Seeing as death is in the post for all of us, why not have some fun with it? Death reveries could actually be sort of awesome. Like imagining that you’ve won an Oscar and they’ve given you a standing ovation and you’re on stage, tearful, whispering, ‘You guys, stop,’ while catching – and holding – Leonardo DiCaprio’s eye, glinting with promise.
You might go for something traditional – you in a large bed, pale but stunning, surrounded by gently weeping relations. Your husband grips your hand. ‘Take me instead, God,’ he sobs. ‘It’s OK. I’m ready,’ you say, sounding both brave and soothing. ‘I tried to be a good person,’ you murmur (everyone nods) ‘And now I must leave.’ ‘NO,’ The whole room cries. ‘Know that I loved you all,’ you say, smiling. ‘Scatter my ashes under the weeping willow where I once played on the swing my grandfather built me as a child from the wood of his Dunkirk boat,’ you gasp. ‘The one by the river. I want…to see……the swans…’ The screen fades to black. You have gently slipped away.
When it comes to your funeral plans, don’t hold back. Forget all that cheerful ‘Bring Me Sunshine’ as the coffin comes in and everyone holding hands and singing along. Go for (dignified but prolific) tears. Bring them down with Nimrod. Crush with Adele. Someone should read that Auden poem to finally bring the house down. Just as long as your friends don’t look too hot in their black funeral clothes. Don’t want them ‘comforting’ your confused husband in their fetishy veils.
They could then put you on a boat and fire flaming arrows at it so you blaze like a Viking as you drift off towards the sunset. Or they could bury you on a beautiful hillside, where a never-before-seen white orchid mysteriously sprouts, which they then discover has potent healing properties: the cure for polycystic ovaries. ‘She was a feminist to the end,’ people will say. Dying could actually be marvellous, you know. Or, at least, thinking about it.