As Voltaire once said, "One great use of words is to hide our thoughts." This is why so many people use euphemisms for death. No one wants to admit that every day we are alive, we are a day closer to death, and why would you?
I don’t know how many couples, especially those who are in their mid-twenties and not even married, talk about death. It’s a strange and unusual topic, but it leads to a lot of growth. We talked about what would happen if we died together. Well what would happen? We have been living together for so long now so many things we own are ours, not his or mine. How would our family split that up? What about our four cats? We wouldn't want any of them split up either, but as far as we know no one even knows that. Then comes the question of where would we be buried since we aren't married yet, and our families live on opposite sides of the state.
Once we got through the ‘what if’ questions, we started talking about the ‘when we die’ questions. We both like the idea of turning into trees, but if we are buried next to each other the trees would smother each other, and they too would end up dead. The one thing we do know is we want to be buried together, with one headstone. On my side, I want it to say
My candle burns at both ends,
It will not last the night.
But oh my friends, and oh my foes,
It makes a lovely light.
It is a quote from Mary Alice Seller Peterson, a previous National President of my sorority, who herself echoed the words of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Nick hasn't decided what he wants on his side of the headstone. We have no idea where we want to be buried, but hopefully there is still time for that. We also decided that we’ll write the cats (or future pets) into the will, so someone will have the capability and means to take care of them.
This may seem foolish for such a young couple to think about this now, but when is there a time to talk about death? As J.K. Rowling wrote, “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” And in the end, Nick and I are hoping that adventure is together as well.