"Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one. "
~John Lennon


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Epitaph

Living in a small community as I do and hanging out with women who are seniors like I am is teaching me to prepare for the last part of life. Death is not something to fear or waste precious time dreading; it is just inevitable. 

My mother passed away almost four months ago at age 91. She and I talked often about the process of taking a last breath and guessing at what comes next. We reasoned that since no one had actually come back to tell us all what to expect, we are only able to imagine with our puny earthly minds how it will be after we discard the baggage of bodies. 

Some of my closest friends are twenty years older than I am. A few friends have passed away and I watch with interest how the families and friends celebrate their lives and honor their existence.

I have no family within a thousand miles of me. Nothing I own is of interest to any of my children, having given each of them anything they would want years ago. I am in the process of planning and pre-paying for the disposal of my body and possessions when it is necessary. There is nothing wrong with being prepared; in fact, it is irresponsible (in my opinion) to leave the final decisions and hassle to someone else. 

If there is one thing that people will remember about me, I would like it to be that I was a survivor, that I believed I could do anything and proceeded to accomplish it. The mistakes made along the way were just learning tools. 

14 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i agree with your philosophy on the mistakes me along the way....its all part of the journey you know....

Ina in Alaska said...

Very wise and thoughtful post. I sometimes reflect on how accepting we are as we approach the years when Death may pay us a visit.

I am reading a very interesting book right now by Eben Alexander, MD called Proof of Heaven. You may have heard of this book but it is a non-fiction account of when Dr. Alexander was in a coma for 7 days. He visited what he believes is Heaven. If you wish I would be happy to mail it to you when I finish it. Sounds like when we die it is not over....

sorry about your mom. I have been away from the blogs, reading, enjoying my dogs, BUSY at work! But my husband said the other day he wished I would start blogging again, so, ok! xo

LL Cool Joe said...

As I have a faith in God I believe there is an after life. I'm not scared of death but I am of dying, but there is nothing that any of us can do about it but have a positive attitude, like you do!

DJan said...

Your mother's passing sound like it was peaceful. That's one thing I would like to have, a peaceful transition. My own mother's was, and she was only 69. :-)

Hilary said...

You have such a great attitude and outlook, Cici. I have no doubt you'll be remembered for that, and a whole lot more. Just don't do that anytime soon!

Rock Chef said...

That is a great attitude. I particularly like the idea of not having stuff to be fought over.

terri said...

People WILL remember you the way you want them to, because you are a fighter and you are a survivor.

bill lisleman said...

good points here.
I should work on my epitaph because with my luck it will have typos on it.

Shirley said...

How does one prepare for "disposal of possessions". I am not close to family (with one exception, who I will probably outlive), and so figure other residents of my building would EVENTUALLY discover my remains and start that process. I didn't think about possessions, so would like to know what steps you've taken as a guideline to prepare for disposal.

dkzody said...

What you think will happen after you die, and what really happens can two different things.

My mother had her funeral service all set up and paid for so it was very easy to walk through the process for which I am grateful. However, she had set up for a full-fledged funeral service to which my sister refused to abide. We had a graveside service with no guests as my sister hates funerals and does not want one when she dies.

A close friend of mine died over a year ago. She had paid for cremation with disposal of her ashes over San Francisco bay. It all went as she wanted. However, her things, that she thought her sister would want, were another matter. The sister refused to come to California as her health would not allow her to do so nor could she go through the house and dispose of all the stuff. My friend had always spoke of her sister coming to attend to those matters. It turned out to be me who did it and I gave the bulk of the stuff away as there is no market for used furniture or clothes or household objects, no matter how valuable they are. The best I did was to get $250 for a silver service. None of the nieces or nephews wanted silver.

Mrs4444 said...

I just love you...you're so awesome. I wish we lived near each other so we could at least visit.

Grandpa 4444 died suddenly and unexpectedly, with no will and no arrangements. Well, he was only 65, so I guess I should give him that, but it was a royal pain to have to deal with his business and burial. Preparing ahead is a gift to your kids.

Cinner said...

Hi CiCi, I think being prepared is the smart thing. So sorry you lost your Mom recently, am glad you had time with her. As for a survivor, with struggles comes knowledge and a smart woman you are. hugs to you my friend.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

I agree with your way of thinking. I have to provide for our Buddy after L leave and we sometimes talk about what happens after I go. He is very understanding and we joke about meeting up as spirits like the ones on TV.
I haven't heard from you in a while on my posts which are far less than years ago. It just seems to take me so long now to read and write.

Joanna Jenkins said...

We think a lot alike, CiCi. I have my plans for both my death and my senior living community for when/if I can no longer care for myself. I'm a bit of a control freak but I don't have any children and my family lives far away like yours. It makes me feel better to have things taken care.

I can understand why your mom's passing might have helped you decide it was time to do this. My friend, who recently passed away, talked to me about his preparations and it's been so very helpful to know his wishes and that all was settled.

xoxox jj