Monday, August 28, 2006

Your Funeral Preferences?

I'll be creating my living will soon, making explicit what I'd like done in case I'm ever unable to make my own medical decisions. So let's deal with the possibility of death full-on here. What do you want for your funeral? All I know is that I don't want "Amazing Grace" sung, played or performed at my funeral. I realize funerals are for the living, not the deceased, so really what I want doesn't matter at all since I'll be dead. This kind of rumination is pure self-indulgence.

So being self-indulgent, I'll say that I like imagining a service without "Amazing Grace," without a priest saying, "accept your servant, Regina" and without anyone referring to their god as a "Father." I also feel better imagining myself cremated so that there's no need for a casket, gravesite or burial. I hate owning things and I don't like taking up a lot of space. I don't like the idea of leaving my body behind for people to have to present and bury and tend the grave later. That's all too much trouble for a corpse. Just turn me into a pile of ashes, metal and teeth and scatter the ashes -- oh, it doesn't matter where. Lake Michigan? Just so long as there's nothing left to set on a ledge and have to dust.

But since funerals are for the living, I guess I'd want people to do whatever makes them feel better. But I'd still ask this: if someone has to read the 23rd Psalm, at the conclusion of it ("I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.") I'd like those that knew me best to think to themselves, "Or not."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pull the plug if you're in a coma?

If you live in the Chicago area:

I've received an email from my former place of worship, Unity in Chicago, about a workshop next week on creating a living will. A living will is a document which lets you decide whether or not to be kept on artificial life support. Often these documents also appoint someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you're unable to do so (and I definitely want to do that).

Maybe you've already taken care of this and if so, good for you. I haven't. By the end of this workshop, we'll have created our living will. Once that's done, I know I'll rest easier. Ahhh, now I can relax and slip into a coma.

No, seriously I believe having a living will is very important just like any other legal document you might put in place for JUST IN CASE. I'm there next Wednesday, August 30th.

Living Will Workshop
Wed Aug 30
7:00 p.m.
Unity in Chicago
1925 W. Thome Avenue (near corner of Devon and Ridge)

A donation will be asked. If you plan to go, email the faciliator at tom@unitychicago.org.

Monday, August 21, 2006

another short blurb

(another double shift. WHEN will I ever have time again for more than a short blurb?????)

In the film Castaway, Tom Hanks' character is madly in love with Helen Hunt's, but then he spends four years on an island and when he comes back, she's married and has a child. In 1983 Stephen King used the same plot device in The Dead Zone: Johnny spends years in a coma and comes back to life after the love of his life has married and had a child.

How is it that these women find other satisfying relationships and get married so damn fast? It took me forty, pathetic, constipated years to fall in love. If my boyfriend gets shipwrecked, he'll have a good ten or fifteen-year grace period to get back to me, no problem.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Day Off

Today was my day off from work. Because the restaurant is still understaffed and we're all working about 7 or more shifts a week, I consider myself lucky to get one day off a week. Unfortunately, a co-worker had a personal emergency that required that the rest of us fill in his shifts, so today I worked the lunch shift on my day off. But I'm determined to believe that today WAS a day off (takes a lot of imagination, but I'm trying) and tomorrow will be my day off part two since I'll only work the lunch shift again. I'm imagining that my day off this week is taking place during pieces of different days.

I do feel for the co-worker who is going through a hard time right now, but the only part of it I can truly understand is the financial hardship he'll face since he's losing a lot of workdays this month. I don't know what it's like to lose someone close to you because I'm 40 years old and I've never experienced death in that way. People assure me one day I will. I guess that's true, but not if I die first.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Nicotine

Today I had my first cigarette. I wanted to try to understand what people get out of it. I smoked the whole thing, waiting for the feeling that many addicts got the first time they smoked. I waited for the sensation that makes people want to do it again.

It didn't happen.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Staying Single May Shorten Life Span

Many people say life's too short. I say life's too long. (Click here for the article.)

And Happy Birthday to my sister, Judy! (because gloomy pessimism doesn't preclude celebration)