As we age, we’re starting to come to terms with our mortality. Verdict: it sucks. After a conversation in which our Friend Collective all admitted to not having any sort of formal will or care documents, we decided to dedicate one of our Dinner Club evenings to doing exactly that: writing up our wills and dictating what we want to happen should we be faced with an end-of-life situation. It’s easy to say “I don’t want to live hooked up to machines”, but unless that’s actually written down and notorized somewhere, you too could become the subject of an invasive national debate regarding gawd’s great plan vs your own bodily autonomy. It’s no secret that I long for my 15 minutes, but not like this. Never like this.
So, armed with laptops and Indian take-out, we started writing up our wills. That was the easy part. Everything goes to our spouses to deal with (sorry Ed). All of my belongings are truly awesome, but I can’t think of anything in particular that anyone else would like to own over my literal dead body. This is your cue, by the way: if you want any of my junk, let me know. I will gladly bequeath the World’s Dirtiest Smutton (or any other specific item I own) to a random internet person – one less thing for Ed (or his cousin: sorry, Cliff) to deal with.
The living will portion of the night was more difficult. I don’t talk about it often because a girl’s gotta have SOME secrets, but I am terrified of death and all associated topics. I can very easily work myself up into a complete state of panic by thinking about Ed or myself being all dead and shit. Hell, even writing that out was difficult. I’m grateful that we wrote the documents as a group, because I wouldn’t have been able to get a single paragraph in before I dissolved into a weepy mess. It also helped that Shan, who is clearly a more advanced adult than the rest of us, already had her living will written up and notorized, so we could cannibalize some of the wording when it got too difficult to be auto-eloquent.
Unfortunately, a living will is a document with words .. and I am 100% unable to be reverent in any situation, ESPECIALLY ones where I am scared and awkward as fuck. I started out with good intentions, borrowing the Official Death Wording in Shan’s legal document so I had a base to work from (the end-of-life documentation I am more familiar with is not applicable in this situation, unfortunately). Then .. well, it all went to hell. It didn’t help that the others assured me that this is a legal document dictating my wishes should the unforeseen become seen, no one but me can write it, and what I say goes.
My living will is mostly normal. Some parts of it are not. If nothing else, I hope that my executor (which is not pronounced like “executioner”, I learned) will smile through the inevitable tears (because they are required to be devastated, it’s in the documentation) when they look into my final wishes, only to have to read through the long-winded and spectacularly-Kimli section on the state of bionic technology and cryogenics and the possibility of turning me into a slightly-less-evil version of GLaDOS. I should probably tone down some of the sarcasm in the document overall, but this is my one chance to do it my way. If I’m already picky and weird about how I do things, it’s only natural that it carry through to the very end. If that means someone is going to be tasked with making me a fabulous glitter death mask, so be it. These are my final wishes. Ignore them, and I will haunt the shit out of you.
I’m still not okay with any of this, but if I have to go, I hope I’ll be remembered as someone who tried to make it all fun.