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The 'Before' Bucket List, and the 'After' Bucket List

Posted May 28 2010 12:00am
Let's talk about death for a minute or two. Don't like talking about death? Does it make you uncomfortable? If so, you might want to wait for tomorrow's post then.

Alright, is the room clear of those who are hoping we all live forever and/or those who don't want to think about the fact that we don't?

Good. Let's go then.

We were driving on the highway to my parents' house today and on that highway were crosses marking places where people have died in various accidents over the years. My friend Tommy's memory is commemorated on that highway by a cross. The 7th anniversary of his death was last month. He was one of the best people I'd ever known, bar none.

The crosses on the highway got me thinking. I'm not the least bit afraid of dying, not even a little bit. I think there are lots of great things to look forward to after I kick the bucket. We should be making 'Before' bucket lists, and 'After' bucket lists. It also made me realize that even in death, I'm going to be a bit particular about what I want
1. If I die in an accident on a highway, I DO NOT want anyone to place a cross where I passed to commemorate my memory. I think that it is fine for those who have done that for a family member that has passed, but I don't want anyone doing it for me. I don't want those who love me to be forever reminded of where I took my last breath on this earth. I also don't want anyone to have to care for this "monument" so that it doesn't lose it's luster over the years. And in all honesty, it would hurt my feelings even in death to watch the monument diminish over time because no one still cares for it.

2. When I die, I would like my body to be used in the best way possible, all of it. If the death of my body can breathe new life into someone else's, I think that's a wonderful thing. Imagine all of the lives that can be changed that way, and the ripple effect. It's just phenomenal. I'll smile down from Heaven at that. Oh, and you can just cremate whatever is left over.

3. If you'd like to cry when I die, I'm not going to tell you not too. I think that's completely unreasonable. I think it's important to cry. I mean, think about how many people get messed up because they weren't allowed to cry, or were told not to cry. I'm not contributing to that kind of emotional catastrophe. That nastiness can seep into generations of non-emotionally-traumatized people.

4. I'd really like to have a say in what will be served at my funeral reception. Typically, where I'm from, this includes a myriad of little sandwiches and pickles, followed by little cookies and tea. I'm OK with a lot of that, since I know this is pretty customary. At the very least though, I'd like the following sandwiches to be served: asparagus, ham and cheese, and PB and jam. And funeral pickles - gherkins. That's what I'd like if we have to stick to the customary stuff.

If I really had my choice of food at my funeral reception, we'd eat the following: corn on the cob with blue cheese butter, grilled eggplant sandwiches with goat cheese on rye, cheese paninis, margherita pizza, smores, and cake and ice cream. All in copious amounts. Among other things. Food is just too delicious to be limited, especially if it's the meal AFTER your last meal.

So there, now you know. Don't you think about your death?
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