Saturday, March 13, 2010

Confronting Our Own Mortality

In the last six months it seems there has been an acceleration of events destined to make me confront my own mortality.  Although I've been pronounced healthy (a relative term, surely), a good number of those around me have been afflicted with various and sundry disorders, culminating in our attendance yesterday at a funeral - something I haven't been at for several years.  (As you can tell I'm not a "frequent funeral-goer" - I can always get an egg salad sandwich at home.  Also, in high school I worked part-time at a funeral "parlour" which gives one a unique perspective on such rites, I suppose.)  Apart from the intended purpose of supporting the bereaved, I found it surprisingly beneficial to me personally in that I came to realize that in my sixth decade perhaps I should think about the aftermath of my own future demise.  Not my last will and testament, which was updated just a couple of years ago, but what sort of funeral (if any) might be appropriate, what happens to all the "stuff", and even how I might reach back from the grave to cheer people up - assuming they miss me in the first place.  (A former Mayor of our town wrote an epistle to be read at his own memorial service famously exhorting those present to "never buy a car from WC Motors"!  And a dear friend of ours dictated that a party be held at her house the night of her funeral, which by all accounts went very well.)  So there you have it, a cosmic wake-up call or merely preparing for the worst case scenario?