To Whom it May Concern

Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern

Today’s Prompt: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.

Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.

ink pot

The first book I reached for was one that I have yet to read by Micheal Ondaatje, called The English Patient. When I flipped to page 29, the first word I saw was ‘dead’. ‘Great,’ I thought. “Do I really want to depress my readers any more than I already have?” So I decided to have a little fun with it instead! 

Dear Dead,

I’m writing to you because I feel that it is time you dropped your bravado and stopped terrifying people with your notions of complete finality. Even your name, with its one syllabic utterance, beginning and ending in the same hard-faced consonant, screams total abruptness. Why do you have to be so blunt and elicit so much terror? I mean, c’mon – don’t you think it’s time you stopped scaring people into believing that you symbolise nothing but ‘The End’?

Not only are you scaring the shit out of fully grown adults, but you’re also frightening young children too, for goodness sake!

“I’m sorry Sammy – but your guinea pig is…well… dead.”

“So….young Isabel…you know that hamster that you’ve loved and cherished since you were five years old? Y’know, the one you hand fed since it was a baby and played with endlessly each day? Well guess what? It’s dead.”

Why do you have to sound so final? So…abrupt? I’ve never liked the way you imply that after you – everything else ceases to exist. In fact, the only time I’ve ever liked you, is when you were positive! I remember the days when you’d accompany a great thing:

“That was dead good that was.”

“Hahaha that movie was dead funny!”

“Eeek! I’m dead excited about your party tonight!”

What happened to those days, Dead? You’ve become so negative lately. Even your cousins, Deceased and Extinct, are becoming increasingly intolerable with their similar implications of forever ‘gone’. I think it’s time you revealed your true selves and stopped leaving people in a state of utter despair. Have you considered contacting ‘Transitioned’ or ‘Progressed’ to see if they’d like to take over your position as The Common State of Passing Over? I’m sure you’re due a retirement soon anyway aren’t you, Dead? Y’know, before you, too, are well and truly dead! (See – not so inviting now is it?)

Go on! Take a holiday, enjoy a break from shamming people into believing that their loved ones are forever lost in the great abyss of nothingness and let good old ‘Transitioned’ do the job instead. At least then Sammy and Isabel can rest in the knowledge that their cute little bundles of fluff have merely transitioned to the Spirit world where they are safe and sound, munching on angelic little cabbage leaves, which, since Dad forgot to water the veggie patch, have also transitioned into that other realm. Yes – that’s right! Those cabbages weren’t dead at all were they, Dead?! They’d merely progressed into the world of Spirit with all the other living entity’s that you have been passing off as ‘gone’, ‘expired’ and ‘defunct’.

Well, I’ve had enough of your naughty little secrets and feel it’s about time you revealed to all those you have inflicted suffering upon, that there is no such thing as ‘dead’! As eternal beings, who transition from one realm to the next, I think it is your duty to prepare us for that journey. Especially since many of us know nothing of this crossing until the moment it actually happens! So if you don’t mind – could you please stop frightening the living day lights out of us by having us believe that we will become nothing more than a fleeting memory once our time is up – and at least tell us what to really expect!

When, and only when, you consider spreading the truth and using your work to do some good, Dead, will I consider once again using your name to promote all things profoundly awesome;

“That was a dead kind act that you just did when you told the truth!”

“Did I ever tell you that you’re dead cool?”

Yours Sincerely,