Having *the* Talk. No, Not That One…the Death One

The birds and bees talk is always fun, ain’t it? But that’s not the talk I meant. The one I’m alluding to is the talk about dying, and what your wishes might be if, you know, you go first…or second…or last, even.

Do You Have A Death Wish?

Being diagnosed with cancer makes a person think about such things.

Do You Have A Death Wish? (said every mother ever to her boys)

I have long told Garry that if I die first, I prefer a large private indoor mausoleum, where folks can feel free to release their grief in gnashing of teeth, screeching like a banshee, tearing of cloth and thrashing about on the ground, safely insulated from inclement weather.

Aren’t I thoughtful?

After all the kidding, I have told Garry many specifics of my wishes, but then I always end with: you’re the one left, so do whatever makes you happiest in your unspeakable time of grief (ever sensitive, I am).

Have y’all thought about your wishes?  If not, I’d suggest you take a bit of time and make a list. I know, it’s an uncomfortable topic, one that many put off.  Don’t be one of the many; be brave and meet this comfortableness head-on. Your loved ones will thank you.

Tough Topic Starters:

Do you like the idea of cremation, then being scattered during a road trip throughout the U.S.? Do you want to be buried in a particular spot? In your favorite cemetery, under a peaceful tree where your loved ones can sit and picnic on Dia De Los Muertos, or possibly in the backyard, ala Elvis? (I think you need a special permit for that). Do you want to be buried in a ball gown, in a track suit, in a military uniform (it helps if you were actually in the military for that one)? Do you like the idea of a viewing? Or would you rather just go from death to dirt?

See?  Lots of questions that need to be pondered, then answered, or you risk being sent off in a Viking’s longboat, set ablaze by a well-aimed flaming arrow as you are pushed out to sea. (Boy has requested this one) (addendum: I think this type of funeral is a myth, created and perpetuated by Hollywood. Still…fun!)

You’ve Talked, You’ve Decided, Now What?

If you have thought about your wishes and you’d like them carried out, I highly suggest making note of them and placing said wishes in a secure location for whomever will need direction upon your demise.

Garry and I had many honest discussions about death during my cancer treatment and I have very specific wishes, made clearer by my cancer diagnosis.  He’s not too thrilled with my idea of no funeral except for a very small gathering of family, nor is he fond of throwing a fun-time party/wake in place of the nonexistent public funeral. (How can I celebrate your life? I’ll be too sad. As it should be, baby.) Honestly, it matters little for me what he does, other than no embalming, because, ewww; I simply want his heart to be eased if I go first, so whatever makes him happy is what will happen. Yet, having written plans, helps. I know this because I once knew a man who had done just this for those he left behind, and it made the hardness of his loss easier.

If the death talk is something you haven’t had with your near and dear, I highly recommend it. It will save them added anguish of guessing-based decision making, knowing what you want and how you want it, at a time when their grieve will seem insurmountable.

Links For Important Stuff To Consider (CAVEAT: I am not an attorney and am not giving legal advice. These links can help jump start your research into such matters):

Living Will (this is for Texas…check with your state for the correct form)

Medical Power of Attorney

Wills

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. it’s hard, but it makes the whole process easier! when my grandfather passed, it was pretty much ready.
    elle | southernellestyle.com

  2. We have glossed over this topic. My mom brought it up again when my grandmother passed away and when an aunt passed away, but this it never seems to go anywhere. I know we need to discuss it. I know we need an updated will. It is a hard and difficult topic.

    My son, though, loves the Viking funerals and has said he wanted one if he goes first. Then he said he wants to be buried in an onyx coffin. Where does he get this stuff?

  3. Damn I have not given these things any thought, until recently when I attended yet another funeral the second for the year and it left me thinking about my own funeral I have thought about writing down what I want and telling my daughters about what I would like it is something we all have to think about at some point in our lives

    • I look at it as a gift to those left behind. Death is traumatic, yet we can help ease the trauma by having the details of our funeral worked out beforehand. You’re right, we have to think about it at some point in our lives.

  4. The Hubs and I have jokingly talked about this stuff… but never made it a serious discussion or a legal one… we really need to get on it!

  5. Cindy Gill says:

    This is such a funny post, great writing! When my dad was dying, he did it all for us, including buying the plot and ordering the stone. He always joked that we could save money and just put him in the ground in a pine box. When he died, all of the caskets were cold metal. I asked about any wooden ones and we special ordered the most beautiful pine casket, which of course, cost more than anything the funeral director had on site. We sure didn’t save any money, but my dad got his ‘pine box,’ and I never saw anything more beautiful!

  6. Spotted this post on the Chicken Chick Hop. Oh my goodness! My momma and I were JUST talking about this last week. A friend died recently and none of this was really discussed in her family. Long story short, it was a big mess. Then I come to find out my momma has no idea what her death plans are. I’m hoping the next time we talk she will have more answers. Thanks for the helpful advice. Shared!

    • I like the idea of lessening the trauma after death. That way, there’s no misunderstandings with those left behind and the way forward is as easy as possible. Thanks for sharing, Leilani.

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