What Would Happen If I Die?

*Don’t worry, this isn’t some weird online suicide note. It’s just a thought process of what would happen if I were to suddenly die.

It happens all the time, every day, and has happened billions of times before me, so it’s safe to assume that at some point I will die.

If I had my own way, I’d prefer to die when I think it’s time (I’m a big fan of assisted suicide in old age). I think:

If I’m 80+ and all of a sudden bed-ridden from whatever cause, I believe it’d be a good time to go. Why slowly die and burden my family and self? Sure I could go on longer, but like a good comedian, I’d like to go out before the audience forces me out.

The same would be true if my life were to be dependant on others for basic functions, or if I am a vegetable. So if that situation arises in the future, I am publicly asserting it’s absolutely 100% OK with me to pull that plug! Anything that happens which burdens my family too much…yank it. No question about it.

Just for fun I ran out a thought experiment:

Cause: I’m crossing the street eating an ice cream cone when BAM I get hit by a bus. Dead.

Effect: Here are some of the effects I see happening:

  • Family/friends would be sad.
  • My blog would continue to exist (wouldn’t it be weird to be reading this blog even though I was DEAD)!?! In fact, in a weird way I’d be immortal for the 3 or 4 months my hosting company wouldn’t pull down my dedicated server for non-payment. I bet my blog would actually SPIKE in traffic as word gone around you could read a “ghost” blog! I also presume a lot of people would leave R.I.P. comments (along with spam links trying to profit off the traffic…even in death spam would be a problem)!
  • There will end up being a lot of pissed of customers at my business. While I don’t have much to do with shipping orders etc, they all pass through me. Without me there, I’m sure the business would continue accepting orders for 3-4 months before the hosting company pulls the plug. Unless someone intervened to get all the bills paid and orders sent. No one would actually be charged any money from the business, but they wouldn’t get their orders either.

It’s obvious that my main concern about dying is the ease to which my family can absorb that hit. I don’t want to die, then on top of that have THEM go through the legal work, taxes etc. to clean up my affairs. Now that I think about it, it’s actually quite selfish of me NOT to have a plan in place.

Which brings me to the conclusion I need a solid will (or at least a defined set of instructions left with the person with power of attorney over me). I need proper instructions in place to determine what will happen to my physical assets, money and businesses if I die. I’d also like every possible organ and body part harvested and donated quickly as possible (why the hell would I still need them)??

Action to take:
1.) Make a proper set of instructions to execute in the event of my unexpected demise.
2.) Legally give my parents power of attorney over everything I own if I kick the dust.
3.) Properly register as an organ donor. Apparently there’s a special registration for this…I personally think EVERYONE should automatically be an organ donor UNLESS they specifically apply NOT to be.

A few years before he died, Benjamin Franklin wrote up his own epitaph which I think is totally badass (this is the original so forgive the weird syntax):

The Body of
B. Franklin Printer
(The the Cover of an Old Book
Its Contents torn out
And stript of its Lettering & Gilding)
Lies here, Food for Worms,
But the Work shall not be lost;
For it will (as he believ’d) appear once more,
In a new and more elegant Edition
Revised and corrected
by the Author

A few people I told about this post thought it was “too much of a downer.” Why? Death is such a normal part of life, I see no reason why not to plan in case it happens, or admit that it will inevitably come.

I think Steve Jobs said it best in that famous commencement speech he made:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.