Suppose God/Buddha/Mohamed/Mother Earth-whoever you see as your higher power, informed you that you could choose your own death, what would you pick? You can choose anything quiet or dramatic, inside or outside, alone or with a thousand bystanders-what would you choose?
Everyone always says they hope they die in their sleep, but how boring is that? We only have one chance at it; why not go out with a bang? Speaking of which, I told my kids that instead of dying in my sleep, I wouldnâ€™t mind if I died via drive-by shooting. I think it would give my kids a great story to tell for years.
â€œMy mom lived such a boring life, such an achingly routine life, how could this have happened?â€ my kids would wail.
The T.V. news anchors would report in hushed tones while cameras rolled with footage of the outline of my body in chalk in the driveway â€œThis middle aged woman was simply bringing her groceries in to the house when a car full of alleged strangers pulled up and popped 45 caps in her head. Authorities are still investigating whether or not it was drug related.â€
My kids would not be able to have an open casket, what with the 45 caps and all, so they would have a memorial service for me instead, sobbing about how I never even smoked cigarettes much less become involved in anything illegal.
It would be dramatic…very dramatic.
I was remembering Steve Irwin and thinking that as deaths go, his was probably pretty sweet being stung in the heart by a giant stingray. It seems somehow more appropriate than if he died of something like Diabetes. How mundane for such a lively character.
Remember The Great Wallendas? This was a high wire act that performed all over the world. Karl Wallenda, the patriarch of the group, died in 1978 as he fell to his death from the high wire during a performance. Would he have wanted to die of congestive heart failure, really?
He was quoted once as saying â€œLife is being on the wire, everything else is just waitingâ€.
Heâ€™s still waiting I guess.
Michael Findlay, a horror film maker, died after being decapitated by a helicopter blade on roof of the Pan Am building in New York, City.
Timothy Treadwell was eaten to death by Grizzly bears after spending the previous thirteen years painstakingly photographing the grizzlies.
Stanford White, the architect that designed Madison Square Garden, died after being shot while attending an event at Madison Square Garden.
Let me pose a few scenarios you may want to consider:
â€¢ Sudden cardiac arrest at the top of the Millenium Force roller coaster?
â€¢ Deadly aneurysm while parachuting out of a plane above the Grand Canyon?
â€¢ Being hit by lightening just after catching the biggest fish of your life?
â€¢ Overcome by a deadly virus, just after discovering a cure for it?
I’ve posed this “if you could choose” question to many people. For the most part the response was an uncomfortable laugh.
One person said that they would like to die while saving someone elseâ€™s life. Another said she would like to die after having the best sex of her life. Someone else told me she didnâ€™t want to think about it and yet another said they wanted to live forever.
The best answer came from my daughter Angela who said she would want to die laughing, and take a few people out with her.
Laughter is great medicine and I think it may prevent premature death.
Iâ€™m hopeful, but Iâ€™m also not loitering in my driveway very often these days. .