This is a courtesy call from management – NaBloPoMo2016 will be starting in a week, and I’m planning to participate.
A few years ago I purchased a set of writing prompts from Gwen Bell called “Write Before You Die.” It was a set of 365 questions aimed at examining your life through the writing process before you (no surprise here) die.
[A fourth member of my high school class died last week in a car wreck.]
This is when the veil thins, the liminal time when the light goes out and the darkness rises to envelope the world. It seems right, now, to look at these questions. To examine life, and what it means, and what it means to me.
[One of my friends’ children has entered palliative care. We’ve known for 7 years that she had a terminal condition, but it was always “someday.” Now, someday is here and no god has stepped forward to make me a stone.]
Of the 365 prompts, I’ve pulled out 30. This isn’t in exact order, but here is what I’ll be writing about next month. Feel free to join me in this introspection and conversation about life and death.
- Where do you want your final resting place?
- What should they do with your body?
- What would you enjoy doing – even once, even badly – before you die?
- What music should they play at your funeral?
- If you *could* take it with you – just one suitcase – what goes in the case?
- If you think about your own death daily, why? What do you think?
- Now that you’re old, how old is old?
- Describe a relationship or friendship you’ve had for 10 years. 20? 30?
- Do you think you had a previous life? How did it go?
- What about dying scares you?
- What’s better: a fast death or slow? Planned or unplanned?
- How many funerals have you attended so far (total)? Which had the most impact?
- Where you baptized? Christened? Handed to god as a child?
- Do you ever visit cemeteries or places where the deceased dwell?
- How would you live your life if you didn’t die?
- Where do you want to see before you die?
- What of value will you leave behind?
- Is it the shortness of life, or its longness, that you feel most days?
- When was the last time you witnessed someone die?
- What should they eat at your funeral?
- Have you lived through any natural disasters?
- Did you become what the child version of you wanted to become?
- How’d you stop caring what other people thought about you?
- If a burial, what goes on your headstone?
- Are you an organ donor?
- Have you made peace with your own mortality? How?
- Is there any paperwork you need to fill out before you die?
- When you’re dead, will that email matter? The 401k? Your phone? What *will* matter?
- Where do you want to take your final breath?
- What question have we not asked that you want to answer? Ask it now.