The Morning After…
The darnedest thing just happened. It turns out I’m dead. When I went to bed last night I was very much alive but this morning I’m very much not alive. It’s funny how things turn out.
As I’m a newcomer to this being dead lark, it did take me a while to realise I’d crept past my expiry date. I must have been staring at my own lifeless body for several minutes before the truth dawned on me.
Initially I’d just been reflecting on how much I needed a haircut which shows how slow on the uptake I was. In death, as I had been in life I know some would say.
I got there in the end but, when I did, my total lack of any experience in this area really kicked in.
If there is an instruction manual providing guidance in what to do in the event of your own death, then I’ve certainly not had the pleasure. I was rendered completely clueless. In death, as I had been in life I know some would say.
My first thought was whether the onus was on me to let someone know. It did feel like a piece of information I should probably share but I was at a loss as to how one should go about it.
I know this generally isn’t thought to be the convention on the other side of death, also known as life, but it didn’t stop me from feeling like the keeper of some guilty secret.
The second death related problem I needed a solution for was how to get down from the ceiling I was floating up against. Not that I’d ever given it a whole lot of thought but I’d always assumed I’d just be able to zoom about once my spirit broke free of the dilapidated vessel that was my body.
Apparently not, I was more helium balloon than jet pack joy ride until I worked out the mechanics of my new mobility options.
After a few false starts I did begin to get the hang of it. I was about to test whether I could travel through walls when I noticed the bedroom door handle begin to turn.
It was my wife, she was about to discover my lifeless body. I prepared myself for the impact of a dreadful shock, followed by an outpouring of emotion, but neither came. Instead she made her way slowly into the room, approached the bed, glanced at my deadness for a few seconds then simply turned and left the room.
I guess we all react differently in times of trouble.
Especially when your partner for life has died suddenly.
It was a bit weird though.
Examining my dead self wasn’t how I’d expected to spend the morning but that’s exactly what I did next.
The first thing I noticed was that I didn’t look especially peaceful, instead I looked a little annoyed. It occurred to me that this was probably how I appeared when I’d come home to find the television remote lost for the one millionth time.
I can see why this particular expression irritated the wife, I wasn’t over the moon looking at it myself. It made me appear somewhat pompous with a side order of oafishness. Not a good look, especially not when it’s the look that accompanied my dying breath.
I wonder if I was dreaming about a lost television remote control in my final moments. Quite possibly but I can’t remember now.
Obviously I took a quick peek at my genitalia and wished them a heartfelt goodbye, we’d been through a lot together after all and I would miss them greatly.
I’ll miss the rest of my body as well but maybe not quite so much.
I don’t include my right ankle in that though. Never liked it and I’m not going to pretend otherwise just because it’s a part of my overall deadness.
As I was carrying out my final inspection a number of questions began to formulate.
1. Will I still be able to watch television?
2. Can dead people eat pizza?
3. When dead people marry do they vow ‘till life do us part’?
4. How will my wife cope without me?
5. What did I die of?
What did I die of? My examination had discounted shark attack but many other reasons still remained on the table. There’ll probably be an autopsy.
Get me, having an autopsy. Who’d have thought little old me would attract the attention of the medical profession by dying. They don’t slice just anyone up you know.
Actually I’ll definitely be having an autopsy but more on that later. First things first.
Walls shmalls. I may not be able to pee standing up anymore but I can certainly pass through walls. When one door closes, another one opens I’ve heard it said. Doors are for shmucks I’ve heard me say, several times today already.
Do you like me? When I was alive most people did. Especially those who only thought they knew me.
Floating down your own stairs is fun. So much fun I floated back up them again. Then down them again.
I then passed through the living room wall where my wife and her sister were sitting watching television.
They weren’t eating pizza but they were deep in conversation.
“I’m going to have to call someone soon, he’s been gone at least a couple of hours”.
“I can do that if you like? You’re in shock, nobody would think anything of it”.
“Thanks, that would probably be best. I don’t think I can speak to anyone at the moment. I’m sure they’d see right through me”.
“You’ve done the difficult part now. He’ll be in the ground in no time and you can get on with your life”.
By now I was beginning to think I died in suspicious circumstances.
“They’ll know I did it though. I don’t know how I ever thought I could get away with it”.
By now I knew I’d died in suspicious circumstances.
“Nobody will suspect a thing. The poison you gave him just accelerated the heart attack he was bound to have eventually. He wasn’t exactly the most vigorous of men”.
Cheeky bleeder. I never liked my wife’s sister. She reminded me of my right ankle.
I’d been murdered by my wife. Disappointing news that will take me an eternity to overcome. To be honest, I didn’t think she had it in her.
If ever I needed a double pepperoni with extra jalapeños then this was it.
Then another voice, one I’d not heard before. Turning I saw what can only be described as a ghostly aberration sitting at my kitchen table.
“I’m just checking the final balance now sir. As soon as I’ve done that, we’ll be off”.
“Who are you?”
Given my traumatic day I think I can be excused a few questions.
He ignored me.
He did make some interesting noises though.
What sounded like a curse word.
What definitely was a curse word.
Eventually he did speak, I wish he hadn’t.
“Well sir, I’m afraid you’ve ended with a significant debt on your account. It looks like you’re heading for the furnaces”.
“The furnaces. Are you saying I’m going to Hell?”
This question he does answer. He’s heading for the same file as my right ankle and sister in law at this rate.
“But I’m the one who was murdered”.
“We see your wife’s actions as self defence. Your physical and mental abuse of your wife over many years demands it”.
In that moment I realised my reckoning had come, I always knew it would in the end.
There was no point arguing, he was right of course. I loved my wife but, despite appearances, I’d always hated myself. From time to time I took this out on her, I really don’t know why.
I allowed myself to be led on my final journey. As we were making our way my companion attempted some spirit world small talk.
“It wasn’t all bad you know. You had many good qualities as well”.
“Will any of them prevent me being burned in the furnaces of Hell?”
Probably for the best…