Learning To Love You More




Assignment #51
Describe what to do with your body when you die.

Andreas Trolf
Brooklyn, New York USA



first, i hope that however i die, however old i am, whether i die a painful, lingering death, or am suddenly cut down in the prime of my life, say by a speeding bus maybe, i hope that it's not too disturbing for the people who see me in those first moments after death. i remember seeing my great aunt the morning after she died, having gone to sleep on my grandmother's couch and just not waking up, and she looked pretty okay i guess, only there were flies everywhere. that's the kind of thing that stays with you, especially if you see it as a young child. so when i die, i hope i look calm, or if not calm, then at least not messy (bloody, etc.), if only for the benefit of the person or people who witness it.
following my actual death, which now that i think about it, i would like for it to take place at home, in a clean, white-sheeted bed, in a tastefully lit room with many photographs on the walls and as many loved ones as possible nearby, especially though my wife (gray-haired by then, i would imagine, smiling through a veil of tears, although, i should note, i am not now married), i would like to be taken to a mortuary and dressed in a nice suit, something comfortable that i would have worn while alive, not something overly formal or stuffy, and made ready for viewing.
actually, maybe a viewing isn't really what i want. i'd actually prefer to be cremated, but not in one of those incinerators at the crematorium. if possible, i'd like to be placed on a dinghy and pushed out onto a body of water and then, once i was an appropriate distance from shore, a talented archer should shoot flaming arrows at me until both the dinghy and i are engulfed in flames. it might comfort some of my loved ones if they thought i was going off to valhalla. even though i am not of scandinavian descent. perhaps that doesn't matter, though, in the afterlife (if there is one, which i won't even get into right here).
a viking funeral would be nice, though hardly practical. although if you think about it, really great deaths are always commemorated by something impractical and usually monumental, though i hardly imagine i'd warrant something monumental. simply remembering me and smiling is enough for me. interrment in a mosoleum is not really something i'd be into, although those things are generally quite creepy and ivy-covered, which totally increases the chances of you coming back as some sort of zombie and scaring some teenagers pretty bad.
above all, regardless of how my body is disposed of after my death, please, please, make sure that i am really dead first. this is the first thing that should be done. for whoever finds me, before you bury me, cremate me, or whatever it is that you end up doing, get some smelling salts first, ok? just make sure. that's all i ask.