The Only Guaranteed Guest
The only guaranteed guest at my funeral is me.
In a sick twist of fate, if I die young, for example of cancer, a heart attack or stroke (which are the three leading causes of death in Canada and therefore my biggest threats), there may be lots of people at my funeral. Probably my partner, who is in considerably better shape than me, and my siblings, all of whom exercise and eat well. Depending on how badly I treat my body in the next thirty to forty years, even my parents could be at that party drinking watery tea and eating lemon squares that someone brought because they remembered they were my favourites.
I’d have friends – healthy, fit friends – who might come to talk about how sad my fight against the disease was, or how tragic my heart attack was.
But here’s the thing.
If I clean up my act, exercise regularly, eat lots of leafy green things and whole foods and healthy, delicious things, then maybe the only person at my funeral who is alive today would be me. I could outlive everyone. Or possibly it would be attended by a whole whack of healthy, happy great-grandbabies, robust grandchildren, and well-aged children. Maybe I would be so healthy, I’d live to 105 and I wouldn’t have Alzheimer’s and I wouldn’t have diabetes, and I would just live a long, healthy life until everyone I knew in the whole world would be younger than me.
Or maybe I’ll keep doing what I’m doing until I have a heart attack, or get cancer, or have a stroke. At this rate, I’m likely to live until 70 if I’m lucky. That’s only 40 more years. That’s bullshit.
I wear a seatbelt. Why can’t I just eat some kale now and then?
It’s time to start again. For reals this time.