I looked back at how far I had come, legs burning, back hurting, heart thumping and decided this would be my final resting place…someday. I glanced at the 45 minutes ahead of me, all uphill, giant boulders blocking my every step.
“When I die, I want to be cremated. And then I want Tessa to take me to this very spot, and sprinkle me all the way up to the top. Just Tessa. Alone.”
Based on Michelle’s response, “All alone? Isn’t that kind of mean?” it must have sounded like I was trying to punish my sister for my legs burning, back hurting, heart thumping as I hiked up one leg of the infamous W in Torres del Paine, Chile. But I wasn’t. I had never felt so alive. And if for some reason I leave this world prematurely, and Tessa has to carry that burden, I have no doubt this trail on the side of this surreal mountain would bring her the same peace it was bringing me at that very moment. And some things are better done alone. Saying goodbye forever to your best friend and sister might be one of them.
“Fine. Ben can come. But Tessa has to carry the pack.” Or maybe she can leave her husband at the bottom and do this part alone.
“Either way, you gotta put that shit in writing.”
Ah, the creepy task of letting other people know what to do with your lifeless body and meaningless things.
With help from my brother-in-law and sister (I can’t stretch my arms without hitting an attorney in my family, which is very helpful, since as it turns out, I am the kind of person who needs a lot of legal advice), I was paired with an attorney who does this kind of stuff. But when I discovered the cost of getting my affairs in order, I decided to skip the legal route and do something quick and dirty, maybe upgrading when I actually had affairs to organize.
I mean, how much is too much to ensure I don’t get put in a box in the ground? To make sure every single harvestable organ is harvested and given to another life? I am ridiculously claustrophobic and I know it won’t matter because I am dead, but the thought of being dead in a tiny box six feet under is much scarier than the thought of dying. Besides, what good is burying me without my eyes, heart, lungs, kidney, liver, bone marrow, and whatever else you can actually donate? I prefer the tidy route of urn by fire.
Creating a will is mostly for the benefit of those left behind, because frankly, I don’t care what happens to my things. I am not married, I have no children, and I like to think the Kowalski’s could figure out what to do with my house, car and cats on their own without starting WWIII, and if they can’t, my death will be a nice team/family building exercise.
Just listen to Tessa. I made her my power of attorney in a text message.
(Michelle, does this count as putting it in writing?)