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Monday, June 27, 2011

Really Most Sincerely Dead - Or Not?

            “Chris, will you please make sure I’m dead before you bury me?”

            “I guess I could try to do that. Are you thinking of going anytime soon?”

            “Not really, but you never can tell.”

            “That’s true. But I don’t think there’s any doubt these days about whether or not a person is dead. They check to make sure that both your heart and brain have stopped before they pronounce you dead now.”

            “Um…yeah. I would have thought so, too. But this very week there was a woman in Russia who was pronounced dead after she had a heart attack. When she woke up two days later, she was lying in an open casket, surrounded by weeping family, and having the service for the dead said for her.”

            “That must be unpleasant. I bet her family was glad she was still alive, though.”

            “Uh huh. Unfortunately, the shock of finding herself attending her own funeral brought on another heart attack. Even though she was taken right from her coffin to the hospital, she died 12 minutes after she arrived there.”

            “That’s terrible. That poor family.”

            “I know, right? You know, she was exactly my age. The whole story kind of creeps me out.”

            “Are they sure she was really dead the second time?”

            “It says they were sure she was dead. But that’s what they said the first time. Which brings me back to my original question: Will you please make sure I’m really most sincerely dead before you bury me?”

            “Of course I will,” my husband answered comfortingly. “I’ll even tie a string around your finger and attach the string to a bell up on the surface, so that if the bell rings we’ll know you’re still alive and we can dig you back up.”

            “That’s comforting. How long are you going to sit there in the cemetery listening for the bell to ring?”

            “Oh. I guess it depends on the weather. You wouldn’t want me to catch my death of cold sitting in the snow or anything, would you?”

            “I might. I mean, if I do ring the bell and there’s no one there to hear it, that means I’ll continue to be buried alive. I’ll probably be cursing you by then.”

            “OK, forget the string thing. How about if I get a second opinion on the diagnosis of death? That way I’ll be sure you’re really dead before I bury you.”

            “I guess that would be acceptable.”

            “Or we could let your corpse rot until it’s clear you aren’t going to need it again.”

            “That would be acceptable, too. Thanks.”

            “No problem, love. You do realize, though, that I’ll be going first. The man always dies first.”

            “I hadn’t thought of that. If you go first, I promise I’ll make sure you’re dead before we bury you. We really should ask the boys to take care of this for us. What if we go together?”

            “Aw Vic, you’re such a romantic.”

            “I know,” I answered. “It’s because I really love you.”

            “I love you, too. Can we stop talking about this now? It’s depressing and disturbing.”

            “It is?”

            “Yes. And strange and creepy.”

            “OK. But you will make sure I’m….”

            “Yes. Enough already.”

            “Fine.”

            “Perfect.”       

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/24/woman-dies-at-her-own-funeral_n_883907.html

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