Tell me what happened the year I was born…

By Jane Bokun

Each year my broker sends me a card that tells me not only how old I am, but how old I am in dog years, or that I’m 1,955,923,200 in bee years.

I cover my eyes because I don’t want to know what my age on Mercury would be (258 years). I think my age now is 258 years. All these time limits give me the idea that I haven’t accomplished my lofty goal of being, say, a hit over-50 blogger who is so popular that people line up around the block for my funeral in whatever city I’m retiring in.

The year I was born

The reality, I fear, is that no one will line up for me because they don’t know me. It’s probably the same problem misanthropic people have when they die at 90. Or, the fear that no one will come because you’ve moved around so much.

Enter a friend of mine who I know will come to my funeral. This man has probably attended about 10,000 funerals in his lifetime. If I’m worried about what city I will end up living in, he will probably travel. I know that if I end up in Baghdad in a war zone, he will attend my funeral. It makes me feel comforted and like I won’t be alone in my first days of spirit form.

In the off chance that he can’t make it, there are always professional mourners that I can hire. Here in the United States, it is not generally popular, but I am thinking about it as another career. There are professional mourners who are people paid to attend funerals and pretend to be friends and family of the deceased. They are popular in places like China and are starting to take off here. These mourners are paid to create fake identities and act like they know the deceased.

Today’s funerals can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Professional mourners can make $30 to $120 per funeral. Funerals typically last 2 to 3 hours – making it possible to attend two funerals per day. I have to tell my friend there is money in this.