The Resting Ceremony
Nobody ever knows when anyone is going to die. Until a time that is yet to be decided, as you go about your lives.
I’m ready for the Resting Ceremony. When my time comes, I will leave, exactly as I have planned.
Here’s how it’ll happen.
On Aril 26th, 20**, the End of Life Options Act, a law that will permits adults to take an aid-in-dying medication, will go into effect in Nigeria. A few months after, you will get an email from me, James a web developer at the end of a lifelong battle with depression. The subject line will read, “Phoenix rising.” I’d meet with doctors, fill paperwork, and this would be the window where I can self-administer the drug. It would be December 19th. Sunset.
From my phrasing, you would expect that it’s an invitation to a swingers party.
A number of thoughts would go through your head, “I’m not worthy,” being the most prominent of all. But if your name makes that list, there’ll be only one answer. You will RSVP as if it were an invitation to eat Ileya ram or a night out at Shaunz bar. “I’m in!”
You’ll receive rules of conduct, subject line, “The turn-up.”
1. No crying in front of me.
2. Only light interactions.
3. You all bring your own game controllers.
There will be a schedule, much like a typical hangout, which will include happy hour cocktails, beer pong and maybe a FIFA tournament (as long as condition 3. Above is met) leading up to the final ceremony.
Hopefully you’ll all have overcome your foreboding about issues like this one and not think it wrong, because it’s what I would want. You’ll think you know what it it’s like to watch someone slowly and painfully ebb away, devoured whole by their mind and that’s okay, I thought I knew organic chemistry till I almost failed it in my final year.
When people die of terminal illnesses, we cling to their precious last moments of consciousness, fearful the palliative drugs would take them away too soon. I hate to break it to you, all of suffering can be avoided if they had taken the drugs sooner.
You’d probably read a blog or even talk to people who would tell you, “protest what he is attempting, in order to give him strength to live on.” Will you be making a huge mistake?
I’ll need you to understand that your job is to have as much fun as possible, so I experience authentic joy in my final hours. All jokes must be actually funny. All laughter, legit. You will not fuck this up.
“Dying is easy. Try living in this body. That’s hard.”
You can dress to the nines for my Resting Ceremony. And really, you should review what you know would happen: at 4pm, we would have White house amala. From 5–9pm you would have drinks while picking out James souvenirs — “everything must go.” Around 9:15pm, I would don a Kimono and go into my bedroom. There we would gather as I take a jello-based concoction of pentobarbital and morphine, a barbiturate similar to what Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland took at the time of their accidental deaths.
I will go into a coma in 5 minutes, it would take 1- 48 hours to reach my final destination. Would I get it all down? Would it stay down?
When you arrive at my house you might find me laughing, surrounded by friends who will hug me and take photos. I hope there’ll be someone thoughtful enough to bake me a cake that reads, “Happy Rest Day.” My photographer friend will document everything like a wedding.
“It doesn’t matter how much time you have, it’s what you have done with what you had.”
Despite your collective uncertainty, you’ll cheer on as I sit on my nightstand. Lots of hooting and hollering, as if I’d just kissed the bride.
You’d probably all have to leave so I can consume the entire dose without distraction.
You’ll walk down the stairs and probably hear a primal scream.
I won’t be mad at you for crying.
Regardless of what it means, it is a reflection. Death has no answers, it just holds up a mirror and asks who you are and who you want to be.
After about 20 minutes you’ll get an update: I will successfully have taken all the medicine and will be in a coma. Then it will be time to leave me in peace.
You’ll be here for me and for yourself.