Have you ever written a will?
Is it necessary?
And how do you feel during it?
After you’ve done it?
I had to write a will today. Mine. Or at least revise an old boilerplate version. I’d written the latter years ago — when dying was for other people. It was different now. My lawyer was kind and gentle, no kid either, he helped me navigate the eventual disposal of my very self and all that I had acquired through years of toil and laborious sacrifice.
It was odd selecting various body parts for possible organ donations. Now, I am a very giving person, when the hat is passed, but disposing of my corneas, kidneys and heart, etc., all seemed exceedingly generous — even for me. I simply checked “Yes” next to the Give box. “Yes, indeed,” I said, and quickly turned the page to other matters regarding my matter.
I was then to divide my small holdings giving everything upon my death (or incapacitation) to my son, a son who never returns my calls. He’ll return this one when it happens. At least he’ll know it’s not me. Although, frankly, some of my more psychically inclined friends think we’ll always be in touch. I think, I won’t tell my boy, there’s even a doubter’s chance that such communication might occur.
Then came the question of my remains — my ashes to be exact. I requested cremation although I don’t cook and never have. Fortunately there are other people who do. Was I to be sprinkled, boxed, buried or dusted off? I decided to leave this decision to my heirs. I simply couldn’t make this judgment call and was somewhat relieved that I would never have to witness this familial event. Most decisions en famille have historically broken into serious squabbles. I won’t be there, I smiled. There are certainly some advantages to my non-beingness.
It then came time to sign and have witnessed this game plan for my exit. Two seemingly teenage legal assistants bolted into the office and witnessed without any evidence of pity my farewell manifesto. They were young — and hopefully foolish, signed on the line with unwrinkled, unfreckled hands, and seemed anxious to get on with it, to get me over, so that they could go to lunch, and continue with their lives. I thanked them without meaning it at all. How dare they be so cavalier about observing my termination. Time would pay them back. Of this I was sure.
I then bid adieu to my empathetic lawyer. He asked me as he walked me out if I found it a relief to get my lands in order. Feeling medieval, I agreed it was a great relief, responding by rote. Frankly, it was hideous. I had worked hard enough to be immortal and I’d certainly paid the price.
Across the street from the scene of my imminent demise was an ice-cream creamery called Cold Stone. Truth. I entered full of joie de vivre and ordered with abandon. Possibly my last supper — M&M sundae with hot fudge on peanut-butter ice cream topped with multicolored sprinkles. I didn’t need to fit into anything new, really, and the coffins I’ve known are one size fits all. However dark the day had been, it lit up with this ice cream fiesta. Nothing could match this pleasure. No one was going to take this taste away from me. I was not giving away a morsel of my morsel. It was mine. And then, as I left, I noticed they offered ice cream to go. And I thought of my little boy. And so I took some out for him — the same combo. I’d just drop it off — secretly place it in his freezer. Even if he never calls to thank me, I will always love him more than life itself.