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Death and dying workbook:

S3E35 TRANSCRIPT:----more----

Mark: Welcome back to the Wonder Science based Paganism. I'm one of your hosts, Mark,

Yucca: And I'm the other one. Yucca

Mark: and today we are going to talk about death.

Yucca: death. Yep. It's, well, it's October. Although it's a topic which is relevant every day, every moment. Right.

Mark: That's right. But particularly we're going to talk about the naturalistic, pagan perspective on death and approaches to death. And talk about some things that we can do to prepare for our own mortality and just about the perspective that it gives us generally. Because death is. Arguably the fact of our lives more than anything else. It's, it's the thing that's hanging out there, setting the context for everything else that we do or, or that we contemplate doing.

Yucca: Right? And it happens to us.

Mark: Mm-hmm.

Yucca: Right. There's no, Doesn't matter what religion you are, what gender, where you live, what kind of living thing. If you are living, then eventually you stop. Right?

Mark: right. And that's why it's been called The Great Equalizer because it doesn't matter how wealthy you are, eventually you are going to kick it. And there's, you know, you can do all kinds of medical things to try to extend yourself probably with a great deal of suffering associated in most cases.

But eventually it's going to end. And so at this time of year this is the time of year when pagans often contemplate their mortality and their their relationship with the fact of their death. And so we are dedicating this show this episode to to that, to talking about exactly that.

We'll have other episodes later on in the month about sort of other facets.

Yucca: Like ancestors and decomposition and you know, that kind of stuff.

Mark: right. All those kinds of great, halloweeny wonderful topics. But this, this one is just about the blunt fact that we're gonna die and so are you. And we all have to come to terms with that in whatever manner we can.

Yucca: Right now, I wanna emphasize though, that this isn't all a doom and gloom, you know, sad, negative kind of thing. Certainly many of us are quite uncomfortable with the idea that one day we will not exist, right? But as we're gonna talk about, there's actually. Some real upsides to that. Right. And there's some really, I think that there's a tremendous amount of, of beauty in that. But a good place to start actually is how naturalistic paganism differs from some of the other branches of Paganism when it comes to our views on death, or at least on what's after.

Mark: Right, right. As naturalists, we use the scientific method and critical thinking to assess what is most likely to be true. And given, given that the evidence is that there is no afterlife, that when we stop, we stop our brains stop maintaining the, the neural net of information that constitutes our personality and memory and all those things.

And that heat radiates away from our body that that energy radiates away from our body as heat

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: and the body cools and we're gone.

Yucca: And the, the pieces that were us, they break apart and become part of other things. Right.

Mark: Right? And that's the decomposition story, which is. You know, stay tuned for that cuz it's actually so exciting.

Yucca: a

Mark: It's so exciting.

Yucca: yeah, and it's, and that's the, that's the death that's happening always. Right. There's, there's the death at the end, right? Where like you just stop completely. But the, but the, the little, the little hundred deaths every day are more than hundreds. That just is part of being life is is this a really cool one to talk about?

But yeah, we don't, we don't see the body as not us.

Mark: Right. This is an important distinction. I'm, I'm glad you brought that up, because the idea of dualism what's sometimes called Cartesian dualism after Renee Decar, who first postulated it in a. In a philosophical kind of way, the idea that there is this spirit or ghost or soul within us that is separate from the body and that persists after the body dies.

There really isn't any evidence to support that, that I'm aware of. And.

Yucca: But the idea is, is embedded very, very deeply into our culture, into our language and it's, it's, it's all around us.

Mark: It is. It is. It's, it's, When we talked about dualism in an earlier episode, we discovered that we don't even really have good language for talking about the understanding of the self as a unified hole. It is the body, You know, we say my body as if it was something different than, My mind. It's, it's all the same thing, but we, the, the way that our language is set up makes it very difficult even to articulate that concept.

Yucca: Right

Mark: So the body stops working for whatever reason. Maybe a disease, maybe an injury maybe just the accumulation of a a thousand tiny Yes. Or, or a thousand, just tiny errors in cellular copy copying over time. So you know, you're 105 years old and things just finally give up. They just stop and then we cease existing in our, in our opinion, in our estimation, we cease to exist.

And that can be a very terrifying prospect for some people. But I don't find it that scary myself because I realized that for 13.7 billion years, I didn't exist either. And it didn't bother me in the least. I wasn't there to be bothered. It was okay. And we were talking about this before we recorded.

We've also had some experiences where we've been put under general anesthesia. And that part disappears too. I mean, that's just time chopped out of your life where your body was still there, but your consciousness was suppressed because your body was, you know, under the influence of these chemicals that were introduced to it.

And there wasn't any suffering during any of that either. I just was absent.

Yucca: Not that I recall.

Mark: Yeah. Yeah.

Yucca: And, and that's what, not what was described to me by those who were conscious at the time. Right. But yeah, that, at least for me, those are times that are just like, it's just gone.

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: Right. Look at the clock. And it's different than when it was when I last remembered looking at it. And that's not quite the same as as sleeping, because with the sleeping, there's a, sometimes there's a missing chunk there, but it's a very different, there still is some sort of awareness there, a very different awareness.

But it, it's, it has felt like a very different experience.

Mark: Yeah, I've often thought of, of during sleep the, the sort of dreaming process as being kind of like the brain running a screensaver. You know, you get all these images. You, you know, you have these sort of very, you know, strange and magical kinds of na narratives and stories and snips of scenes and things like that.

And there's definitely something going on while you're sleeping most of the time. It's not the same as just winking out the way you do under general anesthetic.

Yucca: Well, this is maybe a topic we should come back to at another point, because I don't think we've ever talked about lucid dreaming.

Mark: Oh, we haven't. You're right. We

Yucca: that's something that, that I do. And I don't know if that's something you do, but that would be a really, really interesting topic. So let's write that down.

Mark: good.

Yucca: maybe that's a good mid-winter topic that kind of, I associate, you know, mid-winter with the dreaming and the dark and, and all of that.


Mark: a good one.

Yucca: yeah. But with death it's, at least it seems like it's, that's it, right?

Mark: Yeah. Yeah.

Yucca: So what's that mean for us now? Right. We're not dead yet. We will.

Mark: right,

Yucca: this moment we're not.

Mark: right. I would like to say one more thing

Yucca: Oh, yeah.

Mark: the, the way that other. Other religious traditions and particularly other pagan traditions, do approach the fact of death. Many of those are dualistic. In the Buddhist idea, for example, the idea is that we are on this wheel of karma that we're trying to get off of.

And so when we achieve enlightenment, then we leave the wheel of karma and there's no more suffering and so forth. Which. So my mind has always been a very dark way of framing reality. It's the, you know, that the world is endless suffering. Well, the world is endless joy too. How, how come, How come we're paying all the attention to the suffering

So that's, that's just been

Yucca: does it, does it have the same connotation, the the word suffering when said in a Buddhist sense as it does. In a kind of conventional sense.

Mark: That's a good question. I believe it does, but I can only speak from my experience having been married to a Zen Buddhist for 10 years.

Yucca: Hmm.

Mark: I, I can't, I, I have not done a ton of reading in the Buddhist arena and I don't know that much about. But I do know that it is once again, built on that dualistic idea that the body dies.

But there is something else that persists that goes forward. And it may not be exactly you as a personality, but it's some intrinsic

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: quality of you that's in the process of being polished up in order to, you know, attain this, this enlightenment. Of course the, the mainstream monotheisms, they've all got.

Sort of punishment or reward afterlife idea. And that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me either for lots of reasons that we don't need to go into. But it's a pretty cruel framework in my opinion.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: You know, it's, it's extortionary and it, it threatens people and it terrifies little children.

It's a, you know, telling children about people going to hell is a horrible.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: But in the pagan sphere, what we see very often is a more generalized idea of reincarnation. It's very codified in Buddhism where like, okay, you know, if you've done these particular things, maybe you'll come back as a cockroach.

Yucca: There's particular, yeah, there's particular levels and yeah.

Mark: right. In, in the Pagan sphere, it does not appear to be as well defined in that sense, but there is a broad a broad credulity in the idea that you do come back in some manner. I've been told by people that people that are in their family where once related to them in other ways, in a past life, those sorts of things I don't know where they get that information, but they believe it. So, you know, those are, those are other approaches to the fact of mortality that I feel really sort of skip the important bits of what mortality can give us.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: Knowing that we're going to die is actually a tremendous gift

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: approach it that. It, it contextualizes our lives. You know, it's this thing that's hanging out there.

We know we've got a limited amount of time, and that means that our time is very precious. We need to be careful with it. We need to make judicious decisions about what we're going to do with our time and what source of goals we're going to pursue.

Yucca: Yeah. And really think about what matters. Really What, Because if I've, I have a limited number of days. You have a limited, We each have a limited number of days,

Mark: Yes.

Yucca: and on top of that, We don't know the number of days either.

Mark: Right,

Yucca: Right? We hope that there will be many, but this could be the last one,

Mark: right,

Yucca: or it could be in thousands, right?

Mark: right.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah. And knowing that, knowing that they're wheeled on a day when you're not in it really does give it, It gives you pause, it gives you it, it gives you an opportunity anyway, to think very carefully about what matters to you. About what your values are, about what you would like to be left behind in the wake of your life, in the way of legacy.

And of course, that's one of the Ethiopia Pagan principles, right? Legacy. The idea that we are responsible to subsequent generations, not only of humans, but of the fabric of life on earth in general. And so. I mean, I very deliberately have made my career around environmentally and publicly beneficial work.

That's, that is the, the work that I've chosen. And there have been costs associated with that. A lot of them financial because working in the nonprofit sector, especially for smaller organizations, just doesn't pay as well as a lot of other things. I have never been able to get my mind around doing some of the things that some people do for money, knowing that all that, that's all that's going on. There's just money making happening there. And I, I can't apply my time to something that seems so meaningless to me. I, I. I need to do something that's more substantial and fulfilling than that with my time. And I'm not criticizing anybody else's decisions. You know, they're, they're, well, you know, they're sovereign beings. They get to make their own decisions about what they consider important to do in their life.

But for my life the, the environmental work that I've done, the, the social services work that I've done and the spiritual community work that I've done are all really important pieces to me that I hope have persisting impact after I'm gone.

Yucca: Right. Yeah. And of course there's sometimes things that we need to do that we would really rather not be spending our time doing, but that That that are things that have to, that have to happen, whether that's dealing with, you know, illnesses or taxes or just, you know, having enough to, to be able to, to feed your family or things like that.

But I think that, that the recognition and the, the memory that the, of our death that's coming can help us to. Put all of that in context, right? And think about how we're going to choose to live as we do those things that we don't want to be doing. Right. So we can on, on the big scale, really work towards the things that, that are meaningful to us.

But know that every moment, even the moment when you are, you know, scrubbing the toilet, that that's, that's one of your moments, right?

Mark: Right.

Yucca: And how are you gonna live that, So,

Mark: So finding ways to be joyful and finding ways. To take deep satisfaction in living becomes in the context of a, of a life without an afterlife, it becomes essential,

Yucca: mm-hmm.

Mark: right? This is all that we've got. So we must then find ways to, to derive happiness out of it, to derive as much joy as we possibly. In a, in a conscientious way.

Obviously not at the expense of others.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: Which honestly, I have a hard time imagining how you can have much joy if it's at the expense of others, but

Yucca: Right.

Mark: maybe, maybe someone can.

Yucca: Well, if you are aware of it,

Mark: Right,

Yucca: right, as long as there's that awareness piece,

Mark: right.

That's like the the Ursula Ursula Gwen story. The people who leave Oma.

Yucca: I'm not

Mark: you know that

Yucca: that one.

Mark: It's a, it's a utopia.

Oma is a city and everyone is happy, and everything is beautiful, and it's all magnificent except once a year, every citizen, they're all paraded through this dungeon under the city where there is a poor, neglected, starving child.

Yucca: Mm.

Mark: Whose suffering is necessary in order for all the happiness above the surface to happen. And there are a certain number of people every year who leave the city. They go because they won't make that deal.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: So I like to think that I would be one of those.

Yucca: Dr. Hub borrowed that concept for one of their episodes. There was a space whale.

Mark: Hmm.

Yucca: City of London, I think was based on that, was suffering. So that, so the, the plot there sounds pretty much the, the same,

Mark: hmm.

Yucca: one of the new ones, not one of the old ones,

Mark: Okay. Yeah. Okay. That was your tangent for this week, folks.

Yucca: Well, at least number one, we'll see.

I don't know, that's all. Maybe we've sort of done a few already. We went into dreams, so,

Mark: that's true.

Yucca: Yeah. Okay.

Mark: okay, we're, we're gonna die and we're going to live well as a result of this knowledge. That's, that's where we've gotten to so far. But there are some things that we can do to prepare for our deaths that are great. Kindness is to those who survive us.

Yucca: Mm-hmm. and for us in the process, depending on what kind of death you have, , Right. Some deaths. You don't know that they're happening and some you do.

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: So, yeah.

Mark: So those include things like advanced health directives, instructing decision makers about how they. What your wishes are in terms of do you want to be kept alive on machines in a vegetative state? Do you not want that? If it's unlikely that you will ever recover to a point where you're able to care for yourself?

Do you want the machines to be turned off? All those kinds of questions. Knowing that medicine is a for profit enterprise and that end of life is the most profitable part of that enterprise in the United States. They will keep you alive on machines if you don't tell them not to.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: And it's important to do that if that's not the way you want to go.

Yucca: Right?

Mark: There are other financial things a will or a trust or you know, some sort of arrangement for what's supposed to happen to your money and your stuff.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

And your dependence, if you have.

Mark: Yes. Including, you know, what goes to which dependence and, and all that kind of, and, and your dependence. If, if you, if both you and your partner or partners

Yucca: If you have, if you

Mark: are suddenly killed if you, if you have them.

Are suddenly killed, then the question of where your dependence go becomes really important. And that needs to be written down and enshrined somewhere, not just something in your head.

Yucca: And this may not just be your human dependence, but if you don't have children and you have pets, that's something to think about as well, so that they, they don't just end up at the shelter. Right?

Mark: right.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: There are other Sorts of things that are very helpful for people when there is a death that can just ease the process a lot. I mean, all of us that have been in grief know the kind of brain fog that descends when there is a painful death. It's hard to concentrate and feelings keep welling up all the time and to be asked at the same time to go digging through someone's desk to find a life insurance policy is, It's an almost insurmountable demand

Yucca: Right, And to be on the phone and being told that, No, we can't give it to you because you're not the person and you're going, Yeah, but they're dead. But you know, all.

Mark: And then you have to go and get a death certificate and provide that to them. And I mean, there's just so much adminis trivia that goes into the processing of a death. having all of that information together in one place in what I call a death packet

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: is a tremendous gift to those who survive you.

Passwords, passwords to social media accounts, to your online banking to your, your 401k or whatever, you know, retirement accounts you might have. All of that stuff is essential in modern times to be able to do the things that you want to do. A list of people who should be notified with their contact information.

Yucca: right.

Mark: There's, there's a lot of different things that go into this. But the good news is we have a workbook

Yucca: Yes. Link in the in the show notes. Yeah.

Mark: Yes, you can download a blank of the workbook and fill it out. And it, it has everything in it. It's got a, a section for filling out all the information that would be necessary to write an obituary, for example. You can make your preferences known about what you'd like done with your body. What kind of services, if any, you would like to have happen.

To recognize your death. And it, it may sound scary and creepy to do this, but as I always like to say, just like talking with people about sex doesn't make them pregnant, working on the fact of your mortality doesn't make it any more likely to happen soon.

Yucca: Yeah. It just means that when it does, it's gonna be an easier process for the, For your loved ones. Yeah. And this is, this is a great time of year to be going through and doing this because we're thinking about death. And it's seasonally and we're seeing it around us, and and it's nice to, to have it on the calendar to be able to go back and review that, right?

Mark: Yeah. One of the elements of my death packet is a farewell letter,

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: and I revisit that every year at this time of year just to make sure that, you know, everybody that I want acknowledged, want to be acknowledged is acknowledged. And that

Yucca: If things have changed in terms of what you wanna say or not.

Mark: all, all those kinds of things. Yes. So it's. And it, it's a great opportunity just to pull the thing out and review all the information.

It's like I noticed the last time I went through it, I had moved and I hadn't changed my address.

Yucca: Mmm.

Mark: So that was necessary. I had to make those changes. Once again I can already think of some things that I'm gonna need to change for this year as well.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: so, but once you've done the big task once. Then it's just a matter of updating little bits of information here and there as you go along, and it's not very hard to do.

The important thing is that loved ones know where to find your death packet. If you have like, a filing cabinet with legal papers and

Yucca: fire safe chest that you have and you

Mark: That's, that's a good place for it to live, maybe in especially colored folder so that people know, you know, they can go directly to that folder and pull it out.

What I do is I keep a paper copy, a printed copy in my desk, and then I keep the soft copy, The Microsoft Word file on the desktop of my computer.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: So it, and it's labeled My Death, that's the name of it. So, with a cute little skull icon that I put on

Yucca: Yeah, is your paper one you could put in a little folder, you know, this time of year you can find like the Halloween themed folders and stuff in the school section.

Mark: Uhhuh. Yeah. It's a good idea.

Yucca: little dancing skeletons or something like

Mark: Mm-hmm. , I like it. Yeah, so. I strongly encourage our listeners to, to take on this work. It's it can be a little intimidating you know, to sort of take a deep breath and go, Okay, I'm gonna die. What do I want done with my body? What do I, you know, what?

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: What, what, what are the answers to all these questions?

There is a tool that's available for download online. It's something called the Five Questions that you can look for and that, that walks you through some similar kinds of planning questions about how to organize your, your death planning. But the workbook that you can download from the link in the show notes is really very thorough and it, it contains spaces for all of the different kinds of information that you're likely to need.

Yucca: Right, and, and you could make a little thing of it when you do it. You could make it a little. Self party for the afternoon, right? Pick out, get your favorite drink, get your favorite treat, and carve yourself a pumpkin and sit down at the table with it. And there might be things that you won't be able to do right away, like gathering certain pieces of information, but you could start working through it and starting that process.

Or you could do some of it in ritual, you know, make it. Make it an enjoyable thing that is maybe a little bit less intimidating to approach just so that you, that you do it. Because any piece that you do will be better than having not done it at all.

Mark: right.

Yucca: Right. And so maybe, I mean, I encourage everyone to, to go through the whole packet and do everything, but maybe you just wanna start with, Okay, I'm just gonna.

I'm just gonna get a will in place. Right. And I'm not, you know, I, I don't have the, the mental space right now to write a letter to everybody, but I can get the, the will in place, or I can make sure that I have beneficiaries on my bank accounts or whatever it is that you need to do. Right. Just starting with so,

Mark: I want to tell people about another resource that's available online for free, and it's a, it's a resource called free, and literally that's what it is. It's a wizard that walks you through the steps to create a will for free, and then you can download the. Documents and print them and have them signed and it's legally valid Will

Yucca: Do you put in what your state or country is in

Mark: you do?

Yucca: laws are different about how many witnesses you need or that sort of thing? Okay.

Mark: It's only for the US and Canada, unfortunately.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: But.

Yucca: I would suspect there's probably similar resources though for different countries.

Mark: many other countries. I would agree. I would agree. But it's a, it's a pretty nifty little thing. I, I went through it and I thought, you know what, what came out the other end was, it had a lot of legalese in it, but it definitely included everything that I wanted to, to be included in my will.

Yucca: Mm-hmm. , right? So that's a great, a great place to start.

Mark: They also do advanced health directives. There's, there's a wizard for that as well.

Yucca: Okay. Right, Because again, many of us probably aren't at the traditional places in our lives where that's something that we would be starting to think about. But as we've said, we don't know. We don't know how many days we have,

Mark: Nope. Nope. The odds, the odds may be low that you are going to die soon. But they aren't zero. They're never zero.

Yucca: Right.

Mark: As long as we're alive, we are subject to death. So we have to be prepared to as great a degree as possible, both for our loved ones but also for ourselves. I don't want to be in a semi-conscious state on a ventilator

Yucca: Mm.

Mark: for. Days, weeks, years. I, I, I really, really am opposed to that. There's pretty good evidence that there is some brain activity in a lot of the people that are in that condition, and that just sounds like hell to me. I don't want it. And I'm very, very clear in my directives that I do not want that. I, I want you to pull the plug, if that's the state that I.

Yucca: Right. or for me, I wouldn't want to be in my last moments worrying who's gonna take care of my kids.

Mark: Right,

Yucca: Right?

Mark: right.

Yucca: Oh, how, you know, being, having to be stressed about these things that I don't wanna leave undone

Mark: Mm-hmm.

Yucca: for, for others.

Mark: Yeah. Yeah. So I, I'd kind of like to leave this on a, on an upward note. I feel like one of the things that is very hard about death in, certainly in American culture, but I think this is true in the West generally, is that we're so phobic about the subject that we don't talk about it and get ourselves comfortable with it at all. We don't even try to do. And there is a movement the, the so-called death positivity movement that is happening now that's working to overcome that, that's working. You know, we conduct death salons in various places for people to talk about their feelings, about their mortality, their fears, their their concerns, what they'd like done with their bodies, all those kinds of things.

And. I just feel that that's a very important movement. To some degree the denial of death is the denial of life

Yucca: Yeah, and that's one we'll definitely come back on when we talk about death on a kind of larger concept.

Mark: Right, right. And to me, embracing what this is that we are. Here on Earth is necessary in order for us to honor it, as sacred as it is.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: And so I really encourage you to look at this as a great opportunity. You know, when you, when you really sit down, you know, across the table from your death maybe, maybe you have some life priorities that you want to change.

Yucca: Mm-hmm.

Mark: Maybe, maybe there are certain things that you absolutely have have been dedicated to the idea that you're going to do someday, and maybe you need to move up the schedule on those to make sure that they happen,

Yucca: Right.

Mark: right? Um

Yucca: Well, and to think about how you are living today, because how you live today is how you, that is your life,

Mark: mm-hmm.

Yucca: right? That is your life that you live. And I find it very helpful In my morning ritual, I remind myself, I say out loud that I remember I will die, and that actually is so uplifting and motivating because it goes today matters. This, my experience, this tiny, I get to be this tiny sliver of the universe for this short period, which I hope will be in the triple digits. That's my goal, but that's still tiny compared to the billions of billions of years of the universe. And here we are and we get this moment. And because we die, it is so precious and so special every.

Mark: Absolutely. I like that I may steal it. I, my morning ritual does not include something like that at the moment, although it does include a death acknowledgement in the evening. The

Yucca: I stole it from the stoic . They have a whole thing about it.

Mark: So yeah, look at, honestly, look at this as an opportunity. Folks. Being in denial about our death isn't gonna stave it off. It isn't gonna change when it happens. One second. So, taking a clear look at, taking a clear look at everything generally is a good idea, but particularly

Yucca: of this podcast,

Mark: it kind of is.

Yeah. It kind of is. Let's, you know, let's, let's not gussy things up with, with fantasy. Let's, let's do what we can to know what's true. To look at that very clearly and then make our decisions based on that. That's kind of what we're about. So, especially in this month of October, which is, you know, the, the, the spooky witchy month really encourage you to take that step if you haven't already, or also like to congratulate those of you who have done a lot of that planning.

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: Good for you because it's, it's generally good for all of us. When people do that, among other things, what tends not to happen is that people tend not to get gouged for thousands of dollars by funeral homes because, you know, people will put much more modest wishes in their, in their declarations, in their death packet. and that's good for all of us because that industry really needs to be reigned in. It's very destructive and it, it, it needs to change.

Yucca: Well, and, and whatever your particular wishes are you. You can assure those, or at least you can make it more likely that that's what's going to happen, right? By, by voicing it. So whatever, whatever your particular desires and approaches and, and all of that and if it's something that, that you honestly don't care, let let your loved ones know that, right?

Let them know, I seriously, I'm dead. I don't want the casket.

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: I don't care. Save the money. Right? If that's your approach or if, hey, it is actually really important to me that there be this coming together of the, of the people in my life and this moment. And you know, you know, you can say that and you can think about that and, and I think that you can learn a lot about yourself too in having that honest conversation with yourself, that exploration.

Mark: right. As you explore what the options are, you may find that some things that people assume are true are not. For example, you are not required to have your body involved. And it's a terrible, toxic thing that we do to the Earth that I really don't want any part of. But I mean, you can, if you want to, that's fine, but you are not required.

Some states require that an un embalmed body be buried within three days after the death,

Yucca: Yeah, there's so different states are gonna have different regulations you're gonna wanna know. Yeah. But that's one of the things that you can do in your October. Death visiting. I don't know what we could call it.

Mark: I like that.

Yucca: yeah, and if you mo, if you move states or, you know, you just check up on, okay, so what's, you know, what is it like here in Montana versus Connecticut, or, you know, whatever it is.


Mark: right? Yeah. So there's a, there's a body of knowledge and there's kind of a world to explore there of how to, how to get exactly what you want out of this, or at least to tell your loved ones what you want. And of course after you're dead, it won't matter to you. So

Yucca: Yeah.

Mark: they, if they don't do what you want

Yucca: You won't know.

Mark: you won't know, and the worst thing that will happen is that somebody will probably say, This is not what they would've wanted.

Yucca: Yeah, so well, this has been good.

Mark: Yeah.

Yucca: it's inspiring to, to come back to this each year and think about it and, and just again, remembering this is our little sliver. This is our little moment.

Mark: Right. So do what you can to have a good death and as smoother transition as possible for those around you who survive and and live well. Live well and happily.

Yucca: Yep. All right. Well thank you everyone, and we'll, we'll see you next week.

Mark: See you then.

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