--I'm going to try to reply to comments, so if you want to see my reply, go back and look. Much loves!
--I finally figured out how to add AS MANY PICTURES AS I WANT to my blogs. I've definitely added some to my old posts. If you want to see the ones with pictures now, go and look for the ones that say they have attachments, which is next to the "comments" link on each post. Enjoy.
People think I’m morbid sometimes.
People are correct.
Except, for me, being morbid tends to manifest itself as being callous and making jokes about stuff I “shouldn’t”, causing people to put their hands over their mouths and shake their heads in disbelief and censure. Although, to be fair, I have this remarkable tendency to make such socially unacceptable remarks during mealtime. And sometimes, I show pictures of things that make some people want to gag a little.
Thankfully, some people in my life have gotten very good at protecting others from me.
Me: “So then, I just RIPPED THIS DEAD PUP—“
Erica, or Mom, or anybody with a sense of propriety: “KAITLIN. NO.”
Me: “But he/she asked…”
Others: “Well, we did not, and WE would like to keep our half-digested meal down.”
So, I’m not getting better at choosing the right time to tell stories. I’m just getting a more efficient filter team, to replace the one I apparently lost.
Anyway, the point is, I have no problem doing, talking about, and ruminating on fairly scary or disgusting things. Someday, this will help make me become a freaking awesome veterinarian. Now, it just unsettles the other people in my life.
But I dare anyone I know to have my job, and my life experiences, and not be okay with some morbid stuff. I’m not saying I’ve had a horrible life, or that my job is emotionally scarring (except sometimes it kind of is. Scars make you tougher, right?) I’m just saying that I’ve seen some things. And some stuff. And most of it cannot be unseen, or unfelt.
Like the other day, we had this cat in the clinic who was acting like he didn’t feel so great. Other than that, there were no obvious symptoms of what was wrong with him, so we put him under general observation to see if we could get a handle on it. I didn’t even get to help examine him the first time. However, at a random moment in my day, I walked back to find to find that he had just keeled over.
My doctor and a coworker were frantically trying to resuscitate him, but I could tell by the frantic tension in Dr. Jarrett that there wasn’t much hope. She shouted at me to get some clippers, and of course there weren’t any in the nearest room, so I have to sprint across the office to get another pair. Then, as she gives the cat mouth-to-nose (did you know that was possible? I didn’t), she shouts at me to get some sort of injection that I can’t even remember the name of. So I dash again to the medicine cabinet, and I can’t find it on the first glance, so I force myself to slow down and look more carefully even though EVERY SECOND I CAN’T MANAGE THIS SIMPLE TASK IS A SECOND MAKING HIM MORE DEAD and it’s still not there so Dr. Jarrett storms out of the room to make up for my failure, but she can’t find it there either. Damn stuff was in some random box in another room entirely, so she finally came back with it, and had me press on the cat’s heart while she gave a direct injection, and my coworker tried to keep air pumping into his lungs. There was no point, though. He didn’t come back.
And there was nothing to tell the owner that day except that one second his cat was ill, but okay, and the next he was most definitely dead. And that’s the way it works, sometimes. Not all the time, which is good, for my sanity’s sake. We are not a veterinary emergency hospital. I’m not sure how I’d handle that. I think I’d rock at it for about 2 days, and then I’d collapse into this shaking little ball of nerves. We’ll see, I suppose.
Either way, this kind of situation gets me to thinking about death. You know how people tell you, all throughout your formative years, how easy it would be for you to die if you make a stupid choice? They repeat it so often because most kids can’t imagine that such a thing would ever happen to them. I’ve never had that problem. I am as fully aware as I can be of that fact. This, and the amount of death that I deal with on a daily basis, has caused me to develop a defense mechanism of callousness and jokes. Being morbid is better than being scared. Thankfully, I come from a family that tends to react in the same way.
We’re coming up on the 1-year anniversary of my Granddaddy’s death. He had his second major heart attack last July, and though he appeared to be improving, died a few weeks later due to complications. He was the most stable father figure I ever had. He scared me, he made me laugh, he taught me to play cribbage, and though he rarely understood me, he loved me.
At one point during the funeral preparations, in the midst of all the crying and the stone-faces and the fielding of condolences, we had a second to reminisce on some of the better times. Like, my Granddaddy’s reaction to seeing my first tattoo. I had been showing my grandparents pictures of my visit to Germany, and totally forgot that Erica had photographed my tattoo right when it was its freshest. So I was like “Okay, this is Oberstaufenbach, where we lived, and here are some trees and OH MY GOSH DON’T LOOK” and I tried to click past the incriminating photos fast, but Granddaddy was all “WHAT WAS THAT” and then I had to show them and it was almost worse than the time I came home with lime-green hair.
Later on, I got a serious extension to my tattoo, so that now it reaches down to my butt from my shoulder blades. I prudently decided to never, ever, under pain of death, EVER, show that one to my Granddaddy.
Considering the horrible disappointment that would have ensued had he seen that body modification, Mom said “Yeah, it’s a good thing he never saw your tattoo. He might have had a heart attack.”
I can’t remember if I laughed or cried more at the time, but it was definitely a morbid little ray of sunshine on a sincerely bleak day. I definitely laugh about it now.
And now I can just imagine Granddaddy up in Heaven if there is one, looking down and seeing my desecrated back and getting that really quiet face he got when he was thinking up the best way to express his disappointment in you. Man, he was really good at that. I really hope that eternal rest comes with some censoring on the world below. I want a big old black square that covers my entire back. And, I know this is a ridiculous fear, but I never did want him to be disappointed in me, as much as I love my tattoo and all of the other questionable decisions I’ve made. But it still worries me.
The funeral came, in all its painful stodginess, and the preacher tried to make us cry, because that’s how he knows he’s being effective. We cried. He was effective. I hate funerals.
“But Kaitlin,” you may ask, “aren’t you planning your own funeral? Didn’t you say that? In the TITLE OF THIS POST?”
And yes, yes I am. I should clarify that I hate conventional funerals. We’re already sad that somebody died, folks! There’s no point in making it worse! We’re already running out of f*!%ing tissues here, and it’s only 10 am!
Which is why I’m not having one of those. If I live long enough to have any money saved up, I’m going to make a funeral fund for myself that will be solely for getting me cremated and buying booze. Then, I want everyone to set up camp at somebody’s house, and bring plenty of nachos and cheddar Chex Mix and half-baked brownies and get gloriously drunk and sugar-high and tell stories of how great/stupid/funny/pathetic I was when I lived. Don’t bring a crapton of casseroles. Most people don’t have deep-freezers anymore, and besides, the motivation to actually cook could be a therapeutic activity for somebody who’s grieving. Not for me, because I hate cooking, but I’m sure it’s good for somebody.
Oh, and I’m working up a playlist. None of this funereal, somber, modest, practical, acceptable music. The first song I want played is “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and The Machines:
“Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her, stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with a drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink
The dog days are over
The dog days are done.”
Watch the official video here:
Doesn’t she look happy? Doesn’t she look free? That’s my new theme song. You’d better love it.
Because by the time I die, I plan to have happiness hit me like a train, more so than it has already. And I don’t care if I die tomorrow. I still want my funeral to be more of a celebration, because I had a hell of a lot of fun while I was alive, and met a lot of people, and did a lot of stuff. Screw all this crying bullsh*t. Cry because you’re laughing so hard about the time I did…you know…something weird or stupid.
Okay, you can cry a little. I AM pretty awesome, after all. Just don’t make it the main act, okay?
P.S. Some of the other songs will be “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks and “Respect” by Aretha Franklin. And there will be a whole list of swing-able music. All my swing kids better get out there and F-ing DANCE.
P.P.S. Oh, and don’t send plants unless they’re in pots so they can LIVE. Seriously, the only dead thing at that party should be me, unless it creeps you out too much to have my ashes there. In fact, it would be really cool if you’d all just plant trees in memory of me. Use me as fertilizer! I really don’t see how this is so morbid. I’m like CAPTAIN PLANET.
P.P.P.S. I’ll write something more cheerful next time. Gotta write what you know.