Let’s talk about death. Hooray!

Loads of famous people are dying, aren’t they? (Clarification: famous people have actually been dying for thousands of years, e.g. Jesus).

All this death though, right? Like people are just like DYING ALL THE TIME. (Clarification: humans have always been dying all the time).

I know, let’s find a way through all this life and death jumble by reading some inspirational quotes:

“Live every day as if it were your last!”

You must NOT do this. If I did this I would never leave the house. I’d have my kids in a permanent head-lock, weeping and wailing all over them while Gwyneth (aka husband) goes out to score me some heroin (I’m nearly dead, addiction is no longer a concern) and spend the rest of my last day in a whacked-out haze, frantically eating ten thousand custard creams and texting everyone to tell them: THIS IS MY LAST DAY! I LOVE YOU! OK, BYE. According to this philosophy, I then have to get up tomorrow and do it all again…

“Be grateful for every moment!”

You must also NOT do this. As far as I’m aware, being grateful for every moment will not actually prevent you from dying. Also, if someone close to you has just died, you will feel forced to attempt to be grateful for your own aliveness every moment of the day, for about a day, until you forget and scream at your kid for drawing on the wall or call your boss a GIGANTIC TURD. This will make you feel like pure devilled shit because in forgetting to be constantly grateful you’ve somehow dishonoured the dead, or worse, speeded up your own demise…

“When life feels like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top!”

You must NOT think of this. It reminds me of childbirth. (Anything that reminds you of childbirth must be vigorously avoided – especially if you haven’t had a baby). At the beginning of each contraction the midwife told me to imagine I was at the bottom of a hill. As the pain grew, I had to climb to the top, then slide down the other side as the pain subsided. I’m not exactly a natural hill-climber. Now I was being forced to climb a hill whilst IN LABOUR. REPEATEDLY. FOR HOURS. If life feels like an uphill struggle, stop climbing the damn hill. Sit down. Have a fag. 

The only quote that’s ever helped me deal with death, came from my Biology teacher Mrs Sherrat. I had ZERO aptitude for her subject and behaved like a royal PRICK in her lessons. But after my mum died, she took me into her office one day, opened the window, gave me a fag (such a thrilling break with protocol) and said this:

“Anna, you’re probably going to go off the rails for a while. But you must try not to fuck up your life. You’re a bright girl. You can be alright again.”

(She also gave me an extension on my GCSE coursework. My topic was reproduction which I illustrated with drawings from The Joy of Sex…if Mum hadn’t just died I would have been suspended for using such graphic, hairy porn. Every cloud an’ that…)

So. When everybody seems to be dying, we should all remember the words of Mrs Sherrat:

  1. You will probably go off the rails for a bit
  2. Try not to fuck up your life
  3. You can be alright again

I think I might print that out with a background pic from The Joy of Sex and spread it all over the internet…