Friday, April 13, 2012

Oh, Death

by Meredith Cole

It's true. Mystery writers are obsessed with death. We spend hours at conferences talking about great ways to kill people. Not that WE would actually do it to anyone, we're just curious. And we might need a creative way to knock someone off someday in a book.

So how would I not like to die? You name it, really. All the women in my family live until their 90's, so I've always figured that if I avoid mob hits, asteroids and texting drivers, I'll live long enough to know my great-grandchildren. I hope so, anyway.

Which reminds me of a joke: I want to die like my grandfather, peacefully in my sleep. Not screaming terrified like the other driver.

I think the worst deaths are the undignified ones. Or is all death undignified? Anyway, there is something remarkably horrible about someone dying on the toilet or in ladies undergarments. I still remember reading a story about an elderly man whose outhouse broke and he spent a week in the, er, hole, until he was rescued. He described snakes and rats and, um, the smell. I imagine he prayed for death. But luckily the mailman thought to peek down there when he didn't see him for awhile and he was spared. That's the kind of death I'd like to avoid.

Instead I'd like to die surrounded by loved ones, and have a chance to say something profound and meaningful to all of them. Without too much pain, please. And definitely no sewage.

But for the last word on death, I'll leave you with this amazing rendition of "O, Death" by the incredible Ralph Stanley.


Terrie Farley Moran said...

Thanks for the song.

Meredith Cole said...

You're welcome, Terrie! Ralph Stanley is amazing...

Reece said...

I agree with you Meredith -- death and sewage should not go together (see my post from earlier in the week). Nice post.