How I Want to Die
… no this is not a morbid story; this is the story of my celebration of life
Living is supposed to be enjoyed. So why can't your death be that?
I've never been one for funerals. I remember attending my great grandfather's burial when I was 9 years old. My entire extended family was present, and we all wore something known in my Yoruba culture as 'aso ebi' which loosely translates to the 'family clothing'. It is usually the same fabric and colour, but everyone's attire is styled differently. I haven't been to one since and I'd really love to not have to.
Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed, right? But be that as it may, it really can be challenging, but this story is not about life. This story is about death.
I avoid burials because everyone in attendance is sad. Having been to just one, I can tell that it's not an exciting event. So, I started thinking to myself, all thanks to living in a pandemic and being stuck in quarantine which for me means being held hostage by thoughts 24/7, I began thinking of how I would like to die. And, no this is not a morbid story, this is the story of my celebration of life.
I'm a big fan of TV show Boston Legal, the sexual misconduct, racism, misogyny and overall theme of moral bankruptcy aside. There was this one episode in season two, where Denise Bauer is dating eccentric billionaire Daniel Post, who has lung cancer. In that episode, he invites her to his funeral, and she struggles with her emotions because she knows she's in love with a man who is dying. Daniel's funeral was fun to watch, he had friends and family over, wore his favourite football Jersey. There was an open bar, music and laughter And I thought to myself, this is how I want to go, this is it.
For my big day I’ll send out digital invitations because I don't know if paper will still exist when I'm 70; yes, I plan to go when I am 70. The dress code will say, "do not wear a black". Black is a great colour when you're not mourning. But because it's associated with funerals, it will be banned. It won't even be called a funeral; it will be called a celebration of life. The invitation will also say, come hungry because one thing people are close to me know for a fact is that I love to cook, and I'll cook an excellent meal. I'll have a 'last supper'; where I'll serve one last meal to my friends and family. And lastly, right at the bottom of the invitation, it'll read, if you think you're going to cry, stay home!
I want my guests dressed to the nines, ready to have a fabulous time!
There really is not much of a balance between the things we can choose and the things that we can't, and life and death are some of those things. I didn't have a choice in my being born. My mother could have aborted the pregnancy, considering the circumstances of my birth, but she didn't. And genuinely many times I wish that she had. Since I didn't have a say on whether I wanted to be brought to this Earth (and many times I wonder what the hell I'm doing here), I want to at least be able to choose when and how I'm going to leave.
When I close my eyes, I see how beautiful my celebration of life will be. I will perform Get Me Bodied because is it really a party if there's no Beyoncé music blasting through the speakers. It's going to be an open bar because what is a celebration without some booze.
I should probably also have a hologram of myself just to mind fuck everyone there. I want people to dance, I want people to have a great time. I want there to be karaoke and loads of laughter. I want it to be a party! I want everyone to be so partied out the next day that they don't even remember what happened the night before.
That really is it. I want to go big! I'll show up in my Batman costume because I am Batman, enjoy my celebration of life and the next day I'll get euthanized. I will not be buried in a graveyard. I'd prefer that my body parts be donated to science. And just in case my organs aren't in stellar condition, I'd want a rose garden planted in soil mixed with my cremated ashes.
There will be no burial. There will be no casket. There will be no six feet—only a garden of roses like the one I have tattooed on my back.
Whilst I haven't quite figured out the logistics just yet, I do want a headstone and an epitaph. I'm still working on what it'll read, maybe something like "Here almost lied a bad bitch, but she currently lives on in a bed of roses". Something eccentric, something that is who I am.
I've also had some time to think about what my legacy will be. What do I want people to remember me for when I'm gone?
I want people to remember me for increasing access to sexual education for young black girls.
Sexual education is a cause that I am incredibly passionate about, and if that's my legacy, I will die happy in my bed of roses. Sexual education is a topic that is close to my heart, mainly because it's something I did not get as a teenage girl, and it had less than pleasant ripple effects.
In the absence of wanting children, I do want to be that 'Big-sister', that 'Auntie' that young black girls can talk to about sex. I want to create an environment for your black girls without fear, shame, guilt and more importantly equip them with all the knowledge because ignorance about sex is NOT bliss, its danger.