Not Dead Yet

Living in my first over-55 community has been interesting. But then, this is Vegas baby. You never know what to expect here.

My mailbox periodically gets stuffed with flyers offering funeral services, estate planning dinners, reverse mortgage opportunities, and free credits for gambling—perhaps not in that order.

As my philosopher mother used to say, “When it’s your time to go, you’ll go. It might be crossing the street. It might be climbing out of a bathtub. There’s nothing you can do about it, so don’t give it any thought. Just enjoy life.”

I thought about those words when I was planning that five-thousand-mile boat trip with Capt. Mark a few years back. I believe my mother’s words would have been, “Drink that wine, eat that chocolate, get on that boat.” I guzzled wine, over-dosed on chocolate, and I didn’t die. I cruised like a pro. I didn’t even get seasick (that’s when you wish you’d die).

What is prompting these semi-dark thoughts at a time when I am land-based in a pretty new house surrounded by things I love?

I just wrote my first mystery and it has a dead body.

My dead guy was not nice. His character is probably better developed than any of the others in the book, to make sure my readers know how loathsome he was. But writing about death has made me think. I’m no spring chicken. Am I better prepared to go than my character was?

Do I have a will? Yup. Do I have written instructions relating to who gets my six hundred books? Yup. Is my obituary written? (Hah! I will definitely write my own). Music? Maybe something by Jimmy Buffet, like Margaritaville or Cheeseburger in Paradise, a tune everyone can sing along with.

A few memes have been making the rounds on Facebook related to inappropriate music for funerals. Selections include “And Another One Bites the Dust” and “Pop Goes the Weasel.” If the deceased was despised like the dead guy in my novel, the song could be “At Last.” Hopefully, mine will be upbeat and bouncy.

When my time comes, I plan to be scattered in the ocean, maybe around a racing buoy in Dana Point, California, very close to where I was married (shipboard, on the Pilgrim). Capt. Mark and I participated in a few other memorable events around that harbor. These shall go unnamed.

Now that we live near Las Vegas, I realize funeral planning has some unique options. I’ve actually received an advertisement in the mail from a company that plans a “funeral your friends will never forget.” They’re parties, of course, one was even Elvis-themed. (I am not kidding).

Maybe I should have been more creative with my dead guy’s demise. You’ll have to tell me when the novella, Blood Will Tell, releases in November. In the meantime, I think I’ll take my mother’s advice and just enjoy life.

1 thought on “Not Dead Yet”

  1. One of my favorite funeral tunes is You Can’t Always Get What You Want, by the Rolling Stones. It was in the funeral scenes of the movie The Big Chill. I want the song Over the Rainbow performed by Izzy, a talented Hawaiian singer. It is upbeat and perfect to send me on my way.


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