Ars Moriendi

As you grow older, don’t forget

to swot up deathbed etiquette

 

first of all, leaving a will

makes loss a less divisive ill

 

(descendants generally fall out

if an estate is left in doubt –

 

yours may do anyway of course

and you for your unfairness curse

 

so make sure all who matter get

enough to head off such a threat)

 

next, if religiously inclined,

appear assured, resolved, resigned

 

to bear with grace the human lot

however seemingly crackpot

 

since if your life’s been an endeavour

to flaunt your faith, it’s now or never

 

then binge on Schubert, but if inclined

to modern music, bear in mind

 

death’s a fashion statement – Bowie’s

bleak Blackstar might be what yours is   

 

number four, why not make peace

with those you’ve fooled enough to fleece

 

plus all you’ve hurt or long ignored

that they may praise you evermore

 

fifthly, plan your funeral 

so those who’ll be there shall recall

 

the good taste which (they’ll long relate)

your chosen readings illustrate

 

lastly, please do not complain

however harrowing the pain

 

but bear it stoically, while hinting

at the bravery you’re demonstrating

 

the point being, a stiff upper lip    

is a must for your concluding trip  




Published on the Art of Dying Well website June 2020, https://www.artofdyingwell.org/an-alternative-take-on-the-ars-moriendi/