I think it’s always preferable to die of natural causes. Unnatural causes are so unhealthy and dying of supernatural causes is so Hollywood. Anyway I died of natural causes – too much bacon grease in the blood – and I’m here to give a quick report from the other side. I expired in the early morning hours of Saturday March 14th just missing the unlucky Friday the 13th by only a few hours – dodged that one. The non-alarmist hospital conveyed my expiration with subtle understatement by gently explaining to my wife Loretta, “It appears your husband has embarked on a nap from which there is no awakening.”
Easy for the Doc to say. From my perspective all I did was check out of a decaying body whose interiors could’ve used some real freshening up. As per my will I was cremated by nightfall. However due to the buildup of bacon grease in my arteries my body flamed up like a solar flare and activated the crematoriums fire suppression system. My still warm cremains were then placed in a tasteful chafing dish and presented to my still warm widow Loretta who, by this time, had already used her inheritance to install that koi pond I never wanted.
Ever intuitive, Loretta carefully examined the granular mass before her and with great precision extended her hand into the ashes to remove my still smoldering electronic ankle bracelet. “I’ll get the deposit back now,” she explained to the crematorist. “Victor always said I had a smokin’ hot body – now we both do. Oh how I’ll miss him.”
Sunday the 15th was the day of the wake. I always found it strange they call it a wake when you couldn’t be any more asleep. I had played fast and loose with my end of life details and due to some botched updates to my will, instead of an open casket at the wake, I had an open urn. There I rested ungarnished in the chafing dish as family members and creditors shuffled by to pay their last respects. I’m sure some of the creditors wished they could’ve garnished me. Loretta dutifully sat right next to the urn and tearfully listened as mourners offered condolences: “He looks so natural.” “I know this might not be the time Loretta, but did Vic ever say anything about the 10 grand he owes me?” “He never looked better.” “You sure your husband is not just hiding somewhere to avoid the $27,000 he still owes Honda Finance Corporation?”
When the calling hours ended, Loretta covered the chafing dish and the clan went back to our house for a final family gathering. Everyone brought something to the potluck. Somehow, in all the arrangements, there was a covered dish mix up and my cremains were combined in the garbage disposal with the remains of Aunt Sophie’s tuna noodle casserole. It was the second time in 2 days I’d circled the drain.
Losing the cremains was liberating actually. No one had any real use for a well-caramelized version of myself. Going into this thing I knew my body was just a temporary vessel anyway. I’ve heard it said that when the game is over both the King and the pawn are put back in the same box. Heartening in a way. None of us urn the right to live in perpetuity here on earth. But we do have that right in heaven. Well that’s all the time I’ve been given. I’d like to tell you more, but you wouldn’t believe me anyway. I’m very fortunate here. You see I’ve always enjoyed sports and now I’m really excited about playing for a new league – the 6 foot and under league.