Death Becomes Her: An Obituary
Originally written: Monday, October 2. 2017
I’ve been writing my obituary for a few years now.
I don’t plan on dying anytime soon but shit happens and I’m a writer and I swear to God, I don’t even want to think about the things they’ll say about me when I’m dead.
Obituaries are nice. Nice. Milquetoast, even. They’re mild and placid remembrances of the deceased. but I want mine to crackle and fizz with life I lead.
She was filled with hope. Fucking brimming with it. Hope and curse words and the mad electricity of life. She loved gin cocktails with a lot of tonic, fluttering fake eyelashes and if you’re here right now - she probably loved you too.
To those she leaves behind - She’s sorry. She is so sorry that you’re not together, sharing a meal. But the next truly great meal you have? Add a little hot sauce and think of her. No Tabasco, though. I mean, come on. Honor the girl’s memory a little. Yucateca, man. It’s a game day player.
To her parents - No parent should ever have to bury a child. It’s not the natural order of things and she is so sorry that you’re suffering this way. Please be strong. Please remember how much she loved you. That she was a perfect amalgam of the both of you. That she was stubborn like Paps and clever like Mom and that both are responsible for everything good that she was. And when you remember her, do so with ambli. Actually, no. Don’t do that. It’s probably super bad for your health and doesn’t Paps’ shoulder get all messed up when he eats too much of it?
To her sister - This is the actual fucking worst because she loved you the most. You’ve been the light of her life since she can remember and she can’t remember a time without you. Why would she want to? You were the best thing that ever happened to her. You were her strength and her solace and the only person who understood gossip and good pizza toppings. She lived her life in the hopes of being smart and brave like you.
To her friends - She knows you will come out en masse. That you will wear black and cry and she asks that you please don’t shed any tears. Feel free to wear black, though. It makes everyone look so suave. You created a home for her within you and you made her feel as though she belonged to something so much greater than herself. And she did.
And to John - She loved you. Holy shit, did she love you. The way she loved the gravel and honey in Springsteen’s voice. The way she loved that apocryphal story of Charlie Watts punching Mick Jagger in the face. The way she loved your hands on her hips at every concert.
She loved you the way she loved breathing. She did it without thinking, it was constant and it kept her alive. You were elemental. Essential. As much a part of her as white blood cells and oxygen and the firing of synapses.
Being your girl was the greatest honor of her life.
And if she leaves behind her beloved Roxy, Indy and Che - be sure to tell them every day that Mommy loves them. She will always love them. That she doesn’t believe in the afterlife but that she does believe in physics and that energy cannot be created or destroyed and that she will always be with them. And to everyone who sees them from here on out - give them treats every time you do.
She was born in England and raised in Palm Beach County. Her formative years as a teenager and her formative years from 30 onward when she returned to the sunshine where she belonged.
She believed in the work she did, she wrote and meant to write so much, she had dreams - she wanted to be a mom, she wanted travel the world, she wanted to learn how to make kachori - and she didn’t get to accomplish them all but no matter. Because she loved and was so fucking loved.
Do not offer your thoughts and prayers for she was a girl who knew words and wore them like a second skin. She knew their power and their futility. Instead - drink a gin cocktail, eat some Indian food or some tacos, donate money to Planned Parenthood, baby-talk to dogs or rhyme all of Juicy by the Notorious B.I.G.
She is survived by the people who loved her, a shitload of books and songs she will never hear but hopefully feel in the vibrations of the universe.
People died in Las Vegas today when a terrorist opened fire. Hundreds were injured and thousands have been traumatized.
And we won’t do anything about it. Because we never do anything about it. Because we didn’t do anything about it when a classroom full of children were gunned down and we won’t do anything about it now.
If I die in a mass shooting, I want my loved ones to send letters to Wayne LaPierre, Dana Loesch and every single elected official who got paid off by the NRA telling them that they are complicit in my death and that my fear and anguished screams should haunt every moment of the rest of the lives.
I want them to send pictures of me - as a child with my toys, playing with my dogs, the one at my birthday where I’m smiling at John, ones with my family and friends.
And then, the last one. The crime scene photo. The cold, cruel reality of what happens when someone dies of a gunshot wound and bleeds to death. The kind of base and brutal imagery used by the anti-choice nutjobs when they harass women outside of Planned Parenthood.
Send them these pictures and tell them that blood splattered on the concrete, my blood? It is on their hands and that they can choke on their mindless thoughts and disingenuous prayers.