the good death

it’s an uncomfortable topic for lots of people (myself included). but its something that’s super important to talk about, so let’s do that. this week we’ll hear from two of my friends on why they care so much about this, and i make a death plan and share it with my loved ones <3

Resources:

https://www.joincake.com/

TRANSCRIPT

Callie: [00:00:00] Big shouts out to Jade and Yarrow for becoming new patrons this week and shout out to Dan for a pledge increase. Thank you, friends. Love you lots. Heads up before we jump into it today, this episode is about death. How we think about it, fear it, embrace it and plan for it. I know this is a fraught topic and if you’re not in the head space for that right now, no judgment at all.

Please take care of yourself, friend. My name is Callie Wright and this is Queersplaining. I am. I’m a person who has dealt with shockingly little death in my life. I’m 35 and I’ve yet to lose someone I was super close to. People I cared about for sure, but nothing like losing my mom or a sibling or something like that.

In fact, this features heavily in my anxiety. I’m worried that everyone I love is going to die all at once. Like the universe is saving it up for me or something. And of course that’s silly. That’s not really how any of this works, but it is true that these are things I will inevitably deal with. I’m also inevitably going to face my own mortality someday.

I didn’t think much about it. For awhile. I didn’t think I was invincible when I was younger. I just never really had much of an occasion to think about it. When I started getting involved in the atheist community, I noticed something that felt weird to me. And of course, atheists don’t really think there’s anything after death.

You just blink out of existence and you don’t exist anymore. Like you didn’t exist before you were born. And logically, this makes sense to me, but I still had a little bit of anxiety over death. And when these conversations happen in the atheist world, there seems to be like a contest. It breaks out like a pissing contest over who’s the least afraid of death. And that felt really weird too. Uh, I will freely admit that when I think about it too much, it does make me nervous. Maybe scared. Isn’t the word, but nervous for sure. But this is reality, right? Even the most privileged among us can spend enough money to outrun it. Longer than others, but death comes for everybody.

That’s just a basic fact of human existence. We all have to deal with it at some time or another. I’ve wanted to do an episode like this for a long time. I even recorded an interview a few months back about it, but honestly, I was just not in the head space to deal with this topic in a healthy way.

This is something I think we should. Think about and consider and planned for, but I know me, I know my anxiety brain. It would have been a bad idea for me to do this a few months ago, but thanks to hormones, medications, and therapy, I am in a good Headspace again. And I think it’s possible for me to think on this and deal with it in a healthy way.

So here we are. I have two friends in particular who are passionate about this stuff, and I spend some time talking to them about why this matters to them, what we can do to make a plan for ourselves. And after talking to them, I decided it was important for me to make a death plan for myself. I think it’s important to do these things while we’re here and aware.

And with our faculties intact, I hope to live a very, very long time. And I hope this plan isn’t necessary until I’m like 90 or whatever, but you never know. And I want to have a plan to give my loved ones just in case. So after talking with my friends, I decided it was important for me to make a plan. And at the end of this episode, I am going to share that plan with you.

But before I do that, I wanted to spend some time talking with my friends about why this stuff matters to them and why they think it’s important to talk about. First, we’re going to hear from my friend Kitty, they’re one of my Derby teammates and someone, I love a whole bunch.

Kitty: [00:03:48] I come from a half British household, which if, you know, British people, they’re very uncomfortable.

At least in my experience are very uncomfortable with talking about things like mortality, because it’s not a very, it’s a very, keep your feelings down, keep your head down kind of thing. So the first funeral I went to was my. Grandfather’s funeral. Well, it wasn’t the first funeral, the first immediate family member of a funeral that I went to and I was talking to my mom in the car, I’m about like eight or nine.

And she goes, you know, this is a British funeral. Crying and wailing are not very like an acceptable thing. So you need to suck it up. And you know, we’ll, we’ll talk about it later and we can cry it out later. And I turned to her and my eight or nine year old wisdom, I said, God, mom, I’m not going to be emo about it.

When my grandpa died, it started making me think about death. And so I would think about death and then. Grimly. I became more fascinated by it and like how I would die. And I got it, got to the point where it was very kind of unhealthy obsession and it led to me becoming very suicidal and have a better relationship with death now.

But 

Callie: [00:05:06] How did you, uh, how did you get there? 

Kitty: [00:05:08] It started with kind of spiraling from like, if he’s going to die, I’m going to die. And I was, I was a. I was a weird kid, you know, and I didn’t really have a lot of friends. I was, I got along with people, but not a lot of people really liked me. And I was very lonely and I was like, well, when I die, I don’t have to deal with any of this.

And so that became very soothing to me. 

Callie: [00:05:31] So you, at that point that you you’ve looked at death as a positive thing? 

Kitty: [00:05:36] Oh, most definitely. Death was just something that was going to happen to me someday. And I was pretty cool. I was pretty cool with it. I went to a lot of therapy, which, you know, helps a lot.

Callie: [00:05:45] Yes. 

Kitty: [00:05:46] I went to a lot of therapy. I also learned how to talk about my feelings in a more comprehensive way. Cause when you’re eight or nine, you don’t know how to articulate. I’m feeling suicidal typically. 

Callie: [00:05:56] Right? 

Kitty: [00:05:57] You don’t know how to articulate that. I became, I articulate articulated in the more I took articulated it as be able to delve into my feelings about death.

And why I was excited to die. And like when I thought more and more about it, it started to scare me again because when I died, what would happen to my body, you know, what would happen to my loved ones? I have two wonderful angel cats. I love them dearly. And the biggest thing that scares me about dying is what would happen to them.

Callie: [00:06:27] Yeah. And so, When you decided to like, learn more and get into all of this, like, what did that look like? I mean, did you just like start reading about stuff on the internet? 

Kitty: [00:06:41] Well, I did what every person does when they have a question, I started by Googling it. I Google things like what happens after you die and like what happens in a crematory?

And I was directed to a really helpful resource to me, which was asked mortician with Caitlin Dodi. She answered a lot of my questions as mortician, because she has a lot of insight into the death industry and really helped me a lot and helped me become more settled about this. 

Callie: [00:07:06] And so at some point you decided that you needed to make a plan, right?

Like, so you’re, you’re out of this like morbid fascination with death and more into the idea that like, well, this is definitely a thing that’s going to happen to me at some point. And I gotta figure out how this works. Like, how did you start going about that? 

And went to my friend, Google, and I start the Googling.

How can I plan for this? And like different death options. And I’m so excited to talk about my death planning because I’m currently working on my, um, advanced directive, which everybody should have Google your state. An advanced directive and I’ll show you a form. It’s kind of, it answers all the hard questions for your loved ones.

Like, do you want to be resuscitated? What do you want to happen to you? Who has ownership over your body when you die? It answers all the hard questions, no worrying or guessing, or did I make the right decisioning? Because my family has a bad habit of changing their minds on their deathbed. 

Like that’s happened enough that it’s like a habit.

It’s something that has to be thought about. 

Kitty: [00:08:10] My great grandpa, my great grandma, my great pop. He was a Greek immigrant and he came here way back in the day and lived a full and happy life. And his family would ask him like, Papo, what do you want when you die? And he’d just say, Oh, put me out with the trash on Tuesday.

Callie: [00:08:29] Oh God. 

Kitty: [00:08:30] And then it got to the point where he was on his deathbed and he goes, I want to be buried back in the Homeland. Which I don’t know if you’ve ever had to fly with a dead body. 

Callie: [00:08:43] I certainly have not. 

Kitty: [00:08:46] I would like to give a shout out to my aunt, Polly God, rest her soul for I’m getting frequent flyer, model miles for his dead body.

Callie: [00:08:55] That’s a thing? 

Kitty: [00:08:57] That it certainly was for her. I don’t know if they still do it, but she did it by God. Did she do it? 

Callie: [00:09:03] That’s amazing. Um, but so they, so they did it. So they, they, they flew him back to the Homeland and, and he was, and he was buried in the Homeland. 

Kitty: [00:09:15] Yeah. But now they have to keep track of his body because the Island, he was buried on, they rotate the graves every couple of years.

Callie: [00:09:21] Oh. 

Kitty: [00:09:22] So we had to keep track of that, but my family, God bless them. I say that with the most love in my heart, they like to make things difficult in the last few minutes.

Callie: [00:09:37] So you’re so you’re, you’re determined to not be, you’re not going to be that guy. Quote, unquote, 

Kitty: [00:09:43] I am determined to set a precedent for my family and loved ones that won’t stress them out, but hopefully, but maybe, maybe they can get frequent flyer miles for me. Who knows? 

Callie: [00:09:54] So, uh, so how does, how does one go about creating a death plan?

Talk to me, talk me through that. 

Kitty: [00:10:01] I can’t speak for everybody, but how I started was how do I want to view my body in death? Did I want to view my body as something that needs to be cremated or buried or aquamated, which is really cool. Look it up. 

Callie: [00:10:14] Oh, hang on. I gotta, I, I can’t, I can’t leave that at looking it up.

What’s talk to me about that. 

Kitty: [00:10:20] Okay. So automation is kind of like the future of cremation. Acclimation is cremation, but with, instead of fire, use a really hot water to speed up decomposition. 

Callie: [00:10:29] Oh, 

Kitty: [00:10:30] And then all the water is disinfected. It’s flushed down to the sewer. You get the bones and then you put the, um, the bones in the cremulator, I believe you get the dust and you’re done.

Callie: [00:10:42] Right. 

Kitty: [00:10:43] So it’s fun. 

It’s the same thing. It’s less carbon footprint. So if you want to be even more ecofriendly is a great way to do it. Love that it’s not legal and every well legal as in, it’s not been talked about in every state yet, but it’s looking to be a very promising future for death. 

Callie: [00:10:59] Very cool.

Alright. Yeah. Can continue. 

Kitty: [00:11:02] So you want to have, do you want to have a home wake? Do you want everything taken care of by a funeral home for your family? Do you want to be embalmed? Personally, for me, I looked at that and I said, I want to have a home wake. I want to be buried in a natural cemetery. I want to leave as little imprint on the surroundings as I could.

I want it to be a jovial thing to get together and celebrate my life. Not mourn than my death, because death happens. 

Callie: [00:11:29] Right. 

Kitty: [00:11:30] The death rate is holding at a current a hundred percent. We all die.

Callie: [00:11:34] Right.

Yeah.

Kitty: [00:11:35] Yeah. So it’s best just to have a plan and let your family know how you want to be seen in death. Like part of the, I have a death plan typed out that you’ve seen.

One caveat I recently added was I will not be mis-gendered in death. 

Callie: [00:11:48] Hell yeah. And that’s, you can make that part of your advanced directive, right? 

Kitty: [00:11:53] I believe so I believe so. I’m not sure specifically named on the Ohio advanced directive.

Callie: [00:12:00] Gotcha. 

Kitty: [00:12:01] But I’m pretty certain you can add that to your advanced directive.

Callie: [00:12:05] Yeah. Cause that was one thing that I was, um, you know, when I was researching, there was a, you know, there’s always stories about like trans folks die. And especially if they have, uh, families who don’t accept them and you know, the funeral is just a complete erasure of who the person actually was. And I think, you know, specific to trans folks, that’s one thing that like we can, we can do to sort of take that agency for ourselves.

If that’s a concern that we have.

Kitty: [00:12:36] And that’s the best part about a death plan and sharing it with your loved ones and sharing it and like getting it notarized is that you have it on paper and you can be able to say, I will not be mis-gendered in death. And that’s your last bit of power when you die. Oh, sorry about that.

That’s my cat. 

Callie: [00:12:52] You’re good. 

Kitty: [00:12:54] Trans people have a lot more power in their age, like in their death then we have, we are taught. 

Callie: [00:13:00] Yeah. Tell me more about that .

Kitty: [00:13:02] As part of your advanced directive. If you have an estranged family, you can give ownership of your body to someone you trust.

Callie: [00:13:09] And you can also play in your own funeral.

And if you’re one of those folks who doesn’t really care about what your funeral looks like, I would encourage you to make a plan anyways, because that’s a burden you can take off of your loved ones so they can just have a thing. That says like, okay, here’s what to do. So even if you don’t care, I think this is still a good thing to do.

So I asked Kitty to share with me what their funeral would look like.

Kitty: [00:13:37] So part of me visions it as kind of, when I think about it in my mind, I see it as kind of like a movie. So my body will be preserved at home. So probably on some ice and prepared by my family. We’re going to have a home wake. Which my look and death, ideally, it would be a funeral share-out so it’s biodegradable.

So it’s not gonna be any polyester stuck in the earth for who knows how long. They take me out to the cemetery and they gather around and they start making a playlist together. Of songs that remind them of me. And I told I’ve told my loved ones. It does. I do not care how ridiculous the song is. I do not care if it’s like something you want to shake your ass to versus something that you want to stop too.

If you want to put Megan the stallion on the playlist, I fully welcome it. I love Megan, the stallion.

Callie: [00:14:29] Love that. 

Kitty: [00:14:31] And then they’ll start digging if they are in the right head space and feel ready to begin, they don’t have to start digging until they feel ready. 

Callie: [00:14:41] Yeah. And so it’s because, you know, that’s something that they.

People often say about funerals is that, you know, depending on what your religious beliefs are like, obviously if you don’t believe in an afterlife when your dead, obviously you don’t really care anymore. And so like what they often say about funerals is that they’re more for the people left behind. And so you’re, you’re creating sort of a ritual for them to go through as well.

It’s not just about you. 

Kitty: [00:15:08] Oh, most definitely. Like, I, I don’t believe in an afterlife. I believe that we go into the great void and are nothing more. And I find that incredibly comforting. But if you believe in an afterlife and you find that comforting, who am I to say that you can’t have your own rituals, you know?

Callie: [00:15:20] Right. 

Kitty: [00:15:22] But as they’re digging, I want them to share stories about me and share weird things. 

Callie: [00:15:27] Are there stories or quotes you hope come up? 

Kitty: [00:15:32] There’s one story I really hope comes up. It involves roller Derby because I am a walking stereotype. 

Callie: [00:15:41] Are you cool sharing that story? 

Kitty: [00:15:43] Oh, most definitely. So my partner likes to text me.

Well, one of my partners likes to text me and play by plays as, um, as I play roller Derby. And so one day, um, he was in the stands and I was playing and I don’t have my phone on me, so I can’t see what he’s sending me. And he sent me a GIF of Pikachu, smacking another Pokemon out of the air with its tail.

And in that moment, Had just knocked a girl out of the, out of her apex 

jump and she had just hurt her ankle and I was freaking out and he sent me, Oh, no, not, I didn’t tell you to do that. So I always said it was his fault. If he hadn’t sent that GIF, I hadn’t seen it, but it influenced me. I know it did.

And then once they get to, as about as deep as I think, like nine feet is the typical grave depth, nine feet, six feet. 

Callie: [00:16:39] I have no idea. I think six, but I don’t, I don’t know. 

Kitty: [00:16:43] I’m studying to be a mortician, not, not dig graves, but if I have to do grapes, I’ll do it. But, and once they reach a depth, I want them to say a few words, you know?

Cause it’s. It’s time for them to share their thoughts and feelings on me. 

Callie: [00:16:57] Right. Right. 

Kitty: [00:16:58] If it turns into a roast, I won’t be mad. You know, it’s not like I can say anything. It’s not like I can feel anything it’s just. 

Callie: [00:17:06] Right. 

Kitty: [00:17:07] I’ll be dead. But then I want them to each tuck, a local wildflower into my funeral, shroud.

And then they’ll just, um, the last song in the playlist, I have it picked out his last words of a shooting star by Mitski. 

Callie: [00:17:24] Okay. And why, why that song?

Kitty: [00:17:26] It’s very slow and it’s it’s mourning what’s lost, but it ends in goodbye. You know, it’s just saying goodbye. 

Callie: [00:17:36] That’s rad. 

Kitty: [00:17:37] And then once they lower me into the ground and they’ll head back to my place to have a potluck.

Callie: [00:17:42] Hell. Yeah,

Next up. I talked to my friend Pax. You might remember them a long time ago. I did an episode with them about the death of their brother.

Pax: [00:17:58] When I was kid, like when I was like probably seven or eight, I got really into Egyptology. Like super into it. I thought mummies were the coolest thing. When I was like nine. I could tell you the exact process of how to make a mummy and why you can’t do it anymore because XYZ plants no longer exist in the nature in the system, like all of this stuff.

And I’ve just like, I remember from a really early age, like watching national geographic about the Iceman and the, the mummies in the Andes. Those were really formative for me. And even younger than that, we lived in Dayton, Ohio, and there’s a children’s museum there and the children’s museum in Dayton has a mummy, and I was always terrified and curious about it.

And it was just one of those things that really captivated me early on. And then for like a 10 year span, I wanted to be an archeologist. And that was kind of like the intro to death for me to connect it to modern death, to be perfectly honest. I’ve had a lot of death in my family and it’s not like I focus entirely on it, but it’s something that I have dealt with and like, When the subject comes up, I’m like, Hey, there’s some stuff that you should know if you’re curious about it.

My, the part of death that I am interested in is how we do it. Care of our dead and dying. That’s really important to me.

Callie: [00:19:48] And why is that?

Pax: [00:19:51] Last year? We actually just passed the one year anniversary of it. My aunt Cindy died. She had cancer. We had thought she had taken care of like she had done chemo and all of her radiation treatment and her hair had all fallen out and she was finally growing her hair back.

And then she started to get sick again. And it was, I want to say around this time, last year, just, just a little bit, it was in August of last year, but I can’t remember the date because I am bad at dates. And I remember my aunt Laurie, who is a very rigid person. She doesn’t have the fluidity of this person is dying.

There’s nothing I can do about it except make them comfortable. She was very much in a, what other treatment can we do, how can we stop this? Not wanting it to happen, which I understand because Cindy was her youngest sister, but. I was looking at it through the lens of what is best for Cindy. She is in epic amounts of pain.

She is sick with this terrible thing that they can’t do anything about. And she’s dying. There’s nothing I can do about it, except comfort her. That’s what I want to do. Not try to find a treatment. For something that I know I can’t treat, you know, Um, and I’ve seen that a lot with, um, when I was really, young, my uncle drew died, he had down syndrome, his liver and kidneys failed.

There was a point at which we all realized. There’s nothing more we can do in a hospital bed appeared in my grandmother’s house and that’s where he passed away. You know, my nano was the same, the same way he had mesothelioma. I remember his hospital bed at my Nana’s house and I took care of him there.

But with Cindy, it took so much effort to get her to a place where she was being just taken care of and not forced into more treatment. That it, it really affected me like, cause I was younger when my nano and my uncle died, but being, you know, almost 30 when my aunt died. It was like, I finally had the capacity to understand death affects the living, but it is happening to the person who is dying.

And I guess that’s when I really started looking into how we take care of our dead and dying. And when I really decided that I wanted to get involved in the funeral industry. Cause part of the way that I dealt with Cindy’s death was I started watching Ask a mortician on YouTube. And, uh, the lady who runs that channel is a licensed mortician in the state of California.

Her name is Caitlin Dodi. Uh, she has written three books. I have all three. I listened to them on audio book when I’m driving usually. Um, and she has some very good, I think. Information that she provides and resources, and it was just really, um, soothing for me to listen to her and to learn things and to kind of understand.

The steps that are taken when someone is dying and when someone has died, I just, in that point, I just needed information to kind of get through it, you know? Um, so at that point, I, I kind of, I asked my mom. Would it have been like when my brother had died, which we talked about a long time ago. And then I kind of, I avoided I avoid talking to my grandparents about this because they’re in their eighties and they’re the, just this side of death anyway.

So I don’t want to stress them out anymore, but I kind of asked mom how. How it was for them to arrange everything. And, uh, she explained to me what it was like, and then what it was like for Cindy. And that’s really when I decided like, uh, it was months after it had happened, but she told me that she had been in the room holding my aunt’s hand when she passed away.

And I was really happy that it had been my mom and not my aunt Lori, because my aunt Lori probably would’ve had a breakdown and we, uh, probably would had to hospitalize her. 

Callie: [00:25:35] Yeah. 

Pax: [00:25:37] Um, it’s I don’t know. I just really want to get in to the funeral industry to advocate for dying people. If that makes sense. Totally. Like, um, for awhile, I was looking at becoming a funeral director, um, which is surprisingly harder than you might suspect. Uh, but something that kind of pings a little bit. More with me is a death doula.

And I, a doula is somebody who is kind of like a midwife. This is a really strange way to explain it, but it’s, it is those things. Like if you know what a doula is, you know, but if you don’t, it’s kind of like, it’s like a midwife, but we’re there for the mom instead of the baby, right? Taking care of what the mom needs to be comfortable to be in the best place to deliver the baby.

A death doula is like that for the dying person. Their position their job is to make sure that that person is like the say you’ve been diagnosed with a horrible incurable cancer and it’s stage four. And there’s nothing that can be done. It’s inoperable. It’s gross. It’s terrible. Okay. Dusk doula could be hired by yourself or your family.

To come in and, and make sure that all of your paperwork is signed, like your, your advanced directive, uh, make sure that your will is in order, get some stuff, maybe pre sorted for Goodwill or donation or, you know, whatever, while you are still in your right mind, make sure that all of these things are clearly laid out.

So that there is no question about what you want done. And then through the process of dying, they, um, ensure that you are physically comfortable, that you are in a good mental space for. Like, if you’re scared, they talk to you about that. If you’re perfectly comfortable with it, they make sure that you have the pillows that you want, that the candle you want are there.

Do you want flowers? We’ll get flowers, you know, that kind of thing. Um, and it’s more about the person who is going through the death than it is about the family. Because not to sound callous. That’s what therapists are for. 

Callie: [00:28:29] Yeah, no, that makes total sense. 

Pax: [00:28:32] What I wish had been available for Cindy and for my nano and for my uncle was someone like a death doula.

To make it, you know, a little less scary for them to go through. So, um, right now I’m, uh, trying to raise money to get a license, uh, to go through my courses and actually get a death doulaship. Uh, so I can do that for people. So that’s, that’s my goal at the moment.

Callie: [00:29:06] And so talk to me about what, what your thoughts and your plans are for yourself. Right? Cause if you’re advocating for this for other folks, I’m guessing this is probably a thing you’ve thought a lot about for yourself. Do you have a plan for yourself? 

Pax: [00:29:20] I do. I actually have a few plans for myself because one of them is contingent on a specific kind of, uh, dealing with my body. Being legal currently, it’s only legal in the state of Washington. I would love to be composted and I would love to have my composted me put around an apple tree. Uh, so that my body can feed a tree that then provides for others. That is just really beautiful for me. That is something that I think would be perfect.

Yeah. Um, I would also prefer to have a home funeral. I don’t want to be embalmed. I don’t. Want any of that. I’d like to be laid out in my home with flowers, my garden, and then I want to be composted and given to a tree. That’s ideal barring that if for some reason, composting is not legal in my state by then, it’s a, it’s actually called recomposition is the correct term for it.

I apologize. Um, it is legal in the state of Washington and I believe California is on the roster for it. Like it’s, it’s hit the, their governmental body, um, barring that I’d like to be cremated and spread over an orchard with the theme again, of providing for others. Um, that, that is my goal in death. 

Callie: [00:31:07] So where do we start?

We gotta make a plan. Right? So that’s what I did. I use this site called cake. It’s at joincake.com. That’s a delightful name for a death website. You a, you create a profile and you decide who you want to share it with. And then you go through their checklist. There’s a fair amount to consider, but the whole thing only took me like.

20 minutes. And so here’s how I envisioned things. Of course, I’m hoping I die like decades from now in my sleep or something, but who knows, I don’t believe in an afterlife or that there’s any spiritual significance to how my body is dealt with or anything. I’d love to have my body donated to science. I really like the idea of my last contribution to the world being to help medical research.

But I looked into it and there’s a few interesting things to note. They won’t take your body. If you’ve donated organs, there are certain health conditions that will disqualify you. Obesity being one of them. My BMI technically measures me as obese, as bullshit as BMI is. So would they even take me? Uh, I also really want to donate my organs.

Like if my organs can keep someone else after I die, that’d be so rad. So. I had to sort of make an if then plan. My first preference is that my organs be donated, but organ donation is tricky too. There are lots of things that disqualify you from donating your organs and the way you die can be one of them.

So even if the rest is good, if I die in a certain way, that disqualifies me. So. If they want my organs, I want to donate them. And the rest of me can be cremated. So Celes can have a bit of me left behind if they don’t want my organs, I want my body to be, you don’t need it. Like I said, I like the idea of contributing to medical research.

And if I can’t donate my organs, if they don’t want my body, I’m happy to just be cremated and kept around and a jar where a piece of me can be near someone. I love. And I pictured my funeral as a sort of casual affair, please, for the love of God, wear whatever you want, if you want to get fancy. That’s cool.

I love that if you want to wear sweatpants and a tee shirt with bedhead. That’s cool. I love that too. I want my funeral to be like an event I’d want to come to, right? People can be themselves. You can laugh, cry, be vulnerable, and just like, feel safe, feeling whatever feelings are there. I want people to make super crude jokes about me dying.

I want people to tell stories about me. I want there to be good food and drinks, and I even want to make a custom cocktail menu for my funeral. I think that’d be a lot of fun. Uh, so, you know, eat good food. Drink, good drinks, tell good stories and love each other a bunch. That’s really all I want. And the important but less exciting details before this week is out.

I am going to fill out an advanced directive and living will. I want it clear that Celes then my mom, then her mom should be the decision makers. I’m having a conversation with each one of them about what I want. So they know I’m giving the master password to my password manager to Celese. To make sure she doesn’t have problems dealing with digital stuff.

If you live in the United States, you can just Google advanced directive with the name of your state and then living will with the name of your state, just to see what you need to do. And it’s surprisingly simple. It’s just like filling out some forms and having them notarized. And most of the time you can get that done at a bank.

Even if you don’t have an account. There is my understanding outside of the U S I’m honestly not sure how it works. I love you though. My outside of the U S friends, even being in a better head space lately, I was worried that this would be an uncomfortable process. And to be clear, I’m in love with living.

I want to live a very, very long time. Thinking about dying for me has been a really uncomfortable thing in the past, but this time it felt different after I filled out my plan and shared it. After I talked with Celes, I felt a really deep sense of comfort. I’m in a privileged position, being surrounded by friends and family who loved me.

But if you’re not so lucky, this might be even more important for you. You can specify who has the rights to your body when you die are transphobic and homophobic family members don’t have to be the ones to make those decisions. And I think that’s super important. There’s a lot, we don’t know about death and some of those questions we’ll just never know until it happens to us.

Right. But there are questions we can answer. And part of making ourselves feel better about a thing is working on the questions we can answer and taking control of the things we can control. And I think making a death plan for yourself and sharing it with your loved ones is a really important way of doing that.

So I am really glad I did it, and I actually feel a lot better having done it, even though I expected it to be kind of uncomfortable. Thank you, Pax and Kitty for your stories and for your insights. And thank you, my friend for listening. If you want to help keep these stories coming and to help Celes, Wedge and I stay housed and fed, please consider heading to patreon.com/queersplaining, making a per episode donation to help support the show and Kiki story’s coming a share or shout out on social media, be as a big help too. It all helps. And it’s all deeply appreciate it. Before I go. I want you to know that if you’re lost, you’re hurting, you’re scared. If you feel like no one cares and no one understands.

You need to know there’s a community out here that loves you cares for you knows that you’re capable of amazing things and that you are worthy of love. If you’re struggling, please, don’t be afraid to reach out until next time friend. My name is Callie Wright and this is Queersplaining.


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