Afterlife

TW: death, mortality, suicide, grief.
I wrote this today while I was waiting for the pharmacist to sort out my prescription.
It’s a bit morbid… but I think about these things every day so it’s good for me to write it down to show my psychiatrist.


I hope I’ll be alive to see who visits my grave.

When I get to the underworld, I hope that Hades is kind enough, or evil enough, to give me updates about who has wept at my graveside and who hasn’t visited once.

Even when I’m dead, I’ll still be listening hard to hear you say, “I’m sorry” because maybe your apologies will sound less hollow and more believable when I’m drowning in the river Acheron.

I suspect that I’ll be surprised by who visits my grave, who visits often, who leaves flowers or vodka miniatures, who cries, who doesn’t visit at all.

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I wonder who will speak aloud to me as if I’m still there, hyperaware of my rotting corpse six feet below them. Maybe they will speak up to the sky, thinking of me as being up in heaven, sitting on a cloud, looking down, listening. My real friends will talk down to the ground, knowing that I’m no angel, imagining me petting Cerberus and smoking a Marlboro light.

I wonder who will clean my headstone.
I wonder who will kiss my headstone.
I wonder who will vandalise my headstone.
I wonder who will spit on my grave.

I wonder who will make a habit of visiting my grave. Maybe he will visit every year on our anniversary, much to his girlfriend’s annoyance. Or perhaps she will visit me every year on the morning of her birthday so she can celebrate with me over a champagne breakfast as we did every birthday.

Who will be there when it snows?
Who will cut the grass on my plot with kitchen scissors that they’ve brought from home?
Who will clear away the dead flowers and replace them with fresh ones?
Will there be any flowers to clear in the first place?

Who will visit every year for the next 53 years, until their own death?
Which family members will visit my grave? My distant cousins? People that I’ll never meet on Earth? Members of my family that are yet to be conceived? If my brother has children, he will surely take them to my grave – and even though they never met me, they will feel sad. Isn’t that amazing?

Who is the stranger that walks her dog around the cemetery every Saturday morning, studying the plots to see if she recognises any names, pointing out my grave to her husband who trails behind and saying, “Oh, look Norman, gosh she was so young, look she was the same age as our Lucy, poor lass had her whole life ahead of her” to which he replies, “That was the young lady we read about in the papers, remember Mary?” “Oh, yes, so sad.”

Who will visit me?
Who will cry?
Who will feel guilty?
Who will be sorry?
Who will miss me?
Who will be glad that I’m gone?

I hope I’ll be alive to see what becomes of me when I am dead.

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