26 January 2011

0 The Plan

my family is more than a little macabre.

there's my anti stance against the entirety of the american funeral industry, my grandfather's proclivity for photographing the burials of deceased relatives and the pictures of dead people that line my father's library walls.

and then, THEN there's my parents favorite pastime: estate planning.

there are not words enough in the english language for how unprepared i am for my parents to die. it is unfortunate then that it is a business about which they are excessively enthusiastic.

my family has no shortage of enthusiasm in general as regards most things. take richard simmons, multiply him exponentially and you arrive at a fairly close approximation of my parents' overall zeal.

so when i say they are into this, what i mean is that their ardor for estate planning knows no bounds. my parents, they are ruthlessly prepared to die.

which doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement. they are constantly tinkering with The Plan and it is vigorously revised at least once a year. accordingly, nearly every time that we're together, we must conference to review the revisions and so, year after year- as though returning to a favored sunny vacation locale- we pilgrimage back to the vagaries of the ever-evolving feeding tube policy, the impact of death order on the permissability of cremation and- a particular family favorite- how the trust fund established for orphan oline will be doled out in the instance of the death of everyone else she knows.

i'm pretty sure The Plan is an elaborate coping mechanism. a means for my parents of siphoning their current worries for me into an enactable solution for the future. this, however, does make the present sometimes somewhat tense.

because occasionally i have a bad day. a day in which i would prefer my father not give a lengthy recitation of the measures put in place in the instance of his sudden death.

alas, we do not always get what we want. we do, however, learn lessons.

and in that spirit, we now know: when your child has had a bad day, the financial scenario that will unfold should both her parents deaths be followed by a ruinous house-fire is a topic, in particular, one would do best to avoid.

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