Thursday, April 2, 2009

On Ancesters and Death

I received an email today from a gentleman with an interest in family tree and family history software. I suppose because I often write about deceased family members in this blog, he felt I was interested in family history.

My friend, Toad has a blog,
dedicated to preparing what he calls “Ethical Wills”, a way of “keeping your values, stories, and wisdom alive for future generations”. I have read it and daydreamer that I am, have actually thought about it, and I have come to these conclusions:

I am self-centered, I am only interested in my family and the people that I actually knew and cared about in life. The rest of them are names in the dust, chiseled on mossy old granite markers, or on the back page of a musty bible. They are just names. I don’t feel anything for them.

And now the other thing: When I die I want a short note in the newspaper so friends are informed of my passing. There should be no mention of how I earned my keep or what a terrific person I was. Those who knew me know where I worked and whether I was a worthwhile person or not, and it’s not the concern of the creepy funeral followers. I want to be cremated and have the ashes spread anywhere other than a cemetery. If those left behind feel they have to visit me (which is to me a bizarre concept) they can spread them someplace pleasant. When those who knew me in life also die, I want to have my existence on earth, my life slate, wiped clean.

1 comment:

Todd Peterson said...

You've written a mighty fine "ethical will" in this blog posting, Gunnar. Most folks I've worked with in creating such a will for themselves (myself included) get a bit long-winded and nostalgic about their lives. Not Gunnar. Your "will" offers smack 'em in the face clarity, its short and unsweetened, and lets people know that you're fine with "no evidence" of your existence on this earth. Now that all the world (at least a blogger or six) has read your words of wisdom, you can forget the whole thing and get on with smoking those fine cigars, toss down a jigger of your favorite hooch, and chase a sunset with your Mooney. Enjoy the ride!