Wednesday, 26 April 2017

General: When I die

Do you ever think about death? I know it's a morbid subject. Young people especially think they'll live forever, but one drunken driver could end their life tonight.

It's recommended that people should write a Will as early as possible in their lives, especially if they have large savings or property of any value. I was late. I didn't write a Will until I was in my late 40's. A lot has changed since I wrote it, so I'll have to write it again. When I wrote my last Will I lived in England, so it was easy. In England handwritten Wills are legally binding. The only problem is that the Will might be lost or deliberately destroyed by relatives who don't like what's in it, so it's advisable to deposit it with a trusted person like a solicitor. In Germany Wills are only legally valid if they've been signed by a solicitor. Nevertheless, a lot of people write Wills privately. If the relatives are decent people they'll do what the dead person wanted, but there's no legal protection from anyone who disagrees.

I haven't just written a Will, I've also designed my gravestone. If it's the last thing to remember me by I want it to be my words on my grave, not what others have to say about me. These are the exact words I want on my gravestone, apart from the date of death being changed, of course.

21.9.1955 - 30.04.2017
I have lived.
I have died.
I shall live forever.

These five lines, in this order, nothing else. I don't want any silly platitudes like "He was a loving father and grandfather". No pictures. No frame round the text. Just keep it as simple as the picture above.

I like these words because they're deliberately vague, and they can be interpreted any way a person wants to. A Christian who reads these words will smile, thinking that they stem from a deep faith. All I really want to say is that when I die I shall have no regrets. My passing into the other side will be accompanied by a shout of victory.

That's also the shape of the gravestone I want. Simple and geometric. It's a square with a semi-circle on top. As far as I know that's a standard shape available from any stonemason. I've considered elongating the square into a 3:2 or even 2:1 rectangle to make the shape more phallic, but if it's a non-standard shape it could be a lot more expensive, so that's a luxury I won't insist on.

Wherever I am when I die, I want to be buried in England, preferably in Streetly Cemetery. That's where my closest relatives are buried, and it's near where I used to live.

These are my wishes. I hope that the people who know me at the time of my death will follow them exactly.

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