In the Event of My Death (Nancy, Do Not Read)

In the Event of My Death (Nancy, Do Not Read)
Dear Funeral Director,

In the event I die on a bull running trip (possibly July 6th-14th), you could open the funeral by saying something like “we always said Travis was full of bull.” This way, you could lighten the mood while making an edgy reference to how I died. The bull thing isn’t very likely to happen, though, because Nancy hasn’t found out about the trip yet and she’ll probably shut it down. (Please don't let her see this letter.)

I have some ideas for other scenarios, too:

In the event I die on account of my peanut allergy, you could say “Travis sure was a swell guy” (Because peanuts make my throat swell up).

If lightning strikes me, say you are feeling “struck by emotion.”

In the event I die anywhere near a whiteboard or chalkboard, say “Travis was a re-markable fellow.” (I got that one off the internet. Would you need to cite that? Don’t use it of so.)

If I get eaten by an animal or choke to death on food other than peanuts, you could open with “thank you very munch for being here.” I’m not set on that one, though, so say it only if you like it.

I’ll have a will made up one of these days, but in case I don’t get around to it:

Nancy gets the house and the car and everything else. I’m thinking about buying a Porsche Boxster/Cayman, and if I do that will go to Wes. Everything else goes to Nancy, though, or if I’m not with Nancy it goes to whoever I’m with. (If you’re reading this, Nancy, I’m sorry for writing that. You know I’d never leave you.)

If my boss Mr. Johnson is at the funeral, make sure to say something about my successful app/robot/security camera business. (I am planning to quit this Friday, June 7th, so don’t say anything about it if I die before then. It would be best to bring it up if I die a few months after this Friday, so I can really get my company going. Only say this if I die after August 7th or so, to be safe. By that point we’ll know what business I decided to start, anyway.)

In the event that I die before Hassle and Hoff—I have one request about those funeral pamphlets they pass out to everybody with the dead person’s picture and a bible verse on them. I’d like them to say “At last he gets some peace and quiet from those damned birds.” (If you think somebody might not know my birds, can you put a picture of them in the pamphlets, too? And make sure to put their names in there so people can see them.) You don’t need to put a bible verse on there.

You can put a bible verse in the pamphlet in the event that Nancy murders me. (Don’t put too much weight on this if it doesn’t happen. I don’t think she’d react that way. [Nancy, if you’re reading this, I do/did/would not mean to hurt you in any way.]) The bible verse I’d like is Judges 4:21, because it might be ironic and lighten the mood, especially if she killed me in my sleep and/or with a stake.

I have an opening line for that, too. You could sort of shrug and say “well, Travis did marry Nancy for her killer body.”

(Nancy, if you are reading this, please stop.)

If Nancy and I aren’t still together when I die, I’d like whatever girl I’m with to wear a black cocktail dress and one of those sexy hats Jackie Kennedy wore. Make sure Nancy gets invited.

Disregard this if I die of some disease, because I’ll have time to write up something more specific in the hospital. (Wearing a hazmat suit might be funny, like my body is contagious? Might not work if it’s cancer.)

In the event of my death by suicide, maybe keep things a bit more respectful.

About the Author

Mack Eisenmann is a writer and occasional dancer living in North Dakota. Her fiction focuses on feminism and gender experience.


"Hearse" a photograph by Jason Parks