How I Want To Die

 In Blog

Do you ever think about dying?

I’m sure you have. At least, I think most normal people do. But what do you think about? The actual moment of death? Your funeral? Who gets what when you’re gone? The afterlife and whether or not it even exists?

Last week, my wife sent me a random message via E mail. One line. Just, “Did you know they sell caskets at Costco?”

As a matter of fact, I did not know that! Don’t ask me how, but yes, you can purchase caskets wholesale. As of yet, we haven’t run into any casket displays while buying bales of 48 rolls of toilet paper, but if it happens, I’ll let ya know!

We were joking a few nights ago with my stepson, Jordan, about how you can buy caskets at Costco. With fun-poking glee he said, “Yippie! Let’s go get matching ones for you and Mom!”

Really, I want my post-death stuff to be done however it’s easiest for the people doing it. But ideally? I’d rather be cremated. My thinking is there’s too much ground being taken up by dead people already. Someday, we’ll be forced to plant corn and vegetables over the top of graves-land will just be that much at a premium. But, I digress…

This brought up a serious conversation about post-death plans. Throw in the fact I just upped my life insurance and this is another reason the next stage of life (er, after life) has been on my mind. Also, my stepson is 18 and starting his freshman year of college in just two weeks. It was during my freshman year of college when I came about as close to death as I hope to come for, oh, another 40 years or so. So, yeah, death…

This morning while I worked out, I cranked up Todd Snyder’s “East Nashville Skyline” which contains my fav Snyder song, “Play A Train Song.” When I got this album three years ago, I did (and still do) consider that “Train” is the best song of the decade…at least, in my humble opinion. It’s a tune about Todd’s buddy who’d recently died. The imagery Snyder paints of his friend is haunting, to say the least, but the last few lines of the tune are exactly, EXACTLY the way I want to die. And, they’re how I want people to react when the inevitable happens to yours truly. Try this on for size:

“In television blizzard light, we broke into his place
We found him cold there on the sofa, a little smile upon his face,
And though I tried with all of my sadness, somehow, I just could not weep,
For a man who looked, to me, like he died laughing in his sleep…”

Ya know, call me nonchalant about the whole thing. Death is going to happen. Duh. To me, to you, to everyone. I don’t care so much about me, but I do worry about the people I’ll leave behind. Still, gotta be zen since, unless I get a Ouija board, there’s no way I can help them.

But isn’t the best way to help people once you’re gone to plan in advance? To live a good, loving, fulfilled life? To create meaningful relationships that foster good in the world? Then, when you’re pushing up daisies, you can rest with the knowledge you did some good in this world-and that’s far more important than who gets what when you’re gone, isn’t it?

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  • Susabelle

    Excellent post, Marcus. You’ve already “died” once so you’re ahead of the rest of us.

    I don’t want them to waste any money on me after I die. Throw me in the trash, but don’t waste valuable land on me. Cremation is probably the best alternative, and then my ashes can be strewn in the mountains of Colorado and they can be done with me.

  • Marcus Engel

    I concur. Just switch out the Colorado mountains for my childhood farm home. Or the Vegas strip, which ever is easier!

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