The Will

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I found out that a co-worker of mine died yesterday.

She was in her late 30's, and had been working at the company since 1988. She was an extremely likeable person, I don't think I ever saw her angry. Helpful and kind, she was the kind of person that you could always call for assistance in her department. She died due to complications during elective surgery at a New York City hospital.

When I had my leg surgery, I remember going into the hospital trying to keep a stiff upper lip. I was dropped off at the hospital by Matt, and kept my composure as best I could. In the waiting room I was fine, watching TV in a cotton gown, with the special sock slippers they give to keep your feet warm. They got me on the bed, and did some checks. I looked around and the room was like a conveyor belt of people getting prepped for surgery.

This wasn't like some TV show hospital. This was like being in a factory, people just getting ready on a conveyor belt. At that moment, I started to feel uneasy about this whole thing. As I looked around the room, I just didn't like how shabby the whole place was - with boxes piled up haphazardly, the thread-bare cotton sheets on the bed and the linoleum floors that look like they haven't been replaced since 1963.

I felt very alone.

They wheeled me into the operating room, and it was what I expected. The bright lights, the machines and then my gaze looked at what was on the tray next to me. Sharp pointy stainless steel instruments designed to slice my leg open.

This is where the enormity of the situation started to fall upon me. Up until this point the whole "leg operation" was a quasi-reality to me. It was something that I knew I had to do, there was no avoiding it, and with a stalwart determination I was going to keep that macho bravado the whole way.

That was the gameplan until I saw the sharp pointy stainless steel instruments, coupled with the beep-beep-beep heart monitor next to me. I realized that I may not wake up.

Thoughts raced through my dead. I never wrote a Will. What would happen when if I died? How will my friends I know from online games know I died? What will they do with my body? What kind of funeral would they have? What will they do with my money?

I didn't make any plans, I didn't tell anyone this. I felt a cold tear trickle down the side of my face, moments before the anesthesia took effect.

I never really thought about my death and its implications.

I don't have a wife, nor do I have children. I certainly don't have a fortune in my bank account, but I do have a nice nest egg for a single 33 year old guy.

One thing I know is that I don't want to have a depressing funeral. I'm not a big fan of graves. I think to stand there, looking at my headstone and grieving sounds silly to me. Wait a year after my death, rent an bar, invite my friends and family and tell silly stories about me. "Remember the time that Furey...", should start each person. You have a year to think of your favorite story about me. Take a shot of alcohol, and tell it to everyone. No tears allowed.

I'd rather be creamated. I just couldn't, or wouldn't want some gloomy open casket funeral of me with my hair parted on the side, and everyone dressed up in stuffy suits quietly discussing my life. Take my ashes and give a part to each surviving family member to spread somewhere that best reminds them of my life.

I would certainly hope someone spread my cremated remains in Ocean City, NJ. Just toss my ashes into the Atlantic ocean at 23rd street. It would also be a nice if someone snuck on to the field at Lincoln Financial Field and put my ashes in both end zones. I fully expect that someone would take a trip to Florence and throw the dust into the Arno River. Finally I hope that someone would make the trek back to Richboro. It seems that my most fond memories are growing up in Tanyard Farms, and if you can find the hidden road, just throw it back there in the weeds and overgrown thatch. My spirit will just play back there like I used to as a child.

As for my assets, just send in Brad in there to divide and conquer. I hope that he keeps anything he likes, along with Matt. Sell the rest. Take any money I have and invest it in a mutual fund. When each nephew or niece of mine reaches 18, 1/8th of the money to be used towards their college education. If the Eagles ever reach a Super Bowl again, take 1/8th to buy 3 tickets for Brad, Matt and Kevin. They must go, because when they win it Dad & I will be there celebrating also. I'm fairly sure my jinx stops once I die.


On the anniversaries of my death, cook up a good Italian meal (Just don't forget to have lamb every once in a while!), pop open a great bottle of red wine and a bottle of tawny port. Savor the enjoyment of the finer things in life!


awe-- I would take your money :)

sorry about the co-worker- I went thru a horrible thing myself a year and half ago when my friend bill and his wife and 3 year daughter were crushed in freak accident. I feel for ya. Prayers out to her!!!

and I seem to remember calling you to say I was thinking of you when you went in for surgery.

So sorry to read about your co-worker. Losing her life over elective surgery is tragic.

I have had a Will since I bought me first house when I was 23. Like you, I am spouseless and childless. I have money set aside for an incredible party after the funeral. I don't want people to be sad about my death, I want them to celebrate my life the way I did...drunk and happy.

A Will only costs a hundred bucks or so, so there is no excuse not to have one.

Agreed Cass, I need to get a will.

Also lots of people have called and emailed me after this entry (which was very nice of them), and I want to point out that lots of people offered to come with me to the hospital.

My point about "being alone" was more in reference that I didn't have a 'special someone' in my life - it was just me. The same way it has been for 33 years now. 99% of my life I have the invulnerability shield up, but in that sterile room the realism of life came crashing down only moments before they put me under...this could be it...

I think it's shocking that your co-worker died from elective surgery. That's a little different from going in for leg surgery (sorry..).
I'm wondering if "elective" means plastic surgery or something along those lines: at a NYC hospital (which are usually the best in the country), it should be unheard of that someone in their 30's dies from such misconduct. I hope there is some publicity on what happened, sounds like gross negligence or anesthesia mistakes--scary!

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on October 19, 2005 12:49 AM.

God Is On Our Side was the previous entry in this blog.

Week 7: The Newest Jinx of Jinxes is the next entry in this blog.

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