The Good Death Guide

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As I read the words inside the mysterious book, I felt a sting of recognition in my soul. A deep, torturous cold. It was as if I had always known it would be like this. My life would end, and my consciousness would survive in the void somehow. Odd that the afterlife should look like my office though.

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Chapter 1-A - First Impressions.

The dead are often depressed. This is a perfectly natural reaction, stemming not so much from the damning ‘why’ of your death as the infuriating ‘how’. If you died without warning, squashed by a falling piano or something similar, you’ll be feeling as if you were robbed of your life. It’s not unlike the sense of loss you may feel after discovering that the delicious pie you left cooling on the windowsill has been eaten by next door’s dog. However, if you died lying on the bed that had already been clearly designated as the one you would die in, with tubes emanating from every orifice, then you’ll probably carry over whatever depression you had in life. Either way, you’re probably not feeling all that happy.

At this time, it’s important to take solace in the fact that, now that you are dead, not a lot can get much worse. It’s all up from here, though for a long time ‘up’ will look very much like an extension of ‘down’ that never seems to deviate, lingering in one long horizontal line. Try to persevere. At some point, it will be your turn.

For those of you itching to attend your chosen afterlife, we are happy to announce that there are in fact no correct sets of beliefs or religion. They are simply sub branches of the same company, and no sub branch of this company is better than the other. Christians are just as important as atheists, so we hope that you can now stop arguing and try to form some sort of working relationship. After all, our company is built upon the foundations of teamwork and a positive mental attitude.

First, there is the all-important administration of your death. When you die, your death number is validated and passed on to the relevant department, subject to previous beliefs (i.e. a belief in God, a belief there is no God, a belief that you are God). Your case will then be dealt with as promptly as possible, though waiting times vary depending on the influx of new cases at the time. Longer waits apply during natural disasters or wars. There are absolutely no exceptions, special cases, or favouritism.

While you are waiting in line, you are free to spend your time doing whatever you think will help it pass more smoothly. During this period, you will find that your ethereal body has the ability to walk through walls. This can be useful for moving around at speed. Unfortunately, you will be unable to leave the place of your death, which is an area of about fifty square feet centred on the spot where your bloodstream stopped processing oxygen. This happens so that it’s easier for us to locate you and avoid unnecessary time-wasting when your number is up.

Feel free to attempt the occasional haunting, though this is a technique individuals very rarely master. It is important to note that though the barriers that stand between you and the living areinvisible. You cannot see them but they do exist, dividing the two worlds, hiding the dead from the living. We are sorry to tell you that it is almost impossible to contact anyone you have left behind. Contact is limited to séances, chat shows and Halloween nights, just so that the all important admin is kept down to a minimum. After all, if the living spoke to the dead all the time, it would probably take away the novelty.

If you are still having trouble filling your time, you could also try counting the blades of grass on a patch of lawn nearby. If there is no lawn, maybe study the beings that live and move around you. Consider the majesty of nature and the impossible brilliance of life, and how incredibly fortunate you were to experience it, even if it was just for a short while. If you find that this depresses you even further, try to amuse yourself for the next few decades as best you can until your options are exhausted, though you’re probably pushing it by that stage anyway.

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