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Planning a Post-Mortem Party

№266 ~6 minutes

Trigger warning: The following entry talks about Death and/or dying.

In which Death reminds all us about our fragile human-condition and I decide to make plans for my eventual demise.

It’s been a tough month. First Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie and just now, today, Alan Rickman.

I want you to take a moment to believe the following simple fact.

Because you and I have something in common with all of these men.

And it’s this.

You too are going to die.

You, the person reading this right now, are going to die.

It’s difficult to imagine, isn’t it?

Take a moment and try to picture what it’s like to not exist.

You can’t do it.

You’re imaging darkness, black, but there would be no black, there would be no colour because there would be no You to perceive it.

All things end. All motions slow. All heat becomes cold. Life is an eddy in the current of entropy. A brief chemical reaction that lights up the darkness and then, its fuel spent, dissipates back to nothing. Adam Conover, Adam Ruins Everything

Just like you will.

And me.

One day I will no longer be here. You will wake up and I will be gone. All that will be left is a faint echo of what my voice used to sound like.

If I could have it my way, it would echo in the voice of Morgan Freeman.

If I’m lucky I will have managed to leave a positive mark on this world big enough to warrant its own Wikipedia page. But probably not.

Most of us won’t.

Some of us leave a negative mark on the world but most of us cease to exist without leaving any trace to suggest we were ever here.

Mortality and Immortality by William Harnett.
Mortality and Immortality by William Harnett, 1878.

Now I’m not going to imagine what mark I may leave or have already left, if any.

Instead.

I want to make it easier for those I leave behind to move on. To continue with the brief chemical reaction that is their lives, without having to wonder about what is left of mine.

And it’s with this I write down my wishes, the plans for my Post-Mortem Party if you will, for the day when my fuel is spent.

No balloons please

I want to leave this earth the way I entered it, naked and screaming—

Well maybe not screaming, I’m going to be dead after all.

In fact, if I, at any point, start screaming please assume that I’m in fact not dead and that I would very much like to not be cremated.

But I would like to leave this earth naked.

I know I can’t be thrown into the cremation chamber naked, so I’ll settle for being cremated naked inside a cardboard coffin.

The cheapest you can find will do, don’t even think about getting the Premium Cardboard Coffin. No, the regular one will do just fine. There’s really no point in wasting money on what is essentially a fireplace you can’t even make s’mores on.

Then again, I don’t imagine you would want to make s’mores over my burning remains anyway.

But moving on. Before you burn me and call it a day I have a few other requests as well.

Can I still change my mind about the balloons?

Are some of my organs still functional? And I died under circumstances where I could potentially donate them?

Perfect.

I want to donate any of my organs and tissue for transplantation after my death. Let them have whatever still works. If any part of me can help anyone in any way, shape or form, that will be the mark I leave on this world. And what a mark to leave.

I could literally save someone’s life and that’s pretty awesome—for them, not me of course, I’m still dead.

I’ve already joined the NHS Organ Donor Register, so donating shouldn’t be a problem.

I also want to donate any brain tissue that could help lead to different ways of diagnosing and aid in the development of new treatments for diseases of the brain.

To do so, I have to decide which brain bank to sign up to because apparently one can’t simply choose to be a brain tissue donor and have it apply to all.

Balloons for everyone!

Right. That’s it for my useful parts. Now to prepare my body for the actual cremation itself.

Please don’t embalm me.

Please don’t keep my mouth closed by any artificial means.

In fact, in terms of any invasive treatments that isn’t harvesting my organs, tissue and/or brain to help others, just leave me be. I’m dead, there’s no reason to get all fancy about it.

Just refrigerate me until it’s time.

I’m not much of a religious man. I used to call myself an atheist but since a few years back I’m much more of an agnostic. Who knows what mysteries the universe holds? Wondrous things we lack the tools to detect. At least yet.

With this in mind I don’t want a religious memorial service or a religious venue. Just get together and reminisce about all the stupid things I did and somehow managed to survive.

A beautiful tree

And that’s almost it.

What did you think of the memorial service? I thought it was pretty nice.

Sure, some said the orchestra was a little too much but I really think it added to my exit to play The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme).

I’m of course kidding, I really don’t want an orchestra.

All that’s left of me is my ashes.

Now in a different world I would have really liked a gravestone with some memorable writing on it. Written in Comic Sans MS so I can piss off Designers everywhere. But truth be told I don’t want a gravestone at all.

Mortality and Immortality by William Harnett.
Oh God, would you look at that horrible kerning.

Instead I would like to be put in a biodegradable urn designed to convert me into a tree.

A maple tree to be specific.

And thanks to a company in Barcelona called Estudimoline, who created The Bios Urn, that is exactly what I can do.

And there we have it.

The brief chemical reaction that was Carlos is gone. Lighting up the darkness and then, my fuel spent, I have dissipated back to nothing.

I have now become a beautiful tree.

Have you made any plans for when your fuel is spent? What do you think of the idea of a biodegradable urn? What would you like to have happen to your body after you die?

That Place between Sleep and Awake

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