How do I reduce the pain and discomfort from my day-to-day life without turning to unhealthy behaviors or substances as a form of escape?
No matter how you spin it, funerals really suck.
Let’s start with the fashion.
In spite of being the kind of event that generally draws a crowd, rarely will you find someone wearing anything noteworthy at a funeral. The dress code for your standard, someone-decent-has-died funeral tends to be dark, nondescript, and clean- without looking TOO clean. No one looks too anything at a funeral. Except sad. Looking exceptionally sad at a funeral is perfectly acceptable. And while “exceptionally sad” is generally a pretty compelling state to find a person in (example: you walk into into a party store to buy twelve packages of blue and white tube balloons for your cousin’s mid-summer bat mitzvah only to find the security guard at the entrance- why is there a security guard at the party store? what part of town are you in?- hysterically sobbing into his work vest), an exceptionally sad person at a funeral is a bit predictable. Especially if it’s a close friend or family member of the dead person; those people can be extraordinarily sad at funerals. But rarely are they well dressed.
How are you supposed to talk to anybody?
Life is busy, and there are only so many opportunities to catch up with Uncle Tommy about the trunk full of Black & Decker drill bits he found in the attic of the duplex that he and Aunt Helga just purchased in Palm Springs after swearing they’d never move to Florida. Funerals bring people together, but conversations can only be had in hushed tones and should generally consist of pleasant remembrances of the deceased and plans of who’s bringing what cooked food to which surviving family member, when. This is quite limiting. Though a hotbed of opportunity for meaningful conversation, a funeral is no time for catchup. What a tease.
People die everywhere, even far away.
Commercial air travel is an extraordinary privilege that we in the 21st century get to enjoy. That doesn’t make it cheap. Especially when buying a ticket last minute. And while your leftie employer might even let you take additional time off for “processing,” don’t expect the airlines to help you out (from United’s website: “Effective March 14, 2014, United will discontinue the five percent discount previously offered to customers needing to travel due to a death or serious illness.”). So unless you’ve got a strong credit card rewards program to cash in on (how’s that 24.99% interest treating ya?), get ready to fork over some major cash to honor the dead.
Given all this, I’ve decided to grant each and every would-be funeral goer in my life an invaluable gift. Don’t try to talk me out of it either; my mind’s made up, and I’m standing firmly by this decision: you’re not coming to my funeral.
You don’t need that kind of stress in your life. I get that, and I appreciate you too much to bring that on you. Now on the other hand, it would be pathetic to have a funeral that literally no one came to. I know I’d be dead, but still, I gotta imagine that somewhere out there, that would really bum me out, and being recently dead, I really don’t need to be feeling lousy too. Therefore, in order to accomplish my goal of ensuring, as my final gift to the world, that no one need be at my funeral, I’ve come up with an airtight strategy.
I must outlive you all.
Many would call this challenging. Even more would refer to it as impossible. I prefer to think of it as motivating. Unfortunately, I cannot share the details of my plan for longevity. Mainly because the plan lacks any, though so far, I’m finding success with cardio, hydration, and the occasional hug. I’d recommend those activities, for beginners anyway. And talking to someone about feelings helps too.
I’ll keep you posted as/if the plan evolves.