More Dead than Alive

I am turning 20 in about a month, and I refuse to accept that within a few short weeks, I will be entering a new decade of life. I know people say that being in your twenties is the best time to be alive, and sure, research may support this, but research also declares that your twenties are when you truly start to die. Before the age of 25, new cells outnumber the dying ones, but after 25, this balance shifts, and you essentially become more dead than alive (aka the process of dying begins). 

This also means that your concentration, ability to multitask, decision making speed, and other general cognitive skills begin to deteriorate. Sure, the decline is gradual, but it is still terrifying to think that in a few short years, I will be out of my prime. And that is why I dread entering my twenties. I have so much left to do in my life before I start even thinking about my impending, albeit gradual, death as a mortal. The thought that I'm in my prime right now scares me because if this is my prime, then I'm in for a rude awakening if there's nothing better to come after this. 

But luckily, not all hope is lost for me. Though I have yet to accept my mortality, I’ve recently realized that I can find an ounce of joy in preparing my memorialization for when the fates cut my string of life, and after some extensive research, I’ve narrowed down my options down to five:

1. I can become part of a coral reef by having my ashes placed inside an artificial replication of part of a reef substrata because if I were to do this, I’d get to help the environment by giving a home to some cute fishies for eternity, so a large part of me is like shell yeah. But then there’s the slightly narcissistic side of me that’s worried about being all the way underwater where no one will see me and therefore will forget to mourn me, and that sounds like a bigger tragedy than turning 20. 

2. I could have my ashes mixed with some paint and become a painting. I’m thinking one of those classy paintings of dogs playing poker. This way I would be a literal piece of art in death––much like how I’m a figurative piece of art in life. You see, my mom always calls me a piece of work, and obviously, she means that I’m a piece of artwork, so it wouldn’t be that big of a stretch. But also, what if some dreadful descendant hangs my painting in the bathroom? I can’t live my afterlife in a painting in a room where unmentionable things happen. No thank you.

 

3. I could also be buried in a pringle can, like the founder of Pringles, or to be more personal, I could be buried in a half-gallon of Blue Bell Dutch chocolate ice cream. Heckity heck, I could even have Blue Bell as my last meal and get an urn and last meal for the price of $7.29, a much cheaper option than a coffin or an actual urn. Plus, less money spent on that equals more money spent on my funeral that everyone will be dying to attend. 

4. I could have my ashes compounded into a firework and light up everyone’s lives one last time. I mean, logically speaking, to stop people from drowning in waterworks, it makes the most sense to bring in the direct opposite: fireworks! But then again, fireworks are liable to induce some injuries or even death, and honestly, I don’t want to take the risk of having my thunder stolen at my own funeral by someone accidentally lighting themselves on fire… just saying. 

5. I could have my ashes compressed into a vinyl that plays the song of my choice, and I was thinking something along the lines of the Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” you know, since I plan on haunting people until they take their last breath. Or I could go for Diana Ross’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” ‘cause if you need me, call me, no matter where you are, no matter how far, as long as you have a ouija board, I’ll be there in a hurry. Or I might select Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” solely because my mom hates the song, and since she is an immortal goddess, I would love to have the opportunity to annoy her beyond the grave while she lives on. However, my concern with the vinyl is that record players are scarce, and I want people to be aware of my presence all the time. I just don’t know if a record player can ensure that. 

Clearly, I still have my qualms about my twenties and about how I will be memorialized, so if you have any words of comfort, keep them to yourself and let me wallow in self-pity for the next three weeks. That is all I want for my birthday. Thank you.