Category: Death

I’m Glad I’m Old

I have joined the Collapseatarians like Daniel A. Drumright because unlike the rest of the world, I know you can’t have infinite growth in a finite universe.

Guy McPherson of Nature Bats Last says “If you think the economy is more important than the environment, try holding your breath while counting your money.”

And the writer Anne Lamott said, “Yet no matter how much we recycle, believe in our Priuses, and abide by our local laws, we see that our beauty is being destroyed, crushed by greed and cruel stupidity.”

We are a long way from Eden. Mankind has truly gone mad.

Generosity Is a Good Investment

Instead of leaving all of your plunder to greedy or well off relatives, consider giving some to charity.

Why give all your money to people who already have enough? There are charities for everything, and they need your money. Religious Organizations; Wildlife Care Centres; Music Programs for Underpriviledged Kids; Libraries; Missions for the Blind; The Owl Foundation; The Bruce Trail; Jane Goodall Institute; Friends of the Earth; Cultural Organizations; Mennonite Relief Agencies. The list is endless. Or give money to plant trees in parks or provide benches – you can even put your name on it for posterity.

And if you have a sizeable estate, remember to include the assets as part of your giving plan. Most people only consider the 10% of an estate that is in cash when they divvy it up. So if they want to give 10% to something near and dear to their heart, it ends up being 10% of 10%. Think of how much better it would be to help out by giving 10% of the full 100%.

So, for example, if you have two children, consider making a charity your “third child.” By the time you are dead, everybody will probably have all the stuff they need. But for people who help the helpless, the needs are endless.

Something to think about.

What Do You Want Them To Say About You?

Decades ago, I went to a concert by myself to see the avant-garde performance artist Laurie Anderson. It was quite unusual, and one thing I remember to this day is when she said: “When my father died it was like a library had burned to the ground.”

It is really quite a heartfelt description of a scholarly, well-read, interesting man. And it got me thinking about how we would be described.

When my friend Toshi died young, it was like the death of an otter – the playfulness, sense of fun, energy and happiness disappeared forever beneath the waves.

Write a sentence, a simile really, about yourself, imagining someone you love saying it about you. Then stash it in your estate planning file, to be included in your eulogy, so others will know this lovely special thing about you.

Or, if you don’t want to wait, write a heartfelt sentence describing someone you love and tell them now.

Bucket List

I only have one thing on my bucket list. No, two. The first one is to not kick the bucket, and the second one is to hang around with Jordan Peterson.

He offers a humane, civilized, thoughtful, high minded, empowering and goodwill driven philosophy of heroic individualism, and that’s why I like him.

Although I know my bucket list is of zero interest to anybody, I think it might be unique because it’s probably the only one without a desire to travel.

No, there are three things. I wish Tina Fey was my friend.

Get a Better Playlist for Your Funeral

Amazing Grace is a nice hymn, but it’s a bit overdone.

Funerals need an injection of creativity to reflect the life of the deceased. Start with updating the music.

Chose music the person actually liked and listened to. How about a strathspey as they wheel the casket out. Perfect for a highland dancer. Man of the Hour by Pearl Jam. Nimrod by Elgar. In My Life sung by Judy Collins. Into The West by Annie Lennox. There are thousands of great choices. At one funeral, they had a beautiful collage of pictures on two giant screens, while Across The Universe by The Beatles played. Fantastic.

Obviously, Highway To Hell by AC/DC wouldn’t be appropriate for everyone, but there really is no excuse for having anodyne music at any funeral.

Sri Lanka, 6 Days after Notre Dame

Denial is not something my brain does well. My old soul nature makes me see too much and feel too deep. I often feel the pain of the world.

There are the logical and illogical outworking of different religions. An illogical outworking of Christianity would be murdering abortion doctors. If the Sri Lanka bombings were committed by a fringe sect of Islam, is it an illogical outworking of the faith? I can’t tell.

The world is changing very fast. Hundreds of churches in France have been vandalized in this year alone. I find it very confusing because people like Steven Pinker say the world is getting better, and conspiracy analysts like Mike Adams say everything is rigged. It’s getting difficult to keep one foot in the world of shopping and doing fun things, and the other foot in the world that seems to be dying.

I sometimes envy the ‘think happy thoughts’ crowd and their perfect days.

Notre Dame Cathedral – UPDATE

A world treasure.

The heart of Paris for 800 years.

Burning.

I can’t think straight. I’m constantly feeling like I will burst into tears. I do burst into tears. I’m in shock. It feels like the world is ending.

The Horror. The Horror.

UPDATE: All is not lost. The firefighters were able to prevent the worst from happening. Millions have been pledged for the rebuilding. The nightmare of yesterday is the bad dream of today. The world, if not rejoicing, can at least relax.

The Dash

Every grave stone has one. The date of birth, the dash, and the date of death.

Making a difference in the lives of others, or the beauty of the world, is what the dash is all about.

You can read the beautiful poem by Linda Ellis here.

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