Dying to Know

Humor Therapy-Dying to Understand Death Image of a dark grim reaper with skeleton face and hand holding a coin. Backdrop of a light dipping beneath the dark horizon reflecting on water.

I just recently found out from my doctor that I’m dying. He says that everyday I’m getting closer to death. He also thinks that I may not make it past ninety-two. He predicts that I’m probably going to die of old age. Wow, can you believe that? Now it’s all I can think about. I never really thought that someday I’d be dead, but I guess everyone gets some challenges in this life. Right now, I have good days and bad ones. Yesterday my cat threw up on the carpet. I hope you never have to die. It’s hell and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But… my spirits are high and as God as my witness, I’m going to beat this thing called death.

Oh, who am I kidding? Death is inevitable. Let’s face it, people pass on. Passing on makes it sound like you really weren’t planning on staying long. It’s like you just stopped by to pick up a few things like: some sins, guilt, headaches, a family, debt and maybe a six pack. Where’s Jeff? Oh, he’s gone. He was just passing by anyway. Shame he couldn’t stay longer.

I’m afraid when I die I’ll go through that tunnel and see the big bright light, and then come to find out it’s a damn train coming at me. Then I have to come to terms with dying again. What if this is it? There’s nothing after you die. You just stop existing. I’m going to be pissed. After all I put up with in this life and I get nothing? What about the people who were actually “good”? What a punch in the gut that would be to find out that you were good for nothing (Coincidentally, many have called me that before). To think that you could have been living high on the hog by lying, cheating, and stealing with no repercussions. If that’s the case, I’m going to be doubly pissed.

What if there is an afterlife? That’s a pretty long time. What’s there to do for an eternity? Even if you binge watch every episode of every tv show, you’re still going to have some more time to kill. One good thing is that you won’t have that “I didn’t have time excuse” to throw out. God asks, “Did you bake the angels those cookies?”

You shrug, “Yeah, I just didn’t have time.”

“What do you mean?” God huffs. “You’ve only had forever to do this.”

Many have died and claimed to have gone to heaven and then returned back to earth, because they say, it wasn’t their time yet. Maybe. But maybe, they didn’t like you up there. You weren’t “heaven” material. Perhaps you were like the nerdy guy who wasn’t picked to be on anybody’s dodge ball team. The near death accounts seem to have eerier similarities. They are pronounced dead. They leave their body. Float up through a tunnel. See a

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bright light. Chat with old relatives. Get the boot. And return back into their wretched bodies. More importantly, the event changes them. They turn their lives around, they become more spiritual and less concerned about material things. These turn out to be the best people to hit up for money.

Some people can’t wait to die. They’re like, I’m tired of this life, gimme something else. Maybe they’re bored. If you think life is boring, you’re wrong. You’re boring. But, what if life after death is worse than life? Could you imagine? You’ve made it through a life of pain, misery, tragedy, bratty kids, drunk uncles, and friends borrowing money that never repay you; and then you die and you’re like, “Wow, I’m glad that ordeal is over with.” You go to some big room in the sky and the curator welcomes you, and then he/she sits you down next to Kim Kardashian and says, “Why don’t you all talk amongst yourselves. I’ll be back in, say, six hundred years.” You’ll be begging to go back to your miserable life.

The good, or bad, thing is that medical science has made a lot of in roads to keep us all around a little longer. People have exchanged unhealthy habits, like smoking, to stuffing their faces with junk food. We’ve learned diabetes trumps lung cancer any day. The question is, do we really want to hang around this world any more than we have to? The poor elderly people are thrown into the old folk’s home, only to be visited once in a blue moon by their selfish kids who are just trying to get their ungrateful hands on that checkbook, or to make sure that their names are still in the will. Take me now, Lord!

It’s difficult to have a loved one depart. Last month I went to a funeral. It was very upsetting. They told me it was going to be open casket and, stupid me thought they said open bar. Talk about grieving. I was in mourning all morning in search of a Mimosa.

One thing I don’t want to do is drag out my death. When it’s time to go, let’s just get in the car and go. I don’t want to be lying in a hospital bed for months groping a morphine pump, however enticing it may sound. To me pain, well, it’s a pain. Plus, I don’t want strangers having to change my diapers. That’s my babysitter’s job. Yes, I wish to go quickly, but not too fast. I would at least like time to pack. The dilemma will be; do I bring short sleeves or long?

Statistics show that dying is the leading cause of death. No matter how you slice and dice a cadaver, the bottom line is we all have to go at some point. You never have to worry about getting dying right; there will always be another chance for success. It’s crazy that dying is a part of life. Woody Allen once said that he’s not afraid of dying, he just doesn’t want to be there when it’s happening.

Well, let’s just hope I had a good run. Hope this article lifted your spirits. Remember, dying is easy, comedy is hard. Let me know your thoughts. I’m dying to know.

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by Jeff Charlebois

Cartoon Image of Jeff with a mic next to his book, "Life is a Funny Thing".

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