Ready For Bed
The following posts, starting with No. 68 – are a year late in posting. They should, in their own way, explain the tardiness of this author, Julie. The fact that I’m able to write means that I have avoided entering one of death’s doors — at least for now. Being a CD in one of the many variations that it manifests itself during 91 years of living makes this subject very relevant – morbid yes, but inescapable.
Before recounting my personal experience when, surprisingly, I wasn’t really aware that I might be entering one of these doors that would end my mortal journey, let’s review the “end game”.Two VA ER nurses contributed their experiences on this subject:
Instant death, the most obvious exit door. Here we have no say at all. An 18-wheeler falls off a bridge onto our car; a stray bullet meant for another; we happened to select a commercial airline where on this one day the copilot decides to end his life — you get the idea. Well maybe we do have some say if, for example we are en fem on that day, on that trip. Whoa, not so fast. “When I’m dead I no longer care”— heard that one more than once and maybe it is your honest opinion, maybe IF you are single with no close family. Or is that comment just an excuse for delaying, for vacillating? Do you have close or distant family and business associates that might attend your funeral, none of whom know of your CD inclinations? Don’t care? Really? For those who live a secret life wouldn’t that mean that our CD proclivities are presently confined to that one room or apartment? Revelations do affect those close to us. Does it matter? You know that as well as I. So yes, we don’t know whether this will be our destined doorway — and if it is — how old will we be? At that time will I have a family just growing up or having already left the nest? Obviously we can’t answer any of those questions but when is the decision time to plan or ignore? The planning options are very limited — confine your inclinations within restricted locations and time and still there are no assurances that the grim reaper doesn’t find your secret places. If you have a spouse or partner should you not prepare for an abrupt departure? Decide now what the arrangements should be regarding a funeral home and burial ─ how should that still living person dress your remains? Dispose of your clothing? Talk about it now and plan your final departure. “I don’t want to talk about it” isn’t facing up to the inevitable.
The impending doom door — your doctor summons up his most serious demeanor to announce you have a terminal condition. You have only weeks to live, give or take two years or so — doctors have predicted wrong before. If there is a spouse or partner on the scene you may arrange for clothing to be donated to a charity and the rest dumped. If single at this critical time the chances are that your appointed executor hasn’t the slightest clue what you are all about — time to tell them? Hopefully you are physically able to dispose of your years’ collecting precious belongings while there is still time. Or perhaps you have arranged with supportive family members to bury you dressed drab or en fem. If you haven’t, now is the time to do so. CDs often request a closed casket from the get go if they opt to leave this earth dressed in their finest regalia. Burial preparations differ with various religions so consideration and instructions are required to follow or ignore. Each situation is unique. Take comfort that this door at least allows you time to act ─ God’s Will has made up your mind for you, no stalling
For all practical purposes the last two doors can be combined for they only differ in urgency. In the first part of this group you have, say, a heart ailment or some other malady that will likely do you in down the road a bit, could be years, but in the meantime life is good. Children have left the nest and your SO is in fairly good health. She also allows you to indulge in CDing either in an acceptance mode or supportive. Still there is no guarantee that new health issues don’t change the forecast. So the same decisions must be determined as previously discussed, i.e., who knows? Who should know? What will be the burial arrangements?
The final door, or second in this illustration, finds you in good health with no hint of when you will leave this world. So you have the best excuse to put off thinking about a subject that you MUST eventually face. Point? Since we don’t know which door will open and when — should we not now have a game plan before one of these doors does open?
Two other events are often encountered: Wife, rightly, believes that there is no longer a need for a large house and senior communities would be less work and, often, cheaper. Sure , but you would probably lose that little secret that you and spouse have shared all these years. Another scenario — you are alone and doctor suggests assisted living or whatever else you call it. Are you willing to trade a nice apartment or home for a bedroom and shared bathroom? Do you know how close to that exit door you really are? Frightening only if you put off determining a future course of action.
This realization was brought home to me around November of 2014 when, looking back on the events, it was like an unexpected water slide — helpless to change the course of my demise because, simply put, I didn’t really know what was happening or its significance as related to my final days on earth.
Continued with Post 69