I have just finished writing the three most important pieces of my life. One will never see ink, one I’ll never see published but you may, and the other you are about to read.
The first was my will. The loss of a very good friend last year made me realize the importance of planning for my ultimate demise. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine how much fun it would be.
I don’t have much in the way of material possessions, that’s not an issue. The question is what do I want in the way of a service? Today’s funeral directors are a lot more liberal than in days past. I had to plan my aforementioned friend’s service. We sent Gordy out with a hell of a bash, the way he would have wanted it. He won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
On the other hand, my biological father passed away in November and had his entire service planned right down to the scriptures, exactly what he wanted.
I like the philosophy of poet Dylan Thomas.
“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Afraid of death? What’s the point? 60’s guru Timothy Leary had his death filmed. One of my heroes, Gonzo Journalist Hunter S. Thomson, who was played by Johhny Depp in the movie “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” had his ashes shot out of a cannon. Both these men lived and died by their own terms.
That’s me. I haven’t been quiet my entire life, I’ll be damned if I go out with a whimper. I have planned my service, and I had fun doing it. I’ll have a piper, a rock band and a stand up comedian. I will be put in my coffin on my belly not only so I can tell the world to kiss my ass one last time, but so I can see what’s coming as I doubt that I’m going to heaven. If you come to my funeral I promise it won’t be a dull affair.
The second piece I’m writing is my obituary. I wrote my father’s and my friends last year, a job I wouldn’t entrust to someone working in the classified department. I decided then and there that I’d write my own. If you like my columns, you’ll love my obit. You’ll hear me laughing from the grave.
The third thing I wrote is my “bucket list,” the things I want to accomplish before I die. This is something I started on long before the Jack Nicholson film of the same name came out. My step-dad passed away in 1999 without ever getting his last wish, to see the West Coast. I made up my mind at that time to live my life while I canand I have.
Along the way I have been published numerous times, I’ve overcome my fear of heights (by skydiving), I have played a vampire in a local movie and been on television a half a dozen times.
I have won and lost at both love and war, ( I didn’t get this pretty by winning them all!) and I’ve lived a full life. My bucket list is pretty short these days. I didn’t have fun just writing my list, I’m having fun living it.
These are the 3 most important things I have ever written, and I have thoroughly enjoyed writing them, as opposed to forcing my family to do it after I go, and they are grieving, (although this is assuming that they will be grieving, they might be busy celebrating).
If you haven’t written your will or obit you may want to save your loved ones some grief. Do it now when you can have fun with it, and live your bucket list while you can.
Me? I have a few things left on my list. I’ll let you know how they turn out, unless you read my obituary first. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Keep smiling, and may I’ll see you on the funny pages.