When I Pass

In the event of my death, I have decided to write this to you, my family, while still alive. I want to be remembered for who I am: a mostly moral person.
No matter how I die, whether it is within high school or college or afterward, I have a request.
I have no desire to be embalmed or made up. I’m not getting post mortem Botox. I do not want to be buried in a plot next to my mother or father. Modern day burial not only hurts the environment via embalming fluid, but it is also very wasteful. Why should they put me in a metal casket and douse it with concrete? Why not use these resources for living progress and innovation? Why not build a skyscraper or a rocket to Mars with those materials? Maybe I’ll be immortalized by sending my poetry on a golden record in a new Voyager.
I have no desire to be cremated. The fossil fuels used for a single cremation, even on aborted fetuses and stillborn babies is enough to drive a car for 500 miles. Why not celebrate my life with a road trip instead?
Lower my body into the ground in a wicker casket, with my cat’s remains in my arms, straight into the ground. Right in the dirt with the worms. You can commemorate my short time on Earth with a plaque or a headstone. Use my body’s decomposition to grow trees and wildflowers. Sit a few chairs and a table by my graveside and watch nature take me back.
I was born an animal. For the majority of my childhood, up until 17, I consumed animals. Let the cows, chickens, pigs, and whitetail deer have their nip at me. After all we have all done to these creatures, give them the chance they deserve. We deserve to give back to the world if we want, and we should do it before it’s too late.
Finally, as a writer, what’s death without a good epitaph? Though I love the Slaughterhouse Five epitaph, I feel that plagiarizing one of my favorite fellow Hoosiers would be disgraceful.

Here is my own:
I am not an ivy, I am a tree with roots. Let me feed you as you have fed me.
That is all. I am resting well now, so I have to tell you: good night.


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Written by Grayson Spaw

I'm an eighteen year old writer and reader. I'll be attending Albion College in the fall majoring in English and Secondary Education. I love cats and old books more than anything else in the world.

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