If you have just recently tuned into “From the Desk of the Illustrious Mr. Charlton”, you may have made the mistake that somehow I’ve become an obituary writer. Three of my last several posts have been about someone in my family dying. I’m not actually interested in writing about anyone pushing up daisies.
In the last four years, I’ve lost my father, two uncles, my aunt, my cousin, my dog, my grandparents, and a couple of my friends. Not everyone on the list was especially close to me, but everyone was family. Although I can’t always grieve with you, my heart can always go out to you, ’cause I know what it’s like to lose someone you love.
The silver lining is I’m become somewhat an expert on grieving. Ever since my old man died, people have remarked how well I deal with people kicking the bucket, and today I’m going to treat you folks to a handy little guide that will help you navigate the rough seas of loss.
Why don’t you suck an egg, Death?
- You are going to be sad, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to hug people like you’ve never hugged people before. Don’t try and fight the sadness. Let it out of your body, or else it’ll stay there and start to rot you from the inside.
- You are going to have people tell you how they think you should feel, and that’s not okay. After my dad died, I had a lot of people asking me if I was angry. When I mentioned I wasn’t, they said “Well, you will be”. Who the hell was I supposed to be mad at? My dad, for dying in an accident? Was I going to be mad at Scuba Diving, which is one of the safest sports in the world? Was I going to pick a fight with the sea where he drowned? Thanks skips. I’m angry now, but I’m angry at you for telling me what I should be going through.
- Treat yourself and be nice to yourself. Before Pookie passed away, me and Kat had been on a strict diet. We’re now sorta back on it, but for two weeks we basically ate ice cream and takeout. We took a trip to Calgary and stayed with friends. I ate a lot of tacos. You can get back on the workout regime once you’ve grieved.
- Accept that not everyone is going to grieve along side you. In the same way you can’t morn for every dying person on the planet, you can’t expect everyone to join you on the sorrow train. You can only feel so much sadness for someone you don’t know. With that said…
- There’s only so much sadness you can experience. Being miserable takes a lot of energy, and your body can only do so much of it. Remember tip number #1? The faster you let the grief flow out of you, the faster you will heal. But…
- You’re always going to be a little sad. There’s going to be a little spot in your heart that’s blank now, and there’s not a thing on planet earth that will fill it. That’s part of life.
- Death is part of life. The very end of it, to be exact. Everyone is going to pass that gate eventually. And it’s not as bad as people would make it out. Sure, it’s hard to say goodbye to friends and family, but what would happen if people stopped dying? We’d have too many people, and life would be like a crappy club with jerks shoulder to shoulder. People say life is short, but my life will be the longest thing I’ll ever do. Fifty to a hundred years is plenty.
With that all said, there’s only one way to give Death the middle finger. If you lost someone close to you, spite the Grim Reaper by living life. Have a cocktail, learn a new language, go back to school, try stand up comedy, paint a picture, go for a bike ride, jump out a plane, dry age a cut of beef for 100 days and get your friends together to eat it. I’d be damn upset if my funeral is a bunch of mopey wads sitting around crying a bunch.
Hey Death? I’m growing LIFE on my patio! How do you like them apples?
With this in mind, and baring decently laws (you might have to hold my funeral in international waters), here’s my plan for my wake. There will be a nice spread of food and spirits. I’m probably going to want a bunch of animals stuffed inside other animals then smoked for a good long time. The main attraction will be a large circus cannon setup in the middle, with a large target set none too far away. I want my limp corpse stuff inside, and then guests can take turns firing my body at the target in exchange for prizes.
With a funeral like that, how could anyone walk away upset?
The Illustrious Mr. Charlton
p.s. To all my family out there grieving, you have my love.
p.s.s. I keep bringing up this fantastic idea with my mother and my girlfriend, but apparently firing my dead body at a giant target would be traumatizing for some. WHAT ABOUT MY NEEDS?
p.s.s.s. I also tend to be pretty stoic about things. That seems to help.