How To Die

DeathIf we're going to be honest here, there are really only a few real options when it comes to death: You can either die of old age (natural causes), you can happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (unlucky), or you can off yourself (suicide). Obviously there isn't too much I can't tell you about the first two that isn't common sense, and giving advice about suicide? Nuh-uh. Count me out. Aside from the occasional "I wonder what would happen if I just jerked the wheel and drove right off this overpass" style daydreaming, I haven't even thought too much about offing myself. Better to keep my mouth shut.
So pretty much what I'm left with to discuss is the accouterments of death (you know, the stuff that comes along with it), which I have broken down into three sections: 1. The Fate of Your Immortal Soul, 2. What You Leave Behind, and 3. Your Last Words.
So read on if you wish to know how to die properly.

1. The Fate of Your Immortal Soul

Souls don't exist.
Well that one was easy.

2. What You Leave Behind

Another factor of your own demise you should consider is this: After you die, your family and friends are going to have to deal with all the crap you've got lying around the house. Most people have way more stuff than they ever actually need or use, so this can be a problem. If you are one of these sorts of people and want to be respectful you should really figure out what you're going to do with all your crap before you kick off.

The Hoarder's Death

JunkHoarding (the compulsion to accumulate needless crap) often stems from feelings of insecurity or depression (more possessions equals more security and more happiness). Contrary to popular belief, people who hoard material possessions die just like the rest of us, but try telling this to a hoarder. They never listen! When faced with the prospect of their inescapable demise, the hoarder's gut reaction is more likely to be "Quick! Buy more Tony Danza memorabilia! Oh look, a novelty wicker Tony Danza lampshade!" instead of the more rational "My god, I've wasted my life buying all this Tony Danza memorabilia and in the end even he cannot spare me from the icy talons of death." But then again, it's a mental illness. What did you expect?

So hey: If you get a kick out of imagining family members spending countless hours in your home rooting through heaps of Danza trash, then go right ahead and hoard away. You might hit up ebay too, I just saw a Who's The Boss gumball machine on there for only $14.99 with FREE SHIPPING. Talk about the deal of a lifetime!

The Repentant Hoarder's Death

GrannyNearer the opposite side of the spectrum from the "classic" Hoarder lies the Repentant Hoarder. This group is usually comprised of older people who, perceiving themselves to be at death's door, will put a stop to their evil, hoarding ways, and begin to cheerful attempt to give away or sell many of their material possessions to family members and friends before they die.
I say "attempt" because most of the time these items aren't exceedingly valuable or useful, so most of the time people won't take them. What many old people fail to realize is that while entire refrigerator boxes filled with novelty shot glasses from various casinos or a hundred and six mold-encrusted Englebert Humperdink LPs might be meaningful to them, they may not be on the top of many other people's most-wanted lists.
The good thing about the Repentant Hoarder is that, for whatever reason, they have usually not accumulated quite as much junk as the True Hoarder has. So when grandpa finally does keel over, all that's left is the furniture, a few medication bottles, and probably a room's worth of family heirlooms. These things are not much of a burden to surviving relatives, as the valuables can be picked out and sold, while the purely sentimental materials can then be burned, donated to charity (pawned off), or hefted into a nearby dumpster with ease.

The Porn-Hoarder's Death

VHS TapesYet another factor of your death to consider is what will become of your pornography collection. Whether it's 50 Terrabytes worth of Scat videos on your computer's harddrive, or an entire walk-in closet stuffed with transvestite midget bondage VHS tapes, it's important to assure that any pornography you posses is not discovered by your loved-ones in their time of grief.
And don't even get me started on you people who are into kiddie porn and/or bestiality. I'll just say this: You just never know when you're gonna go, so unless you relish the idea of little Billy coming across "sex_xxx_preteen_hot_luscious_lolitas_sweet_donkey_love.avi" in your My Documents folder, I would suggest you take an electromagnet to your harddrive right away. Just a thought.

3. Your Last Words

No article on how to die properly would be complete without mentioning last works. Your last words are exceedingly important, as speaking them will likely be your last act upon this earth aside from soiling yourself while moaning. So here are a few fun ways you can screw with people while on your deathbed.

Tell a Child They're Adopted

This works best if you're a widow or a widower, but it'd probably work if your significant other is still alive as well. The idea should be obvious: With your final breaths, call your child close, and whisper to them that you've kept a secret from them all these years. Then say, "You're adopted." and die. They won't know what to think, but one thing's for sure: They'll believe you, because what kind of a sick animal would lie about a thing like that (and on their deathbed, no less). So that's why it's sure to work! It's a shame you won't be able to see the look on their face when (if) they find out you were lying though. A real shame.

Tease With Hints of a Nonexistent Treasure

DigIf you've got some greedy relatives hovering around your deathbed like vultures waiting for you to kick off, you might want to try this one. Beckon them close, and then whisper something like "My dear boy...I fear I am not long for this cold, cruel, world...the lost must find the lost storehouse...the gold...the gold of Teotihuacan...billions in coins...such riches...the". Then you will die, leaving your relatives with a costly and unsolvable scavenger hunt which they are sure to undertake. You might also hide a fake map somewhere in your room for them to find, if you want to draw it out even more. Make the destination somewhere remote. Somewhere you know they despise. You know, for laughs.

Deliberately Misquote Someone Else's Famous Last Words

For example, in an attempt to quote the (commonly misquoted) last words of the late Oscar Wilde, said "Either this wallpaper goes, or I do" the person observing your death would almost certainly wish to provide you with the actual quote "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go." but will be unable to, as you will have worked it out so that you would expire immediately upon uttering the final syllable. This will likely prove exceedingly frustrating to them. Moreover, there will also be no recourse available to them if they wish to get revenge on you, save for the desecration of your corpse, which, if I'm not mistaken, is highly illegal.

Cast Doubt Upon Someone's Faith

DespairIf the person observing your death is somewhat religious, it might be pretty funny to cause them to doubt their faith in the lord. As you're dying say, "Marcus...Marcus I need to tell you something. You know I've always been a churchgoing man, and you know my faith in the Lord God above has always been as strong as it is true...but I need to tell you something...I need to tell you that I don't see a light. Dammit I'm dying and I don't see any light! There isn't anything. There isn't anything at all. There's only darkness...only darkness...and...infinite...pain. We all die alone. We...all...unh."
Sure, they might just blow it off, but you have to admit that it would be pretty funny if they actually believed you.

So that should about wrap up your death. If you have any further questions about death and dying, the best advice I can give you is to just wait. Eventually you, or someone you know is probably going to die, and you'll probably be able to figure a bunch of stuff out then. And if not, whatever. It isn't really that important.

Afterword: Suicide is Painless

Suicide is Painless is a song which was originally written by Johnny Mandel (music) and Mike Altman (lyrics). It is best known for being featured as the theme song for both the movie and TV series M*A*S*H. The actual title, as it appears on the sheet music, is "Song from M*A*S*H (Suicide Is Painless)."
Subsequent to the song's release, Altman and Mandel were sued by the mother of a young boy who allegedly committed suicide by leaping from the roof of his Brooklyn, new York apartment complex because of the sentiment expressed in the song (i.e. suicide is painless). She posited that contrary to the message of the song, suicide is rarely painless, and in fact most methods of suicide are extraordinarily painful (see: Drowning, Suffocation, Hanging, Poisoning, Immolation, Starvation) and that if only the song would have included this information as well (she suggested perhaps an aside such as "just kidding" or "only playin'"could be added to the chorus) her son would be alive today. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

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