexual things, exploring consent and sexual action.
3. Practice handstand away from a wall.
4. Resolve financial stress.
5. Make a nice house (wherever I am): comfortable and welcoming for my self and others.
6. More connections in the world, community healing.
To be continued…

Okay, let’s say I died. I’d like everybody who feels connected to me in some way to have an opportunity to gather, but to also know that it’s okay to mourn privately if you'd prefer that. I would prefer that my body is not there. It can be cremated, placed in the earth or buried at sea, but don’t bother much with my corpse, it doesn’t have a lot to do with me, so it does not need to be present for the party. And I do not want a plot of earth marked and reserved for me; I’d like the earth to be enjoyed by those who are alive!!

At the gathering, I’d like you to do exactly how you feel, whether it seems appropriate or not. It is not necessary to be solemn or to act the way one thinks that one should act at an occasion like this. I just ask that you are mindful of not hurting others who are also there. In fact in honor of my playfulness, I’d like you to celebrate in a way that you’d like as long as you are not hurting others. You can dress in an unusual or colorful way, or not wear much! That would honor me as long as you are expressing yourself. At my wake, it’s okay to laugh and cry! It’s okay to honor yourself and your needs at the time. It’s okay to dance and smile and feel good. It’s okay to sit and think, or talk quietly. At some point in the evening (I see it happening at night.) I request silence: a moment (minutes long) for being together to honor the great mystery that is suggested by someone dying. It is okay to cry into this silence.

Remember what you want to accomplish while you are alive.
The above picture is a pic of a polaroid from an art installation. I like it because it looks like I am being born. In considering death, or even experiencing the death of aspects of self that I choose to leave behind me, I get an opportunity for a fresh expression of myself, and am renewed for the journey ahead.

1 comment:

L. Meredith said...

This is a wonderful, thoughtful post. Autumn is always a time of contemplating death for me. Also, getting a tattoo and resolving financial stress are on my short-list, too. :)