I think I tend to ponder death more than the average person. Of course, I don’t really know how often the average person thinks about death, but for reasons I don’t understand, it crosses my mind more than occasionally.
For the most part I think I probably try to prepare myself for it emotionally. I think about what my reactions would be to the passing of loved ones, what their reactions would be upon my untimely demise, and so on.
I imagine preparing yourself emotionally for death isn’t easy. A prisoner who’s received a death sentence as punishment for crime, a patient suffering from a terminal illness, in these cases, a person can at least attempt to wrap their minds around the fact that they will soon cease to exist in this life.
Still, I imaging that preparing physically for death – writing notes to loved ones, making decisions about your funeral, cancelling your cable might be a little easier than preparing for it emotionally.
Preparing physically for death may involve asking questions: Where should I be buried? Do I want to be cremated? Will my love ones even honors these wishes? And what about my possessions? What happens to my home? My car? My laptop? One question that has come across my mind on a regular basis is what would become of my unfinished novel?
Do I leave it unfinished, to be tossed aside with my old tax returns? Do I let it remain exactly where it is for my loved ones to remember me by? Or… maybe I could bequeath it to someone. Do people do this? Has anyone else had this idea? Does anyone else think of the unusual things that I do?
What if I actually had a will prepared that designated a specific writer to have control of my WIP (work in progress)? Someone who’s work I admire, who is perhaps already excited about my story so far? It could be up to the writer to choose to write the work to completion, sell it or maybe just revert it back to my family.
I don’t know it this idea would be feasible, if it makes sense or if it’s just some crazy notion. But like many writers, I feel my WIP is my child. If we were making a will describing what we’d like done after we die, wouldn’t we also consider what should be done with our children?
Why not our WIPS as well? My story needs to be told. My characters demand it. But what would happen to my story if I die today?