I’ve always had these grand ideas about what will happen when I die. Grand in terms of spirituality, grand in terms of what will happen with my remains, grand in terms of how people will react.
I must tell you that when I die, it will be no easy ordeal. Whoever has the responsibility of taking care of my last wishes, well, I apologize to them now. And in case you’re that person, well, here’s what I want you to do.
So say I kick it on a late May afternoon, just pass out dead on my front porch rocking chair with a peaceful little smile on my 90-year-old face. DO NOT BURY ME, but DO dedicate some physical thing to me. I prefer something shiny, with some fun quote on it. Or maybe a flower field! I need this earthly presence, because even though I will not be buried, my remains will be unvisitable–in a way.
Well, obviously I want to be cremated. But it gets more complicated than that. I don’t want to be sprinkled into the sea, or buried as ashes. I don’t want to be made into a diamond or a reef ball (thanks to Kate, I know what those are now). What I do want is to be placed in a coffee can (Maxwell House, preferably) and handed off to some tornado chasers.
I don’t care how long it takes to find the right opportunity, but when it arises, it must be taken. In the middle of Kansas during a tornado, I want the storm chasers to peel off my lid and leave me in the path of the storm. You all know (if you’ve been around long enough) how much I love Twister and as much as I hate to say it, I don’t think I’ll ever get the time to chase storms out west. I love my job, and I don’t see myself taking off for a storm season. And if I have kids…well, once I have kids…I wouldn’t be able to forgive my ghostly self if I died during storm chases.
I can think of nothing better than being sucked up into a tornado, to finally get to fly with the force of nature. Truly, what other way is there to fly so high, and to be free, and to be partially in the Heavens, partially on the ground. I accept that part of my ashes will fall to the ground, and that part of them will remain in the sky. But think about this…
Ash is something so fine, and so small that it could be swept down a river, evaporated into a cloud, and rained down miles and miles from where it began. I could be all over the world–in the water, the earth, the sky. I love that idea.
And while I do want that gorgeous flower garden dedicated to me, I think it’s a nice idea that my kids can look to the sky wherever they are, and know that part of me is up there.