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A Happy Ending
By: James Claire
So there I was, crying. Not for a stupid reason either as a flood of emotions ran riot.

This might be a strange admission for a guy, especially one at 45; but hey, I write, so I may as well write the truth. There is no need to tell me either; I am fully aware guys shouldn’t cry!
I heard that through my childhood and adolescence from an emotionally barren father.
Declared mentally insane in his 40s, the past 20 years he has spent on Prozac, so I don’t get to ask him why anymore either.

How messed up do I feel? My life hangs in questions. All the truths I was raised upon now seem like fiction at the hands of a person without any grasp on reality, relationships or life in general!

What sent me into tears this time, though, was a realisation — a huge one actually.
You see as a writer I have a broad spectrum of work; some days it’s comedy, on others it’s a book or even a screen play. Today, I decided to have a go at being an ‘obit’ writer, and it’s what reduced me to tears.

I couldn’t think of anything to say about anyone I knew, so I thought about myself. Eight hundred words later I had completed my own obituary.

I am quite proud of it really. I had a great life. I just don’t know where to put it now. If I leave it on my desk it may seem like a final goodbye note, or a last will and testament. Hide the article too well and no one may ever find it when the inevitable happens. And if I send my family a copy, they’ll panic; one nutcase in the family is enough.

Besides, I’m not sure we’re even supposed to write our own obituary, but I write well. I feel like writing my own eulogy now. It would be one to remember, that’s for sure. I have heard all the magnanimous speeches for those departed. Senator Edward M Kennedy’s eulogy of his brother Robert on June 8, 1968, went like this, “He need not be idealised or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him, some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not?”

And, of course, there was Ronald Reagan on the Challenger disaster. How could anyone ever forget his observation that “they slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God”.

But I guess it’s up to others to say those words about me. What really choked me up today, however, was that I found the song — the song! The one I want played at my own funeral. And that’s when it struck me hard. I have the obituary, I know the context of my own eulogy and now I have the song all picked out, all written up and all ready to go. That pretty much leaves just one thing remaining?

Is it a message? Is this how someone instructs us that the time is nigh or is it just that I’m a writer and creative over-thinker? If you fulfil your bucket list, are you predicated to expire?
Do normal people think like this? Is this what scouts meant by always ‘be prepared’, or should I be seeing my therapist yet again?

I’ve seen so many great sunrises and so many beautiful sunsets. I’ve toured so many countries and met so many amazing people; yet if today were the last, could I stand tall and say “I’ve done it all, I’m okay to go”?

Hell no! Don’t be stupid. I’m 45, life has just got interesting! There’s too much to live for, too much still to see, to achieve and to enjoy. My therapist said life can sometimes be an emotional rollercoaster. That’s fine. She just does not realise that I am living inside the entire theme park, not on any one particular ride.

So today I’ll save the written words and hide the song I found; some things are best known only to me. At least, when the time comes, I am ready.

For now I’ll live by the words of Woody Allen, “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying.”