I have no intentions of dying in the next 60-80 years. That being said, as John McLaughlin inexplicably observed, “death comes in the night on cats’ paws.” (?!)
What he meant is that none of us really know when we're gonna go.
Two friends of mine went skydiving a couple months ago. They're young; they're about to start their first year of college. Just before they went up in the airplane, they left voicemails on my phone with their totally not legal and non-binding “wills.” They were brief, funny, and also touching.
I think everyone should do their own version of that -- some expression, legal or not, of their wishes for what they want to happen in the case of an untimely and unexpected death.
Here’s what I want to happen when I die.
Whatever money I have left has to pay for two things:
1) A big party. A celebration of life. I want everyone to wear bright colors, preferably Hawaiian shirts. Floral ties/dresses or political t-shirts would be fine as well. I want a place for people to share pictures, stories, and memories and then hang them up on the wall.
Obviously, the party should be catered by Salt and Straw and Pip’s -- but I don’t just want an appropriate amount of ice cream and donuts. It should be budgeted for everyone to have at least two ice cream cones and a dozen donuts. Send people home with the extras to spread the love.
2) A sweet memorial video of some kind. I want to fly my creative-type/storytelling/videographer friends Kirk and Alexis (and Todd) to come to Oregon for a week to produce a really good video. It’s gotta be just the right amount of happy, sad, funny, touching, and hopeful. They'll know what to do. They’ll interview the important people in my life, get some funny stories, and try to create something of meaning that captures whatever legacy I’ll leave with the people I love.
Okay. There’s also a bonus thing that I want, but I don’t know how to make it happen, so I’m counting on one of you people to find a way to make this happen. Someone has to figure out how to get Joe Biden to show up at the celebration of life. I cannot think of a happier thought than all my friends eating ice cream with Joe Biden.