For some reason, I believe I will die at the age of seventy-six. I also think it will happen on November 26th, when nature would be dying anyway facing the upcoming winter. Rather symbolic. I’d be old enough to stop living; the biggest thing I believe is this would be a borderline between keeping some living abilities and losing them after this point. Nobody wants to go on as a living corpse and I’m no exception here.
Such a deadline – what a precise word in this regard – would chronologically put it on November 26th, 2050, as I was born on October 23rd, 1974.
You might find it strange to fix an exact date of one’s own death but this is how it is in my case. As of right now this date seems quite remote but time flies, we all know it. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean any kind of suicide or euthanasia. This should just happen for natural reasons. Probably by some divine decision imprinted in my mind some time ago…
The only thing I didn’t speculate or fantasize yet is my funeral details. I can’t imagine where I would be at this point in 2050, what kind of landscape there would be, and the people that would surround me.
Neither does it come to my mind right now. So, I guess I have around thirty more years to develop some scenario, or at least just a rough idea.
Maybe now it is the right moment to start thinking about it. The only thing that I’d wish is to finish my days somewhere in a warmer climate but, again, this might change as the years go passing by…
Dear friends, we are gathered here today to celebrate the life of Brother Lewis. We cannot say that the dearly departed Brother left us with his pride or dignity intact as both were clearly in short supply.
In truth, he cried like a little girl. We all see the videos of loved ones and friends speaking on how the departed faced death with honor and never complained of their lot. Friends, to be honest, I was a little embarrassed to see a grown man cry with such drama.
But it is not our place to pass judgement on one of the Lord’s children here this afternoon. We are here to celebrate a life. A life cut short by flesh eating bacteria attacking the genitals of a man with so little to spare.
And so, friends and loved ones, the three of us are gathered here to remember the happier times. A time before the crying, the drama, and the protest of unfairness.
Well, hell… that’s all I got. Either of you wanna say anything? Good, this is boring any damn way. OK, then let’s get the hell outta’ here and go to the Beach Bar.
And so ends the tail of a life celebrated for its shortness.
I’ve thought about it a few times, but I’m really not that bothered about my funeral. Except that it should be many, many years from now. Funerals are for the benefit of those still around, and as I will be very dead indeed, it really should be of no consequence to me whatsoever.
It would be nice to think that everyone attending has a really good time, drinks too much and maybe utters a few complimentary words about the newly deceased. But I would much rather them say these words to my face while I am still animate; unless of course they don’t actually mean it. Yes I know, one has to say at a funeral: “What a pillar of the community, what a great example to those around him..” when one actually means: “What a complete and utter tosser. Won’t be missed at all.”
While I was working, both on-stage as a musician, and behind the microphone as a broadcaster, I was acutely aware of what other people thought of me. They let me know, with both negative and positive reactions, and I really cared. Very much.
Since I’ve retired, I really couldn’t give a damn what anyone thinks of me. If you don’t like me, that’s fine. If you don’t come to my funeral, that’s even finer. I really don’t care.
Living thousands of kilometres away from my country of birth, I am sometimes asked if I want my body to be repatriated after death. What on earth for? What’s the point? I’m dead. Do with me what you like, but don’t go spending thousands of pointless pounds.
If, at the end of my time here, there is no one at my funeral, how can that possible affect me one way or the other? In the meantime, there’s so much living to do, so I’ll happily get on with that.