Tag Archives: death

2505. Afterlife

Claudéric had a funny feeling that he’d died and yet everything was the same. He mentioned it to Marion his wife, and she said it was a funny thing but she felt the same way.

“Surely we can’t both be dead and still living in the same house in the same way,” she said.

“Well,” said Claudéric, “I mow the lawn and weed the garden every week without fail. You do many of the same household tasks such as cooking and laundry. And yet it seems exceedingly strange but I get a very clear feeling that we’re both dead, and have been so for several months.”

“Surely it can’t be true,” said Marion. “We would know one way or another if we had died. Either we would have ceased to exist and wouldn’t know anything at all, or we would be in heaven. And since we’re unaware of either condition I can only conclude that we haven’t died after all.”

“Let’s get on with life then. What a silly and unrealistic thing this has been,” said Claudéric. “Dead indeed! Goodness me!”

There was a knock at the door. “Anyone home?” shouted the policeman. “The neighbours have complained that the place is unkempt and the lawns haven’t been mowed for several months.”

2478. What is the most effective poison?

Charlene was bitterly disappointed. She had spent months researching poisons. She had gone to the library. She had scanned the internet. She even asked a professional autopsy expert what the best way was to poison a man. The professional autopsy expert was at first reluctant to impart knowledge, but in the end Charlene seemed a nice enough and pretty harmless person. She was given a list of almost impossible to detect fatal poisons that could be used.

Charlene’s husband was no help. He was an ignorant, lazy spouse. Charlene never asked him anything, and in this scenario she simply smiled despairingly. She wasn’t going to waste time with his witlessness.

In the end she narrowed it down to two poisons. To be doubly sure Charlene made an appointment to see an industrial chemist at the local woollen factory. These industrial professionals are experts at all sorts of things, and their experience in practical chemistry seems to extend their ability to explain things simply. “Which of these two poisons will be most effective and lest detectable?”

The industrial chemist was very nice. He pointed out, however, that neither of the poisons would result in death. He said that one of them if used would require the imbibing of several large containers of liquid and the other would need the equivalent of having to eat seventeen to twenty indigestible potatoes in twenty-four hours.

It was indeed a disappointment – and after all those hours and hours of research.

Charlene had had enough. She went home and threw her uncompleted novel in the trash.

2393. Angel of mercy

(The stories are back! – albeit erratically. I shall restart with a story that some readers may not like!)

It was extraordinary. Drew was more than aware that he had died suddenly. He was sitting in his armchair early on a Friday morning. Next to his armchair was a little coffee table with his mug of coffee and a slice of marmalade on toast. He had just had his first bite of toast when next thing an angel was leading him towards the gates of Paradise.

What a lovely angel! So seraphic! So kind! The angel led Drew by the hand.

“We are heading towards the Gates,” said the angel. Drew could already feel the effects of Heaven emanating towards him.

“To quote Saint Paul,” said the angel, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart the things that God has in store… You know the quotation I’m sure.”

 “Of course I do,” said Drew.

“You realize,” said the angel, “that if you hadn’t put so much salt in your food and into cooking that you could have extended your life on earth by almost two years.”

Drew hung his head in shame.

“You realize,” said the angel, “that if you had been more careful to eat only organically grown vegetables that you could have extended your life on earth by two further years.”

Drew hung his head further in shame.

“You realize,” said the angel, “that if you had bought an electric car instead of that beat-up old bomb you drove around in you’d be going through that gate there into Paradise and not through this door here where there is an eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

“The old bomb was all I could afford,” said Drew.

With that the angel opened the door and flung Drew in.

“Now who is next on the list?” asked the angel looking at her clipboard.

“How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got that job as the angel I have no idea,” said Drew as he disappeared into the nothing world.

2346. Miranda’s first day

It came as a terrible shock to Miranda to discover, upon her death, that her husband of forty-seven years had been a bigamist and he was sitting in the heavenly choir slap bang next to Henrietta, the recently departed mother of his seven children. And to think that Miranda’s obituary read, loved wife of the late Elbridge for forty-seven years. There was no changing it now.

At least Miranda would have her pets. She had spent her life adopting cats and dogs from the local pound. What sadness each pet-passing had caused in her life. What an irreparable gap they had left. Rather quickly she discovered that all the dogs and cats she had cared for were now back in the heavenly keeping of their original owners. The pets had been lost and now were found. What a delight it was for the original pet-keepers. What sadness for Miranda.

Well, she would seek out her favourite aunt. At least Aunt Nina would be a familiar shoulder to cry on. Nina had always understood Miranda; the two were in emotional sync. But no one in heaven had seen Nina; in fact no one in heaven had ever heard of her. Could she in fact have gone to the other place?

There was only one last thing to give her comfort: her pet canary, Aria. Aria was a yellow canary that had been Miranda’s companion in the kitchen for almost a decade. These beatific days Aria wouldn’t need a cage. There she is now! Oh! She’s in a cage. She has taken the fancy of the head angel in the Contralto Section of the heavenly choir. The head angel is in no mood to share. Just listen to that canary sing!

That about ends this account of Miranda’s first day after death. “Just wait until dinner!” declared a rather plump personage that Miranda had never met in her life. “Dinner is out of this world!”

Miranda said she wasn’t hungry.

2344. Old bones

Great Aunt Imelda said that twenty-year-old Harold would “never make old bones”. He was sickly and took no interest in living a healthy existence.

Well, how wrong can one be? That was seventy years ago. That would make Harold ninety; that is if he hadn’t died when he was forty-two. But his bones have certainly aged.

2304. Heiress to a fortune

Nadine opened the mail. Usually there was only junk mail, but today there was a beautifully typed envelop with a logo in the corner:

Ms Nadine Marina, 34 Swafford Rd, Mornington.

It clearly was from a lawyer’s office.

Dear Ms Marina, This is to inform you that your uncle, Ivan Averis, who recently died, has left you his entire fortune of over two and a half million…

Two and a half million! But Nadine didn’t have an uncle called Ivan Averis, and if she did she would have known about his recent death. Clearly there had been some mistake. There must be another Nadine somewhere with a similar family name. Her mother and her father, who were both deceased, would have said if either had a brother – which they didn’t. Her mother had a sister, Aunt Henderika, who had passed away in her mid-twenties at childbirth. Nadine had never known her.

The lawyer’s office was local. Nadine decided to visit and to ask: Who is Uncle Ivan? The lawyer was most helpful. Her uncle had no living relative except you. You may not have heard of him but he clearly had heard of you. To be honest, your uncle’s will is handwritten and the name is a little difficult to decipher. Is it Merino or Moana or Mariana? We could find no one with any of these names. So in the end we settled on your name and concluded that you were the heir to the fortune.

But, said Nadine, I couldn’t in all honesty accept it. I probably would have spent half of it by the time the real person is discovered. So no, I can’t accept it.

Nadine left the lawyer’s office. She felt both sad at her loss and elated at her honesty.

But the truth is she did have an Uncle Ivan Averis. He was the widower of Aunt Henderika and had remarried and long lost contact with family.

2225. Fewer deaths on Sunday

Alexia used to joke – and goodness knows it was the same joke every midday Sunday – that there were fewer deaths on Sunday so she would indulge in a wine or two and a cigarette.

They always had the main meal at midday-ish on a Sunday. On other days of the week the main meal was in the evening. Alexia’s little joke was undoubtedly because the list of names in the death column of the Sunday paper was a lot scantier than the list of dead people during the week. In general, all Sunday news was scantier. Of course in reality the number of dead on a Sunday was averagely the same as every other day.

None of this stopped Alexia from her little weekly joke as she settled in an armchair during pre-prandials, pouring a wine, and lighting a cigarette. “It’s safer to drink and smoke today because there are fewer deaths on Sunday.”

When Aunt Ethel called from the kitchen door that “Dinner’s ready!” (Aunt Ethel always cooked the Sunday meal) all rose except for Alexia. The newly lit cigarette held between her two fingers had burnt to the butt. So quiet and sudden was her death that not even the ash had fallen to the floor. No one had noticed.

2220. Helpful suggestions

Some have difficulty knowing how to word a death notice in the newspaper, so here are a few suggestions to help:

  • We are sad to announce that yesterday Olive Blanche passed from this life into the arms of Jesus.
  • Olive Blanche departed the earth and rests in peace.
  • The Grim Reaper came suddenly to Olive Blanche yesterday just after lunch.
  • Olive Blanche croaked yesterday after a hideously long and painful death.
  • Our Olive Blanche has at last kicked the bucket. Wear something bright for the funeral.
  • Olive Blanche has been on her last legs for some time, with one foot in the grave. She’s brushed with death before but this time has popped her clogs permanently and is about to push up daisies.
  • Yippee! Think of the money!

2201. Great Uncle Frederick’s legacy

Grover was looking forward to his great uncle dying. Great Uncle Frederick had amassed a stupendous fortune over his eighty-two years of living alone. Surely the nieces and nephews were in for a windfall.

News had come through that Great Uncle Frederick had come down with the flu. This was Grover’s opportunity to show his concern. It might be the last opportunity Grover would have to expresses his interest and care to Great Uncle Frederick. Some of the other nieces and nephews could be omitted from the will because Great Uncle Frederick’s memory was inevitably fading. It was not to be the case with Grover. Grover would remind him.

Sadly, Great Uncle Frederick recovered. There was no fortune coming Grover’s way this time, although Great Uncle Frederick did give Grover the flu.

May Grover rest in peace.

2173. The flooded stream

It was such a shock when Granny slipped on a rock while trying to cross a flooded stream. She drowned. And the funeral was sad, sad, sad.

Eion, being one of only two parentless grandchildren, thought he might have got something from the will, but Cousin Marvin got the farm and everything else. Oh well! That’s life!

It was such a shock when Cousin Marvin slipped on a rock while trying to cross a flooded stream. He drowned. And the funeral was sad, sad, sad.

(Footnote: WordPress has said that this is the 8th anniversary of this blog. The United States has declared a public holiday in honour of the occasion).