If I Should Die Before I Wake

Halloween Rounded Tombstone

(Please, God, don’t let this be one of those prophetic writings that gets published 2 minutes before I’m squashed by a semi falling off an overpass or something.)

 

As I enter my twilight years, and my health becomes iffy, I find myself thinking about my final wishes.  Knowing first-hand how difficult the death of a parent can be, I’ve already made arrangements to donate my body to the local medical school – and made sure my kids know how to contact the proper officials when the time comes.

But what about the rest of it?

If there were a memorial service, would anyone come?  If anyone did come, would they then attend a breakfast/lunch/dinner afterwards?  I remember when my dad died, we had a memorial service and afterwards, my mother, my brothers and I went for lunch at a local restaurant.  I remember sharing stories from our childhood years – from the laughter at our table, you’d never know we had just come from a funeral.  I think I’d like that – I’d like my family to remember me with laughter rather than tears.

People talk about bucket lists.  I don’t have one.  I figure I’ve done about as much in my life as I can – I’ve had a good marriage and successfully raised three beautiful daughters. I’ve risen to the top of my career field, such as it is. Who can ask for more?  Anything I haven’t done is because I didn’t have the money, didn’t have the time, didn’t have the energy, or simply had no desire – and all of that’s probably not going to change within the limited number of years I have left.

So, what do I want?

♦  I want to die before my kids do.  No parent should ever have to bury a child – that’s just wrong.

♦  If I die before my husband, I want my girls to take care of their father, even if he does annoy the shit out of them.

♦  If Puppy Cody is still alive when I die (and hubby has predeceased me), I want one of my girls to adopt her and give her the home she deserves.

♦  My youngest daughter gets my piano because she will appreciate it most.  My mother gave it to me outright rather than to bequeath it to me in her will because she wanted me to be able to enjoy it longer.  I’d like to keep it in the family.  (Sweetie, have fun finding room for it in that studio apartment!)

♦  My middle daughter gets anything of any artistic value that I may own, including those landscapes she painted while drinking in Ireland during her college year abroad.  (Oh, wait, that doesn’t read quite right – they’re very nice paintings, and I love having them on my newly painted walls.  I’m sure you were studying the whole time you were over there!)

♦  Cordelia (my oldest daughter) gets this blog. Not that she wants it, seeing as she’s a much better writer than I am, with many, many more readers than I’ll ever have.  But hey, someone has to come on here and let you all know I’ve croaked, right?  Then you can all get together and have a big Cordelia’s Mom Send-Off Party, with lots of wine and cuppycakes.

But enough morbidness.

Throwing all logic into the wind, if death was foreseeable, these are some of the things I’d like to have done before I died:

  1.  Retire.

2.  Set enough money aside so that there will, in fact, be some kind of estate to bequeath to my daughters (and to pay for the above-referenced wine & cuppycakes party) – regardless of whether or not that ship comes in, and despite the travel expenses involved in my next wish, below.

3.  Personally meet every one of my blogging friends.

4.  Meet at least one stranger who looks at me and says, “OMG, aren’t you Cordelia’s Mom?  I love your blog!” [remember, I wrote “Throwing all logic into the wind …” Duh.]

5.  Play the violin and the piano one more time, and do both well.  Hopefully without upsetting every dog and cat in the township.

6.  Go fishing one more time.  It would be even better if the fish were caught in a body of water clean enough that the fish could then be cooked and eaten.  And I don’t do ice fishing, so hopefully my time won’t be up before summer.

7.  Have a  lobster dinner, slathered with lots and lots of melted butter.  Because who can afford lobster these days?  Certainly not me, unless the ship comes in.

8.  Finally finish that sweater I started knitting 40 years ago.  It won’t fit me any more, but Cordelia tells me she likes fisherman knit sweaters, and she’s a little thing.  It would be a shame to waste all that yarn.  However, I might need to get a better pair of bifocals first.

As you can see, even dreaming of unlimited funds, extended time and uncompromised health, I still can’t think of much that I don’t already have or haven’t already done.  My needs and wishes are simple, and become more basic as the years pass.  I guess my biggest wish would simply be to die in my sleep, without pain, and knowing that my family will be able to move on with lots of loving memories and little grief.

If you knew you were about to die, what would your wishes be?  Have you begun to plan for your final days, or are you too young or to afraid to do so?  Give us all your thoughts on this delicate topic.

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I love to hear from my readers. You may comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com or notcordeliasmom@aol.com

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Image by Cordelia’s Mom (using template from Microsoft Office Clip Art, which came with the computer – duh)

 

 

 

 

 

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22 Responses to If I Should Die Before I Wake

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’ve known theach answer to your question for a long time. On my memorial it should read as follows. “She knew there was no such thing as a free cat. Rowan Jillian’s mother.” I want music, either passive or participatory with at least one person involved to include Amazing Grace,” because I find it to be a Truth&Blessing. I pick “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot because I remember my maternal grandmother humming it while she cooked.

    I guess I should pass this information on to the executor of my will.

    Most things are set up. My certified financial divorce planner and my lawyers insisted due to my epic divorce. Social media, email, and technology are covered. I update these issues quarterly. The baby kitties have a trust fund and guardian. Will is in place. Bills, finances and money related issues are addressed. Medical power of attorney is directed and my wishes are understood. I visit all these issues quarterly.

    I didnt include anything that had to do with my soul, other than my cats. I didn’t let my heart and soul out at the time.

    My parents, who are 86, won’t tell me if they have a will, or where their will is, or talk about their wishes with me. Their position is that I am child. Trust me CM, I’m not.

    I best call my friend & executor. Now what time is it in California?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. candygai says:

    You will die over my dead body CM. I will not let it happen. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    In regards to #7 – if you ever find your way to Orlando, FL they have a place called Boston Lobster Feast. Been awhile since I have been there but for about $50 it is all you can eat lobster, shrimp, crab legs and other miscellaneous stuff. Be prepared with elastic waistband pants….just sayin’b

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kunstkitchen says:

    Thanks for this post. Wishing you good health to go with your generous spirit.

    Like

  5. “OMG, aren’t you Cordelia’s Mom? I love your blog!”
    Best I can do long distance. Good to have plans, then go out and kick up your heels (figuratively, if necessary) and enjoy Cody.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan Antion says:

    I hope you’re around long enough to have many lobsters. It is good to have plans like this, in addition to the official paperworky stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. janeybgood says:

    I love this post so much! I agree with you- I would much prefer laughter at my funeral than tears. I mean, a few tears are expected, right?? (Come on, CM, it’s US!) But overall, what you described is so beautiful and intimate.
    I love you bucket list. It all seems quite possible so I hope you achieve what you want to. But you’re not going anywhere! *stamps foot*

    Like

  8. lbeth1950 says:

    If I met you today, I would say “OMG, You’re Cordelia’s Mom. I LOVE your blog!”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Death is a taboo subject in the Asian culture. I do talk to my girls about it, but they are still a bit young to understand. And the little one would say, “Is mom going to see Monster in heaven?” I’m working on my wish-list and my fervent wish is to die before my girls! My prayer and wish for you is that you’ll live long and healthy to do all the things you wished for. ♡〜٩(^▿^)۶〜♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Death is a very difficult subject to discuss with very young children. They simply can’t comprehend that it’s final. Losing a pet does pave the way for pointing out that we’re not going to be here forever, but there is a better place in the future. Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with this for a very, very long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. joey says:

    We have the paperwork and possessions sorted. Can I do all the fun stuff over again? All the best trips and food? All the best sleepless nights? Not ready, lol!

    Like

    • Of course, you can do all the fun stuff over again – as many times as you wish. I’m glad that you’ve organized your paperwork and your stuff – hopefully your time won’t come for many years, but at least your family won’t have to worry about your wishes if it should happen suddenly.

      Liked by 2 people

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