A Viking Send Off
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Scott and I were sitting around a couple of nights ago planning our funerals -- as one does on a beautiful summer night.
Actually, we were in a money management meeting in the backyard, eating tapas and drinking.
We have those now and again to make sure that we have enough money to live out the rest of our days, and leave enough to dispatch our asses so the kids don't have to pass the hat. Me, I could care less. Might as well sweep me to the curb but not everybody thinks that way.
We don't have a lot of expenses but we do have to budget for home and car repairs, vet bills, and so on. I'm hoping to have a little dental work done, and maybe replace the carpets after the unfortunate pet incidents involving seizures, mouth foam, urine and feces.
But I also want to make sure that death is covered. I don't worry about taxes because, in the last few years, I haven't made enough money to pay taxes.
I applied for the Canada Pension Plan when I turned 60, and they just laughed at me.
Great career planning on my part!
Fortunately, Scott has retirement income but we have that only until he dies because I wasn't his wife when he took his pension, so I'm basically screwed even though we've enjoyed 15 years of marital bliss. The money will go to his ex-wife who hasn't sent a card or a letter in 20 years.
That's what life insurance is for.
Jennette got me into this whole funeral thing.
She and I spent hours with funeral directors over the past few years, first after Roger died, then after her Dad died. Then Jennette decided to pre-plan, or should I say, over-plan arrangements for her own demise. And she wasn't even sick!
Then she did get sick and decided to do her arrangements all over again, but we still got stuck with a bill of over $2,000 even after she diligently made monthly payments. The funeral folks were still taking money out of her account after she died, even though we'd paid the damned bill.
A curse on their house of death! Send in the locusts.
Scott and I have made a pact that we will not pay a single penny more than necessary on final arrangements. We're going with a basic funeral, no frills, and a party which will be held in our honour someplace, BYOB. Or not. Who cares?
I'm not putting a notice in the paper. As my friend Shirley Van Dusen once said about her husband Tom, "somebody will find him eventually". I'm on Facebook, so I'm assuming that after I haven't commented on Trump's virility or shared some puppy pics, people will figure out that I'm gone.
After a couple of cocktails, I suggested that we give our bodies to medicine. That would be a cheap way to go, right? I am felled by a bus or some horrible disease, and the mortuary attendant in the hospital simply moves me into the cadaver room.
So I messaged the Ottawa Hospital, and they sent me the handy guide on how to make a full frontal body donation.
The kit came with a few warnings.
First, you have to pay your own transportation. Bus, van, Uber, or stretch limo -- we don't care -- you have to make your own way her.
And don't assume, dead one, that we will actually want you.
There are lots of people who have this idea that it's a cheap way to go, so don't get any big ideas.
Make other plans, the guide suggested.
I was hurt.
Wasn't I agreeing to give the hospital my most valuable asset in the end, only to be told, "Meh, George over here on the gurney, he came in first."
Sorry Simpson family, your mom just isn't that special!
And no autopsy or organ donation for you, missy.
No sir, what would we want with your nasty smelly un-embalmed leavings if somebody else took the best parts!
I've signed my donor card, so that ends the discussion.
I mean, I'd much rather donate whatever gently used organs I have left to give somebody a second chance than to risk having medical students laugh at my boobs.
So I'm back to square.
Still, funeral homes are an absolutely rip off.
Jennette actually agreed to pay for a rental casket so I could identify her. It cost her $1,200 for me to come see her all made up. Though she did look much better than the last time I saw her.
I want to Viking funeral. Pile me in the car and head for the lake. Put me on a raft soaked in gasoline. It will be better than the Canada Day fireworks.
And I'll go out with a big bang heard across the lake.