Stipulations for a Contemporary Will
Dearly beloved, you are gathered here today to divvy up my stuff. To cry (possibly), to laugh (hopefully), and to respect my last wish: that I be buried in a seapunk coffin engraved with the words “only god can judge me, lol.”
While I am, for the most part, happy to let you take my funeral in whatever direction you choose (as a starting point, consider: group dance), I have a few conditions in addition to the standard business of my will that I hope you will (ha ha) (bit of clerical humor for you there) respect. To that end:
In the event of my sudden death, please delete: my internet search history; selfies folder (saved as “Cultural Theory PDFs”); the secret Tumblr I use to talk to teens about their feelings and watch obscure Japanese pornography; my Twitter drafts — they are deader than I am.
Please cancel my gym membership, as well as my New Yorker and “Cheese of the Month” subscriptions. Do NOT cancel my appointments with my psychic.
It is my wish that any remaining funds in my accounts are to be donated to an important arts charity or scholarship program. “The Singular Sandwich Endowment for Struggling Artists” has a nice ring to it and should be amply funded by what is left of my finances. If I die in the next few days, the program may even be able to afford two sandwiches, and the chosen artist can save one for dinner or share with a friend, whichever they prefer. Remember me as a philanthropist.
In regards to my possessions, these may be distributed amongst whoever would like them. It would be best if some kind of Internet Pervert was given my underwear; it seems the nicest thing. The same goes for my shoes; if we are all being honest with ourselves, it is not worth it to buy cheap ones three times a year when proper, well-made shoes can be bought as an “investment piece” for roughly the same price. Please place the iPhone case I made out of Lisa Frank stickers in some kind of Very Important Museum, where it belongs.
Emily, please get the bag under my bed that we talked about and throw it into the sea without looking. Only you can do this, Emily. The world needs you. There isn’t much time.
Access to my Facebook profile should be limited, in the immediate aftermath of my death, to the very literate and deeply poetic. Those substituting “u” for “you” will be blocked immediately by the executor of my posthumous personal brand. Photos captioned with anything other than the words “Too Beautiful For This World” will be likewise deleted. Under no circumstances is anyone to start a memorial hashtag.
In place of a eulogy, please simply play “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush in its entirety, then sit in silence contemplating how, if you think about it, my life was really very similar to hers.
If possible, arrangements should be made for that ancient Egyptian thing where you are buried with your favorite people and possessions. This will involve filling my casket with the following: as many types of cheese as reasonably possible, with an emphasis on goat and other softer, spreadable varieties; Joan Didion or her collected works, whichever is available; that one pair of jeans from 2008 (Emily will know); matte MAC lipstick in “All Fired Up”; a very old copy of The Count of Monte Cristo; and Benedict Cumberbatch (space permitting).
In lieu of flowers, please send wine (to heaven).
The funeral party should be advised that all of the following are adequate grounds for immediate haunting by my vengeful ghost: suggesting to other attendees that I “lived to party,” referring to any element of the burial service as “millennial,” peeping into my seapunk coffin like a little peeping peeper, the wearing of kitten heels.
Do not weep for me, sweet friends. As in life, so in death: I am getting drunk and watching Netflix with the angels in heaven. Pour out a pizza for this homie, and Emily, please get rid of that bag before it’s too late.
Monica Heisey is a writer and comedian from Toronto. She likes cats, but so does everybody.