Sanasa and blessings on you all. May sunshine pour down upon you today and on all days. May you forever be in a windfall of cash, may you look extra attractive always. #hallelu
It’s time for our first musical interlude, so open your hymnals up to “Royals” by Lorde and sing along!
Wasn’t that an amazing number (Why don’t we say number anymore? Let’s bring that back.)? (Also, I’m still looking for perfect jean shorts like the pale guy was wearing. Why so hard to find?) And the singer has such a fitting name — Lorde! Why wasn’t your reverend blessed with such a delightful title? I’d much prefer to be a Nicholas so that I could go by the unbearably charming pet name of Nicky, like so many men in the thirties. I’d even have been satisfied, thrilled actually, with the family name of Soloman. Who wouldn’t? Do you even know a Soloman? Think of it, Reverend Solomon! I die. Anyway, today’s sermon is all about your name, in a sense, but only in the most indirect sort of way. It’s actually about something I’ve been meaning to discuss since before I became an ordained reverend and a beloved religious leader. It’s death.
Personally, I have no intention of dying; it’s too common. I believe that modern medicine will continue to develop at an alarmingly quick rate, ancient wisdom will continue to be rediscovered, and science will always astonish. All these things combined have nearly assured me that in my expected lifetime of about ninety years, there will be some kind of scientifically born immortality. I don’t know what this will look like, will I have robotic parts to compliment my handsome six foot tall body? Will my brain somehow be put on on a disk? I’m hoping for the former, I’d like to be more then a sentient cube of data. I want to move and explore and enhance myself.
And even though I fully expect to be around until the sun explodes and will fill the intervening years with study and relentless travel, there is still the matter of those that choose a natural death or those who are unlucky enough to die — murder or accident or suicide or any number of ways — and are doomed to the Other Side. I’m rather convinced, through extensive research, that the soul continues to evolve after physical death. I find great comfort in that. When I see ghosts, which isn’t often, I always think it’s rather soul expanding. Ghosts are proof that there’s still a world to be understood and mysteries to be solved and an eternity to survive. I’m comfortable with dying, though I have no real interest in pursuing it, there’s just so much to get done first. I want to holiday on Mars and be around for astonishing archaeological developments — we are going to learn so much from Antarctica and from the depths of the sea.
Back to my original point, though, death, and in particular, your final resting place. I can’t think of anything more important than choosing the resting place of your remains. You absolutely do not have to be buried in the nearest cemetery to your home. Maybe that’s what you want, but not your reverend. When I’m gone, I certainly don’t want to find myself in the plain, unremarkable graveyard near my home, and so, on my frequent travels, I make sure to always visit the local burial sites.
If I die, I fully intend to do it gracefully in Paris, hopefully dapper in something tasteful by Burberry. The only place to die is Paris, after all. I can hardly stand to think of my ashes being interred anywhere else but a moldering sepulcher in Père Lachaise. There are other places I’m willing to end up if I must, but when I think of my bones and charred flesh rotting away, I’m awfully charmed at the thought of it being in my beloved city in that gorgeous village of mausoleums. Thousands of tourists and weeping fans troop past the glorious monuments each year, as do I, and I love to think that somebody might photograph my tomb and think of me even when nothing remains of me but a bunch of ruined marble.
So, the point of my sermon is that you should start planning for your probable, but not guaranteed, demise. Why not find a place to spend eternity that you love? Deal with this for your family and friends. Make your death a simple, beautiful thing. Have a wonderful tomb built or have a gorgeous headstone carved. Don’t settle for anything common or pedestrian, get something that makes everybody know who you were, who you still are, who you’ll always be.
As they said in the cinematic triumph The Mummy, “Death is only the beginning.*”
*Unless you’re like me and live forever. #obvi
I’ve wanted to write for a while, but always found others desirous of my time. This post, however, warrants my immediate attention and comment.
I most heartily agree with your thoughts on death (although I do hope to die one day) and burial. I have already planned out my mausoleum and an appropriate celebration. On top of this, I have planned to leave an annual commemorative memorial award to be granted to deserving people who resemble my greatness in some way.
In the end, I’m just grateful for your thoughts, shared so generously. It is good to know there are kindred spirits out there.
With my sincere regard and admiration,
Sq Martyn Foley, The O’Sheridan Taoiseach
Thank you for your eloquent comment. I am glad to know that there are other people who share my thoughts on death and such matters. A commemorative award is something that’s never crossed my mind, but is surely something I’ll consider in the future.