Brace yourself, for I have some bad news. Ready?…. I’m going to die.
There, I said it. Like removing a band-aid, I think it’s best to do it quickly. Just get it over with. That’s not to imply I’m intending to kill myself. No, I’m too selfish for that. Besides, I still have a Southwest Rewards flight I’ve yet to use.
What I mean is, I’m making plans for my imminent demise. I may not die tomorrow or even next year, but I’m quite certain it’s going to happen. Therefore, I plan to have all my wishes known so I don’t end up in a beige ceramic urn on Aunt Gerry’s mantle.
Only the actual date of our departure remains a mystery. We simply never know what’s growing inside us that shouldn’t be or if we’ll step off a curb and get hit by a Buick. Or maybe Congress will actually agree on something and the shock will cause a fatal heart attack. It could happen. The point is, none of us gets out alive.
Yes, dear friends, how we will kick the bucket is the question, but that we will one day kick it, isn’t. I bet you’d be surprised to know how many prefer to avoid addressing this inevitability. I don’t actually have those statistics. I just bet you’d be surprised, that’s all.
Through a miracle, the little guy ages but keeps on living, year after year, until he’s over 100 (pretty awesome when you consider most mice are lucky to reach age 3).
But then I started wondering if I’d want to be here when all my friends and family weren’t. Suddenly, that mouse’s situation didn’t look so inviting.
For me, quality of life clearly outweighs the quantity of years we’re given. I couldn’t imagine my life without essentials like family, friends, my animals, and Creekside Bakery’s chocolate cake with rum-custard filling. Some things don’t last forever and they shouldn’t.
I agree with what you’re probably thinking; this world is a pretty awesome place to live. I ask you, what beats a warm summer evening on a porch swing with your favorite person, listening to crickets and sipping a coconut-ginger martini? (Much tastier than it sounds.)
Vacating all this can be pretty scary. The unknown and all that. Seriously, who wants to leave a place that has over 31 flavors of ice cream and where you get free refills on buckets of popcorn at the movies? Not I.
But this is where faith comes in handy.
I’m not saying I’m like that kid in the movie, The Sixth Sense, who sees dead people. No, if I could do that, I’d be looking for Johnny. (Hey, the guy was hilarious.) All I’m suggesting is that there’s more to life (and death) than meets the eye.
Anyway, here’s the thing: You, too, are going to die. This may come as a shock to some, especially those pushing 80 who have yet to create a Will or Trust. For those folks, their families will have to make an uneducated guess as to their wishes. Therefore, chances are good that Grandpa Harry’s cremated ashes will be scattered at sea even though he feared fire and water.
So here’s my unsolicited advice, stolen from Nike: I just did….made my funeral plans, that is. As of last Tuesday, my Trust is complete and so-called arrangements are paid for. It’s all organized in a lime green binder labeled, When I Kick the Bucket.
Now don’t get me wrong; I’m in no hurry to go. But I do take comfort in knowing I’ve removed a burden from my loved ones.
After all, their immense grief over my untimely passing will undoubtedly be so overwhelming it might render them incapable of making rational, clear-headed, critical decisions. Like, for instance, what to serve at the celebration. (That would be the aforementioned cake and martinis.)
Yes friends, the hard part is over. Now all that’s left to do is get on with living. And, for as long as possible, stay away from buckets.