Advance Directive – or Reuse, Reduce, Recycle



Take my heart,
if they deem it worthy,
my lungs and liver.
Use my kidneys and eyes.
Slice up my brain
and look at the lacy lesions.
Learn, study, save people if you can.

After tissue is taken,
cremate what remains.
Dispose of my ashes
somewhere lovely.
Mix me into the earth to plant a tree.
Sprinkle me in a stream.
Scatter me in the woods where I liked to hike.
Heck, you can divide me up,
have people use my ash
to condition their garden soil
or scare off raccoons.
I don’t care how,
just make use of what is left of me.

If my hardware survives the reduction,
Andrew has requested intact bits —
screws and such —
so he can save himself a dime,
…fix a railing
…build a bookshelf.

I don’t want a headstone
in some tended graveyard.
If anything, I’d rather have a bench
placed somewhere helpful
that people can rest on.
I care not about
some lasting memorial.
If it gives other people comfort,
let them do what they must.
It is all about them now.

…But, shield yourself with my stated preferences
if folks become disagreeable and argue.
They might get prickly
as they work through their feelings
about me being gone.
Be patient with them.
Remind them this is just another day
to the universe;
what matters most is kindness.

Please have a party with really good music.
Make an awesome playlist,
let guests take it home as a party favor.
Please dance. Eat cookies.
Read some poetry.
Tell everyone how much I loved them.
Folks should hug a lot.
Real hugs, long and warm.
Let them laugh.
I loved it when they laughed.

Encourage people to come dressed how they want,
in whatever makes them feel their best and happiest.
They should arrive looking like their favorite selves —
ball gowns or business suits,
sports shorts or yoga pants,
unicorn-barfing-rainbow costumes.
Tell them I wish they’d dress like this all the time.
They are gorgeous
just as they want to be.

Ask people to do something randomly nice
for someone that day.
And maybe on some other days, too,
if they happen to think of me.

Assure them I will always be there
when they are dancing
or singing or playing music
or writing something meaty that they care about.

Maybe go outside.
Strike that. Definitely go outside.
Look at the sky.
Look at the trees.
The world is really pretty.
Tell them I’m part of that now
and I’m delighted by that notion.

And please remind everyone
about how much I enjoyed the ride.
As messy and hard as it often was,
it was amazing.
I’m grateful
I got to experience every painful
and blissful bit of it.

Thank them. Thank them for everything.
They were the ones
that made my life so very extraordinary.

Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 5



5 responses »

  1. I agree with Carol – this is beautiful. You moved me to tears and … your words expressed so many of my thoughts on this subject as well.
    Have a lovely day word girl ❤️

  2. The first one I did as a test and now I can finish. The poem is such a reminder of life and giving back of the gifts we were given–it really touched me. Thank you, Julie.

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