Stop The Clocks

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Chris Evans was discussing death and planning your own funeral on his Twitter page the other day and it got me thinking about*whispers* croaking…

You know…being deceased, having departed, cashing in one’s chips, popping one’s clogs, pushing up the daises, sleeping with the fishes,  joining the choir invisible and (my personal favourite) carking it. All phrases that mean the same thing… to die or be dead. By this I mean biological death.. the one that you don’t come back from. With clinical death there’s always a chance that you can be fired back up again. Mr Sam Parnia thinks that maybe in twenty years time resuscitation could take place 12 or even 24 hours after death. That aint resuscitation…that’s resurrection! Sounds a bit iffy to me but maybe if I’m still here in 20 years, I might come round to the idea.

I haven’t written down my wishes for when I die, I keep meaning to but it’s not the jolliest of subjects is it-Death? It tends to be a “Oooh lets talk about something else yer morbid bugga”. I know that I said words to this effect every time Ma reminded me where ‘the info that you will need should I die tin’ was. I’d tut and say “Shurrup Ma, don’t be so morbid… have another gin!”

But opening that old tin and reading through her wishes helped us immensely. It was one burden less to bear and I want to do that for my children.

My early menopause has made me think a lot about death. I know that sounds silly, the menopause is a natural part of every woman’s life after all, but the menopause typically occurs during the late 40’s and early 50’s, I am 43. That sucks a bit to be honest but I’m alive, always a plus. Natural stage of life it may well be, but the menopause brings with it some serious long term risks such as osteoporosis and heart disease. Oestrogen helps to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, but during the menopause levels of oestrogen fall and so the risk to the heart increases. Of course there are steps that I can take to minimise the effects, (and I will take them), but psychologically it’s a different matter. I have changed quite dramatically in the space of four years and, for the first time in my life, I am having to acknowledge, (albeit grudgingly), my own mortality. It waves at me in the mirror cooing “Yoo-hoo dearie, tick tock”.

And I think “Shiiiiiiiiiit!”

How did this happen? One minute I’m snogging Adam Ant on my bedroom wall and stressing over what colour nail varnish to wear and the next…WALLOP!. Hormones have done an Elvis and left the building.

The night that I experienced the mofo of all panic attacks, (and thought I was dying), I remember thinking that I hadn’t written my wishes down and couldn’t possibly die without my family knowing how much I love them, (and which Duran Duran track to play at my funeral). So one of these days I will sit down with a glass of wine and I will write it all down and I will sort out a will and can I possibly get any more wills into this sentence?

I’ll gently weep at the thought of my demise and wonder if anyone will turn up to see me off or will they have to drag somebody in off the street, but it won’t be easy. Death isn’t an easy subject. As a nation we don’t do death too well, we avoid it, we ignore it and we don’t think about it, but in my experience death sometimes finds us when we least expect it to. Sometimes we get a warning, sometimes there’s none. We are born and so we will die, but does it have to be such a taboo subject?

I want to have a good funeral. I’ve never been able to have parties because of my sensory issues but they won’t be a problem when I’m dead so I can flit about the gaff earwigging at what the family is saying about me, maybe chuck some peanuts at people who aren’t crying enough. I want it to be a celebration of my life, people celebrated when I came into the world, well maybe the parents and grandparents did, the bruvs were a bit gutted though…

I hope I’m here for many years yet. I want to be a pain in the arse to my kids and grow old disgracefully. I want to be a nana, I will be a cool nana. ‘Nana Cool’ they will call me. I’ll wear a hat (knitted or somat that requires a large pin in it), I’ll knit jumpers with their initials on and teach them Duran Duran songs, ( All She Wants Is for grandaughters and Wild Boys for grandsons), see I’ve got it all worked out. They will tell me how cool I am and I will buy them forbidden sweeties and smile innocently as they are dragged off kicking and screaming towards the car.

But I’ll get my plan done. It’ll be my funeral and in the words of Simon, John, Andy, Nick and Roger…it will be done ‘My Own Way’.

So how about you. Have you planned your funeral yet? Or do you think it’s too morbid a subject to contemplate?

“You’ll stay with me?’
Until the very end,’ said James.”

J K Rowling ~ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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10 thoughts on “Stop The Clocks

  1. Well Tracy, here we go again….*lump in throat* time. Firstly I want to tell you something that my Dad told me when he knew he was dying. He got lots of well wishing cards and letters of support, he turned to me one day and said “shame these buggars didn’t let me know how fond they were of me when I was fit & well”…. Maybe that’s a lesson for all of us, let the people we love know that they are special dont wait until s it’s too late like I did my Mum.
    Secondly I got a Donors card and Laura applied and got 1 as well. When William (15) saw it he asked for 1, I said I thought he was too young but I would remember his wishes if and when the awful time came….hopefully when my kids die, me & Kev will be upstairs waiting for them and I will be back in the arms of my family. Lets think Donor cards, I even said to Laura, think about it for Molly, NOT that anything will happen to her but why should 2 babies die if 1 could be saved but you are so emotional that you can’t say yes….if it was ever the other way round we would all want families to allow the donation of the best gift in life to our own family’s if required.
    Thirdly we have never done a will, was always worried who would actually want to take on another 3 children but I feel that’s not an issue now, 22, 20 & 15, they could live together and look after each other.
    We’ve got no money so that’s not a problem, and the kids could have what they want out of our possessions.
    I want deverstated faces at my funeral and when I’m on a downer I think of the sad song I want. I know I want REM, everybody hurts and please feel free to cry. Songs are so emotive and if I think of the words too much tears will come….
    Well thanks Tracy, don’t know if this was the type of reply you wanted bit it all spilled out.
    LOVELY BLOG BY THE WAY!!! Xxxxxxxx

  2. Exactly the type of reply I want dear Sheerie x
    And thank you for sharing it. (((HUGS)))
    I’ve got a Donor card as well ( for what use me bits will be when the time comes lol)
    Love you xxx

  3. Trace, you aren’t dying, ever! *stamps foot*.
    I have tears in my eyes after reading that. It wasn’t morbid at all. It was a lovely read.
    You’ll be an awesome nana when the time comes by the way because you’re already an awesome Step Ma x

    • Well you cried at my post and I cried at your lovely comment Chels. So we make a fine pair. 😉 It meant a lot to me to read it and if I may return the compliment…you’re an awesome Step Daughter. xx

  4. I will be cremated, my ashes will be scattered at one of my favourite camping places in the backcountry. There will be no funeral, just a party. If people come, they come, if they don’t, well I will be dead so really won’t care. The children will have more of an inheritance without throwing money away on a funeral.

  5. Ooh, gosh. I’ve never thought about my own funeral. I’m far too much of a ‘head in the sand’ kind of person to start contemplating it! But I really should at least get around to writing a will….. Lovely, thought-provoking post.

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