Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Alright Death... I've Got a Game Plan
Now that we're embarking on all of this kidding nonsense, I've been marveling at how I've begun to look at things quite differently - like death for instance.
Anyone who knows me well, or has been reading this blog for any length of time is aware of my overwhelming fear of the inevitable. It's been an almost crippling issue for me in so many respects, that I could probably write an entire book about it. Perhaps this is why I'm somewhat amazed that I think I may actually be getting over it. It's remarkable at what even the prospect of becoming a parent makes you think about.
What really sealed the deal for me was an article in New York Magazine, that quite frankly, I think should be REQUIRED READING for pretty much everyone - parents and children alike: http://nymag.com/news/features/parent-health-care-2012-5/index6.html
Why? Because it addresses an issue that is predominantly unique to ours and our parents' generations. People are living longer than ever before - and while medical miracles are nice and all, there comes a point where you have to ask yourself - is this life really worth living anymore? And what if you're not even capable of asking yourself that question? What if you're the uber-elderly patient... a shadow of your former self who appears to be living in a state of constant discomfort, confusion and irritability? Do you really want that to be your children's last memory of you? Do you want to subject them to years - possibly decades of service as your caretaker? Do you want to drain yours and quite possibly your children's savings to sustain a life that barely resembles a life anymore?
I know I don't.
And now that we're planning on kidding, I'm diligently working towards embracing my inevitable death as an eventual blessing to any children I may be fortunate enough to have. Further to that, I am embracing the idea of what I would like to be a celebration of my life in lieu of a funeral. No dark, dreary costumes at the end for me... no seemingly endless series of speeches talking about how wonderful I may have been, (or not)... just a party. I want anyone willing to show up to promise that they will only share anecdotes about time we spent together to whomever feels like listening. That's it. Nothing morbid - nothing sanctimonious... just a nice little gathering of friends and family with plenty of food, alcohol and great music.
Don't get me wrong... I want to live as long as I possibly can in good health - to support our children and whatever lives they may choose for themselves, but I never want to become a painful burden that adversely impacts every corner of their lives. I want them to see me go as peacefully as possible. I want them to remember the good things... the celebrations, the love and the laughter... not a decade or so of what can really only be described as a living hell - one that I'm pretty sure any God that might exist never intended.
And because of that, I'm going to have a very specific, solid plan in place when I hit that wall.