Death crosses my mind on a regular basis. That's not to say I want to die, or think about dying, or about others around me dying... It's just a factor of life that I cannot ignore. Especially considering that my job includes looking after people who are nearer to death than others.
That statement doesn't sound right, "nearer to death than others." Something about that doesn't sit right with me. Why does age seem to be the only factor that people consider when thinking about when their "time to go" comes ?
I could go to sleep for the last time tonight, to never wake in the morning.
I'm 22 and considered young, but what's to say that I will wake up in the morning ? Or that I won't have a car accident on my way to work ? Or that someone won't break into my house and I'll die right there ? Last night I vomited in my sleep. I could have easily choked and died in my sleep had I not woken up. There are so many things that can happen in life to end it for some, things that don't have anything to do with age or health conditions. I think it's rather cruel to assume because you are young, you are invincible.
On the days that I actually attended school, my best friend, Jess and I discussed what we'd like to happen at our funerals. We were not emo/goth or anything of the sort. We simply looked at what was sure to happen in life, and death is one of those things. While other girls planned their weddings, we were planning our funerals. We couldn't be sure we'd get married, so we weren't about to waste valuable time dreaming of something that might not happen. I guess that's also why I doubt I'll get married even though I want to.
Jess was more thorough than I was, but we had the general gist of it. We were planning funerals way before Funeral Insurance ever crossed anyone's mind. Back in 2004, I think. Maybe 2005... I'm just thinking of who my teacher was and trying to remember which year I had him for. I'm going to stick with 2004. So there you go, that's how long I've had this dancing around in my mind. Hello useless information. Point being - we had songs, ceremony and all that jazz sorted. That way if our lives did end earlier than anticipated, at least we'd have that bit covered. We're the kind of girls who like to prepare for the worst, you know ?
To be honest, I hadn't really thought about it that much over the past couple of years. I've been too busy with living a life outside of homework and assignments to think about this sort of thing. Recently though, it's unavoidable. My family has had some cancer dealings in the past year so it's made me wonder even more. And then I started recalling what I had planned previously and how much of that would change to accommodate the person I am now. And this whole post started thanks to a poem I found that I would like read at my funeral.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave bereft
I am not there. I have not left.
~ Mary Elizabeth Frye 1932
I don't really want a funeral. To me, a funeral means a viewing of the deceased, then a burial. That's not what I want. I want to be cremated, and my ashes scattered into the ocean. I don't want a ceremony where people talk about who I was or anything of the sort. I just want to be cremated, ashes to ashes, and then that poem read. I don't want it to linger around for people to dwell on. I want people to do what needs to be done, and then move on with their lives. I don't want them to think of me as always gone and lost into the history of the past. Just because I'm not longer physically here does not mean I won't live on in memories. That's how people become invincible. And that's how I want my life to end.