I saw a friend’s new status on FB:
Starting on my ‘in case of death’ journal.
Hmm… Interesting, ya? I thought I’d like to do the same. But while a topic of this sort may be more appropriate as a kept notebook moment, I think I would like to share my thoughts publicly. Why? So I can be sure these get carried out. 😉
I’ve always prayed that I be granted a quick, quiet death. Nothing that my family or friends need to suffer or sacrifice for, like paying exorbitant amounts of money so I can be on life support; or watching me disintegrate day after day. But well, if God prefers me to go otherwise, these would be my choices:
1) DNR. Or for those not familiar with the acronym, ‘Do Not Resuscitate.’ I don’t mean don’t try at the first instance. I could still live, you know. But if all signs point to my death, and my heart suddenly stops, just let me go. Let me rest.
2) I’d like to be cremated, my ashes brought to Ta Phrom in Siem Reap, Cambodia and scattered there. If Ta Phrom is too much to ask, just bring me to Apo Island. Bury my ashes near the lighthouse because I don’t want to be kept in an urn, on a shelf, beside candles. Nah-uh…
3) I don’t want large wreaths at my wake. I’d like a large vase or bowl and visitors and well-wishers can just bring a single stem of whatever flower they can get. I don’t mind gumamelas, or santan, or a twig of bougainvillea. Maybe a small bouquet is okay. Tie a white ribbon on them please.
Edit: I’d been discussing with my friend Tricia on FB (where a link of this entry is posted). She said she’d like a tin at her wake where guests can burn pieces of paper on which they wrote notes addressed to her. I said I’d like something like this, too. I want to ask guests to write me something – a note, a sentence, a short paragraph, a story, a poem. Doesn’t have to be all positive and praise, could be the person’s heartaches toward me. Then yes, the pieces of paper get burned inside a tin. The ashes should be included with mine in the urn. And buried with me consequently. 🙂
4) No photos during my wake, please. I’ve gone to so many wakes and goodness me, it’s just so awkward to be asked to stand beside the coffin and for a photo op with the dead. I don’t mind if my visitors (if any) would like to photograph themselves getting together. But sheesh… Not with dead old me as the center of attention.
5) I said no photos, so please, no videos either. Honestly, do you really want to relive crying moments as my body gets barbecued? Well, that’s assuming you’d cry for me… If you must keep mementos of my last moments on this physical earth, keep the mass cards and the guest list and honestly, just keep me in your hearts.
6) If my parents happen to still be alive when I die, please take care of them. I’m not asking you to physically be there and wait on them. I just want you to call them, write them, every now and then and say hi. Reminisce with them how cranky I was when I was alive. Or how messed up I’d been at some point. Laugh with them about me. Love them for me.
7) I don’t have that many possessions. My most prized ones are my books. I’d promised my BFF I’d give my Harry Potter collection to Paolo. Unless he’d gotten his own set by then, or if he doesn’t want them, then this promise stays. Otherwise, together with my Neil Gaiman books, I bequeath these to my biotches – Queng, Pam and Gay. The rest of my books can be divided among my closest friends who can promise to keep my lovies dog-eared free and with the spines as smooth as possible. No tears or ink blots, too. My published novels stay with my parents (if they’re still living). If not, any of my friends who would like to keep them can draw lots so they know which one gets the whole collection.
8) My clothes, shoes, bags and accessories should be given away to charity. The expensive jewelry, I expect to leave for my closest surviving blood relative/s.
9) If any of my stories are left hanging, or there are ideas in my plot basket that remain unwritten (assuming I’m still writing romance at the time of my death, and that I still have writer friends in the Tagalog romance business), please feel free to develop them. I trust you. You know who you are. You’re familiar with Jessie Joe anyway. (Assuming Jessie Joe’s still working then, too) 🙂
That’s about all I can think of for now. I think I’ll also make letters to special people in my life, keep them in a sealed envelope. Whoever I leave them with will be entrusted and expected to distribute said letters to the respective addressees after my burial.
Please don’t think this is morbid. Death is just about as real as life, as part of life as hurt and pain and happiness and family and friends. Albus Dumbledore aptly put it in the first Harry Potter installment,
To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.
I would just like to be ready for my next adventure. Get ready with me?
Stay happy, people!