Yes, I realize I am getting older. My aching knee reminds me daily. The idea of an imminent demise did not cross my mind until we began to be bombarded with fliers inviting us to a free meal to discuss our final disposal.
Offers of a complimentary dinner from brokers wanting to invest our money were a common occurrence. We’ve turned a sinister corner, however, and we’re no longer invited to invest but to plan our funerals. Companies are fortunately scheduling the get-togethers during the day as apparently we elderly rarely go out at night.
One set is pushing cremation while the other is enticing us with the lure of a specialized celebration of life. No canned programs here; you can pre-plan a blowout party for friends and family to wish you goodbye.
What kind of party would you hold? For me, the choice would be difficult. My life has been full of beautiful adventures. The out-of-doors has always been my true love. I could hold the gathering at a campground or throw a barbecue at my central Texas ranch. But only chicken would be served, which would upset my husband no end because that is his least favorite meat. Better still would be a trip to France, a country that holds many memories. Of course, Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wine would be served.
Since writing is also my passion, perhaps I could give each guest a boxed set of my life’s work. Hmm. I wonder how quickly that treasure would find its way to the second-hand shop?
Then it occurred to me; I’ll be a no-show at the celebration of my dreams. Instead, I’ll be peacefully reunited with my maker. Since death is apparently around the corner, my commitment is to participate in meaningful experiences with my loved ones while I am able. And, because I’m a bit of a cheapskate, I’ll state my wish to be cremated and let my family decide how to honor me. After all, memorials are truly for the living.