Mind if we talk about death?
Bucket lists got me thinking.
Living each day to the fullest. YOLO. Bucket lists. Top 10 places to visit before you die. Make sure you live today as if it were your last. No regrets.
In a weird way, this obsessive focus on what to do while you’re alive leaves out the death part.
In working with people and grief, a question that often comes up is: “What would that person want”, or more problematic: “The family is doing x but I know the person really wanted y”.
The questions that arise are usually ones that don’t get covered in a standard will. We know where the assets go, where the burial plot/cremation process/pod tree will go, the kids have guardianship, organ donation, the bills get paid.
I’ve decided that this is a gift I can leave for my loved ones who are still around when I die: What to do with me.
Put me in a pod if that’s available (the organic tree thing), or cremate me, or do whatever is most environmentally friendly at the time of my death. Cancel all my social media, let people know where the passwords are. List my credit cards and email notifications so they can get paid off and cancelled. Make a playlist of music for your funeral (pronounced fun ur al), or celebration or whatever.
Say what you’d like – a party, a church service, an apres-type social.
If you don’t care about what happens – say so.
There are other aspects I have yet to consider, I’m sure. But I’ve got this far, in that I’m enclosing a note in my will that says: “on my computer, you will find a T’s fun.er.al document for reference”.
I know this all sounds a little weird. I look at it as argument prevention. I don’t want a bunch of people I care about sitting around asking “what would T want?” I want them to get on with whatever they need to do, be sad, cry, go for a run or a bikeride, play basketball, sleep, eat, hug, I don’t know what they’ll be doing. I do know they won’t be fighting about what they think I’d want. It’s all written down.