I've been thinking about death a lot lately.
But not in a bad, morbid way.
In a good, proactive way.
One of my highest priorities for 2010 is to make sure that I have my Will in order and funeral arrangements taken care of. Not because my death is immenent! Nothing is wrong with me. I plan to live forever, bitches!
I'm doing this for a couple of reasons.
Number 1 is that the last Will I had on file was during my 2nd marriage and it basically left everything to my wife.
Okay, you can just go ahead and put that on The List of Shit That Ain't Ever Gonna Happen.
My new Will is going to leave everything to my daughter.
The other reason I'm doing this is that I promised my BFF I would get this funeral shit taken care of so neither her or my daughter would have to deal with it. In fact, I thought I would have things wrapped up this weekend, but things don't always go according to plan.
Now, in typical, over-the-top, grandiose XO fashion, my first funereal choice proved a bit too challenging.
I wanted my body to be cryogenically frozen, put aboard the most powerful rocket human technolgy could build, and sent spiralling towards the core of our Milky Way galaxy.
The goal was for my beacon to be detected by an advanced alien civilization who would thaw me out, cure what killed me and give me eternal life. I could then spend eternity exploring the cosmos and banging green skinned alien babes!
After a rough approximation of the cost involved, and some extraordinarily brief conversations with my employers HR department, my friends and family, this option also got added to The List of Shit That Ain't Ever Gonna Happen.
What I know for sure is that I don't want a ridiculously expensive arrangement with embalming, prepping, dressing, flowers, visitations, weeping, processions, pall bearers, internment, tombstones and maintainence.
And I sure as fuck don't want some hired minister I don't know spouting platitudes about an afterlife I don't believe in from a book that I view as a very poorly constructed work of fiction.
All that's really required is some way to dispose my inanimate meat puppet and a way for my friends and family to come together and acknowledge my passing.
After I determined that my friends and family were too fucking cheap to cough up the cash for the spaceship, I started researching cremation.
Much to my amazement, fire has become quite expensive over the last 10,000 years.
In many parts of of the world, it is still a simple thing.
But today, in America, burning your corpse to it's constituent elements, stuffing the ashes in a jar and handing it to someone now costs thousands of dollars! WTF?
The actual cremation isn't expensive, it's all of the funeral home add-on costs for transportation, "professional services" and shit that add to the expense.
But my BFF's mom started talking about how her sister was going to donate her body to science and how they would pay for the cremation and send your ashes back home.
Check this out!
"The generous gift of body after death is a compassionate alternative to a traditional funeral. MedCure covers all costs associated with donation including: transportation, cremation, two certified copies of the death certificate, return of cremated remains to family in a heart-shaped urn within three weeks or a memorial scattering at sea."
In other words, instead of paying thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to a funeral home to host a maudlin weep-fest, all my survivors need to do is make a phone call. Here's how it works.
1.MedCure is Contacted.
A Donor Coordinator will discuss donor suitability with a family member and/or medical professional. A highly trained and compassionate Donor Coordinator will assist the donor's representative throughout the entire donation process 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2.Local Funeral Home Transport.
MedCure will arrange for a local funeral home to provide transportation from the place of death to MedCure at our expense. MedCure has contracted funeral homes throughout the U.S. that are familiar with our donation process. MedCure will make all necessary arrangements with the funeral home to care for the donor. Please do not contact a funeral home before contacting MedCure – this assures there will be no costs to the family.
3.Donor Received by MedCure.
The medical history information is obtained. MedCure tests donor for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C. Organs and tissues are recovered and matched to meet the needs of medical educators and researchers.
Cremation takes place. Family chooses to have cremains sent to them in a heart-shaped urn or a memorial scattering at sea. A notification letter precedes the registered return of the cremains or a memorial certificate is sent which details the date, time and location of the memorial scattering, for more information click here.
5.Two Certified Copies of the Death Certificate Issued. Certified copies of the death certificate will be issued to the family in about four weeks depending on the state or county processing time.
6.Letter of Donation.
A letter describing the medical research and/or educational needs your donation fulfilled can be sent to your family if requested."
Again, there is no cost whatsoever to the donor or the donor's survivors.
Another benefit I see is there is no rush to hold a funeral/memorial service. The funeral home isn't charging a daily fee for keep the corpse refrigerated until the visitation.
Friends and family have at least 3 weeks before the cremated remains are returned, if they even care whether the remains are present. There is as much time as they wish to arrange a venue for a service, send invitations, make travel arrangements, whatever they want to do. This also gives them time to grieve in private and come to term with things before coming together publically to celebrate the life of the recently departed.
Finally, it supports my position that even a little bit of science contributes more to human existence than all of the religions and supersticions that have ever existed.
So I'm pretty sold on this.
Hell, I even plan on writing my own eulogy and obituary!
Nobody knows me better than me and I can make that shit funny!
I just need somebody who can get up there, deliver my money lines and sell it without getting all weepy and shit!
I'm looking at you, Lee Ingalls!
If you're unable to donate your dulcet tones to my demise, I'll be forced to go with Tom Arnold.
He's orders of magnitude down the talent food chain from you, but he'll work for buffet food and punch.
Whatever the details, 2010 will see me with a plan in place that relieves my family and friends of expense and stress at my passing and allows them to celebrate the memory of the fun we had together.
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