The interesting fact about death is that it is the one thing in life that everyone gets to participate in. Absolutely no one misses out. Joel and I often have little chit chats about it and one thing that I have concluded is that I would never want my demise to be similar in any way to that girl Terry Schiavo. It was a horrible case that should have been discussed in the private arena, but instead it became a circus with Terry as the final act. The case made headlines and everyone had an opinion, from her husband being painted as the bad guy who just wanted her to die with some dignity, and the parents refusal to let Terry go peacefully. Hey, I totally understand the parents refusal to let go of their child, and I also understand that parents have an easier time living in denial - I have seen this in my mother all my life.
But you know, maybe the husband was right. Maybe he knew, just like my husband knows, that she didn't want to spend her dying days in a hospital bed, stuffed with feeding tubes and all the other medical instruments that were required for her to resist death. Maybe he still loved her enough to see her as a person who was suffering, and not just an attention grabber for those parasites using her suffering for political gain, or to sell newspapers.
The times we discuss these issues are the times when I know that I have to put something in writing. To make it official that I would never want to be stuck in a sterile hospital bed fighting for my right to die, left without a voice to make my request known.
On a lighter note about death in our discussion we also talk about what will become of the remains. You know the times are certainly changing, and there is less and less available land to bury our loved ones that we care so much about. Long gone are the days when people built huge mausoleums so their loved ones could rest in peace - and in luxurious style. These days those same brick buildings could house a small family for a measly $300,000k. Hey, that is really not a bad idea, and is actually a bargain when compared to the new condo's that sold in downtown Seattle - 600 s.f. of luxurious space for just over $350k. I think I should apply for my real estate license, as there is a bundle of money to be made if you have my genius.
On the other hand, what about cremation. That seems like a viable option but things have also changed there. What do you do with the remains? My nan decided to cremate my pop and she placed his urn on the fireplace, unfortunately she couldn't stand him lying around all day and she eventually buried him in the garden. Hey Nan, he is still lying around but you just don't have to see it - yes, back to that denial I was talking about.
Now don't think for a minute that you can just scatter those old ashes anywhere, as I said before 'the times they are a changin'. Did you know that there are laws preventing you from scattering your loved one in certain places? I love the ocean and have always said that I would be very happy being scattered over one of my favorite haunts (Torquay in Melbourne or Clovelly Beach in Sydney) but the environmental agencies don't want a multiude of dirty ashes ending up in protected areas. Ok, so one person can't make a huge impact but just say you have chosen a popular site, certainly a multitude of people will certainly count.
So why can't our dead (cough, cough, I mean loved ones) continue to live among us? No, don't be stupid not like zombies, but like a cherished piece of furniture, or abstract art. Joel and I went to the Bodies Exhibition last weekend and they have put my plan into action. (I wonder if it is too late to copyright my idea?). So why can't we use the same concept of preserving bodies - with the skin on please. Just think rather than having your partner scattered around the neighborhood, they could just be content to sit around the house and watch tv (what's new), with smile firmly planted and never have a bad thing to say. How absolutely perfect. Hey, why stop there, I would take it one step further and pose my love in a sitting position with hands raised. Doubly perfect - coat rack and loving - quiet - husband.