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May
06
2008

I must have gotten my atheist father thinking with all my recent questions about God, life after death, and reincarnation. No, he wasn’t swayed by my brilliant arguments in support of a higher power and an afterlife.

But at least the guy is planning ahead. A couple days ago, I received a letter from him detailing the whereabouts of his Last Will and Testament, along with other important documents. He claims I won’t need this information until 2043 (when he’d be 100 years-old, by the way… nothing wrong with a little optimism). Somehow I’m thinking I will probably misplace this letter sometime in the next 35 years, but I’ll try.

The best part of the letter was the P.S.. He writes…

When it comes time to do something with what remains of me, I’m fine with cremation unless you choose otherwise…. If you choose to have me in the ground, in a spot you could visit me from time to time (I would enjoy that), I’ve always liked the little cemetery near my house…

So now suddenly, I’m not only imagining my father dead but I’m suddenly considering whether to cremate or bury him. Hot Flames vs. claustrophobic dirt. Heck, pour the margaritas and bring out the nacho chips and salsa because this is really getting super fun!

Interestingly, my dad, who believes there is no heaven, no afterlife, no reuniting with souls, no nothing… except that you cease to exist when you die, would still ENJOY a graveside visit.

Why is that exactly?

Is he hedging his bets? Just in case his spirit is still hanging around, he thinks it might be nice to see me stop by the old grave site once in awhile?

Dad, I’m happy to do it. Especially if the cemetery has WiFi. Oh, alright, even if it doesn’t. Because when you’re gone (many, many years from now please), I will miss you. I will deeply miss you and all your strong opinions. So I will go to your grave and I will sit there and I will talk to you and I know you will feel my presence and I will feel yours.

Oh wait.. there was a P.P.S. to the letter. My dad writes…

I hope all this doesn’t creep you out too much. xo

Well, a little bit.

But no, I guess not too much.



22 Responses to a little bit creepy

  • Jennifer H says:

    Though I imagine that letter was a bit startling to receive, that letter was a gift.

    I share a few of your father's opinions about this sort of thing, and ultimately leave the questions in the realm of "who knows?" But I hope I have everything organized and settled for my children before the time comes.

    Which reminds me, I need to talk to my husband and work on some of that.

    WiFi in the cemetery.. ha! By that time, we'll probably be blanketed with WiFi. πŸ™‚

  • kelsey kleiman says:

    I look forward to hearing your dad's response to your post. Is there room for spirituality in Atheism? I've been wondering about this lately. You've reminded me to do some research on the topic.

    I enjoyed this post Kelcey.

  • Buffy Blackwell says:

    As hard and scary as it is to get a letter like that, how awesome it is as well. My dad died of cancer when he was 49. We had about a year with him after his diagnosis and we planned his funeral with him BUT…I don't know that it was what he wanted. I think he wanted us to feel better that things were taken care of. I wish I was as smart at 22 as I'm sure I am now (ha!) and had the foresight to ask him what would make him happy when his time came. Kiss your daddy for the wonderful treasure he has left you.

  • Tully's Mama says:

    Planning is key and jennifer h was right, this letter is a gift. I lost my dad at 23 and he was a major planner so when he was gone, there were no questions about wants or wishes. It was all written down and in legal documents. All my mom had to do was grieve, not stress about all that can accompany losing a husband so early. It was 13 years ago and I only have been to his grave one time. He's not there. He's everywhere. (except of course in the shower or the master bedroom).

  • Abby Siegel says:

    I've had this conversation with my father because one of my friend's refuses to get over her father's death four years ago. I said "when you die, what do you want me to do?" He said "Be a little sad, throw a huge party to celebrate my life, and then move on." I said no worries, and remember to leave me some cash so the party can be great!!! ha ha…but it made me feel heaps better although I know the inevitable will be unthinkable. That said, enjoy the time we all have now and worry about it later. Good job Tom!

  • alex says:

    I believe the universe is kind. If you miss your dad, you will see him again. I think we all come together in the end…or is it the beginning. πŸ™‚

  • I think it's refreshing. I've tried to have the talk with my parents, they are totally in denial. And that part really bums me out!

    Wifi at the cemetery, sorry but that one made me laugh. You might be onto something there.

  • Tommy-Tom says:

    Thank you, my dear. I don't ever want to let go of you. Even 100 seems way too soon. What I enjoy, today, is thinking about you, in the distant future, visiting whatever real estate I may occupy. More days than not, I think about and talk to my own dad, which comforts me greatly.

  • sam says:

    tommy-tom, you just made me bawl and kelc, you weren't much better but such a lovely post, waaaaaa…sniff, sniff!!!

  • Lanie says:

    I own more cemetery plots than I ever thought I would at my age. They were all bought in record time with very little time to plan. Sometimes that is just the way it works out. It is very thoughtful of your dad to make plans now. I am sure that he will enjoy your visits (in the year 2043).

  • Kristen M says:

    This is a beautiful piece of writing about a very tough topic. I appreciate your (and your dad's) willingness to share. Wills are so important. As tough as they are to do, the benefits to your loved ones are priceless. I love people's comments about this entry. They are so touching.

  • misty says:

    My mom talks about this stuff ALL OF THE TIME!!! I hate it. I tell her "well, when you are dead at least I will have all of the endearing memories of you talking about when you were dead…"

    the wifi thing made me laugh.

    Can you imagine? "$3,000 for your plot, but our cemetery has great amenities for your loved ones. Free Wifi, an organic juice bar in section C beneath the elm trees and satalite radio with over 700 choices to choose from- should they grow weary of silence."

    hmmm.

  • It is a bit odd to talk about all these things, but I think it's also really healthy and practical. I mean, as long as it's in a healthy practical sort of way, rather than becoming a morbid obsession (which totally doesn't apply in your case, imho).

    The weirdest conversation I've had with my in-laws is my M-i-L telling me that she doesn't mind if we baptize her into our church after she dies. She doesn't want to join or be actively religious now, but she has nothing against us "doing our thing" once she's gone. Hedging her bets? Maybe.

  • mp says:

    I love your dad..he's so cute, I can see where you get it from.. IT..you know.

    My dad already told me that he'll be coming back as a bird, maybe an Eagle.

    I don't think reincarnation is very Catholic..but Dad really believes it, so I do to! I sure hope it is a long time from now.

  • Cat says:

    This week our realtor dropped by to remind us to make out a will, we've been friends for years, but still one minute we are talking investment property the next we're planing our own demise.

    Your dad is right though, I've seen some silly stuff happen over wills.

  • Jordana's Aunt says:

    I'm not one to believe in 'woo woo' stuff; like communicating with the dead (oiji boards) or even an Afterlife. But some crazy stuff happened to me when a loved one came back from the dead and communicated and scared the doody out of me and made me a True Believer. No, I wasn't drunk or stoned when it happened; I wasn't dreaming or wishing…IT HAPPENED. So plan for it; your relationship might not end with a death…

  • Madmad says:

    I read somewhere that if we can just make it past the next 5 years, we'll be able to live to 135 – so here's hoping none of this is anything you have to worry about – for another … oh, damn, I forgot I don't know math… bunch of years!

  • Karen Veronica says:

    Brava! I really enjoyed your reaction to your dad's letter, Kelcey. Right now I am printig it to share with the nurses and other staff at the hospice where I work.


kelcey kintner


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