How do I make sure I die correctly?

Dear Winnie,

I just found out that everyone dies eventually. How do I make sure I have a perfect and memorable death that everyone will talk about for years to come?

Awaiting your approval,

Karen, 29

Dear Karen,

The most important thing about your eventual demise is that it is unequivocally on-brand. But remember, a gossip-worthy death scene will mean nothing if you don’t pair it with a perfectly executed denouement. Let me paint you a picture.

After my second husband dies, I will turn into a kraken of a woman. Deep down, I’ve always been a garbage human, but as long as he’s around, I’ll be loving and caring. But after he dies, I’ll be ruthless. I will scream at neighbour kids on my lawn, put out cigarettes on gaudy Christmas ornaments, tell mothers they have ugly babies who don’t look like their “fathers”, and buy people off-registry gifts. At some point my first husband (Elliot, I wanna say?) will drop by to tell me he’s sorry that this better man, the love of my life and role model to his children, has died. And I’ll be all, “You should really get those pants hemmed. You look ridiculous.”

Now here’s the best part: everyone will forgive me. They’ll say, “You can’t blame her. She lost her great love. She’s so sad. She’s above the law.” And they’ll be right, but really I’ve been waiting for this my whole damn life.

My diet will become limited to gin, vitamins and macaroni. An acquaintance will slip me pamphlets on seniors’ dating at book club. I will be offended and retort, “I’m still in love with Barry.” The acquaintance will then die of social embarrassment, and no one will have to listen to her say Sav Blanc ever again.

Eventually, I’ll go on vacation. To Rio De Janeiro. Once there, I’ll step off a tour bus to take some photos of sad people. A street rat will come running up to me. He’ll be all, “Give me your fancy camera or I’ll kill you!” in Mexican or whatever. And I’ll be all, “Never, you poor!” And then he’ll stab me, and go to grab the camera from around my neck. But I’ll grab his hand and stare deeply into his eyes, and The Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” will start to play right at the “To die by your side / would be a heavenly way to die-ie” part. His eyes will well with tears, and he’ll have revelations about how he ever got there and we’ll zoom out over the whole city at magic hour.

[FADE TO BLACK]

My funeral will have a mandatory dress code of head-to-toe black, and a closed coffin for an air of mystery. Whoever cries the most will be awarded all of my inheritance in the form of Applebee’s gift certificates. My death will be all over the news, flags will be lowered to half-mast, and Brazil–Canadian relations will be tense for a while. A separate Wikipedia page for my death will be written and the actress who plays me in my biopic (based on my memoir, My Pills Are Too Far: The Winnie Code Story) will be nominated for an Oscar, but of course she won’t win. I mean, who could play me better than me?

Anyway, that’s my plan. And it’s copyrighted, so maybe just think of something as original and genius as that, or at least try. And you better hurry up. You are almost 30, after all.

Disparagingly,

Winnie ♦

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