When I Die

When I die – please do not confine my body in a coffin. I will recklessly rebel against restriction, and not rest until freed. Instead, transform my corpse into ashes. Ashes that will float along harmonious winds, fly carelessly amid evergreen woods, drift among limitless oceans, and twist through enchanting clinker bells. Ashes that will taste ethereal light spilling out paradisaical clouds and feast upon jagged forks of lightning. Ashes that will rest amidst the invigorating mountain air, and intermix with mystic fog.

Do not suppress my world inside yours.

When I have passed, please do not remember me as a “sister” or “daughter”- as if I was only defined by others perception, instead of my own. I beg you to not change your opinions towards me when I am gone – too often have I witnessed sympathy directed towards death. Do not change your perception of me, I need not your sympathy. At my funeral, read about solipsism, the multiverse theory, fictional realism, phenomenalism – do not grieve over my absence, instead, open your mind to curiosity and wonder.

Do not suppress my world inside yours.

When I am dead – think of me when darkness comes in tidal waves and longing seeps through like torrents of honey. Think of me when the petrichor fume of rain filters through your window, when you realize nothing matters – for we are all just an annoying buzz of a mosquito to the hum of the universe – because if love exists for something, then it is to allow us to travel the body as if it were a map, and find a way home. And when I die, do not remember me as an elysian individual. I hope there has not been one day in my life when I have evoked perfection, only imperfection. Perfection we shall never achieve, instead, we can address imperfection – sun-drenched gardens and burnt out stars and hurricanes and tidal waves – always imperfection.

Do not suppress my world inside yours.

Hand my ashes over to the imperfect.


Image: http://kathrinhonesta.tumblr.com/

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10 thoughts on “When I Die

  1. Dear Judy,

    Wow! I am lost for words – this piece was absolutely incredible. I feel the same way as you d0, I just never had though that one could put it into words so eloquently and in such a powerful manner.

    From the beginning, I was just hooked. Reading this, I felt as if I was able to get to know you so much better than I would have otherwise, given that we have no other classes together and sit on the opposite sides of the room from eachother. There was a sort of humble, wise quality in this piece that I loved; it truly brought out a side of you that I didn’t think I would see, even in your quotation presentation.

    I completly agree with the message of this – too often we are sympathetic to those that have died, and often this sympathy leads us to regard the dead as what they were not – perfect. There is an undeniable truth in your writing, and with that, power. When I had read your last lines, they overcame me – I was in awe of what you wrote, the ability, the power, in your words were synonmous with things I had known, but not had the skill to say in such an unimaginable way.

    I cannot express enough how much this piece means to me. Thank you so much for writing this; I will remember it forever. I look forward t0 reading more of your blogs.

    Best Regards,


    1. Dear Shyla,

      Thank you so much for taking time to read and comment:)

      I can not express the amount of happiness that floods me when multiple individuals can connect over a piece of writing! There is a sense of harmony that connects the purity of writing into something beautiful. Thank you so very much for the amazing and kind feedback, it is hard to express how grateful I am!

      With love,


  2. Wow Judy! That was an amazing piece of work! 🙂

    The first thing that caught my attention was the title. I first thought about the way a human died physically, and how they are buried in coffins. But you wrote about quite the opposite of my initial thoughts.
    This piece made me think about the emotions and the feeling about one’s death, and really, I can’t help but become sad when I think about the death of anyone I love. However, your story really spoke more about love and protection, rather death, grief, and sympathy. I agree that too many people connect their sympathy to death. Your work was a really beautiful way to convey the voices of the dead to their loved ones.
    Your piece made me think of the end of the Book Thief, where all of the main character’s loved ones died, but I think your piece will inspire others to wipe their tears and become strong individuals.
    This made me think death, and rather than wishing that your loved ones or yourself dying, I think that people should accept that they will die one day, and become part of the lifecycle. However, your story provided a way to send the people off with a strong heart and a smile.

    Thank you so much for writing such a beautiful piece! 🙂



    1. Dear Kelley,

      I appreciate all of your kind words!!! I definitely agree with death being an inevitable truth that one should not face with fear.

      Thank YOU so much 🙂

      With love,


  3. WOAH!!! Judy, your writing has truly moved and awed me within this piece, it is truly beautiful. You spoke about death but it was so elegantly and softly written that your writing entranced me. There were affirmations present within this piece, for you used the words “I will” and “think of me” that are almost demanding, but these demands are enthralling in the aspect that you want to know more about them; the readers are helpless but to follow what you wanted them to, and that is truly a lovely and timeless quality you have embedded within this narrative.

    I love how you are not yielding to others perceptions we so often do within our daily lives within this death you mention, because you are truly embodying yourself for you are not seeking a label to be remembered by, but rather almost an essence; a soulful quality. It is almost as if this death leads to rebirth, for you ask other’s to retain the youthful sense of curiosity, which is a progression of life. You are reopening this wonder within individuals that they limit themselves through within the “sympathy” you mention. I acknowledge how sympathy does not need to be present within death, for within my perception, there is an oppression associated with sympathy. Within your narration, you almost want this death to free the individual as it has freed the narrator; this is developing an empathy, which is such an incredible incentive.

    I feel within death of a loved one we do confine ourselves and agonize ourselves, but I never though of it as an individual suppressing the one who has passed on into their reality. Though some may believe this to be a selfish perspective, I believe it is a necessary and worthy one. Because those who have died have become almost greater in nature than us who are alive, for they become free of the limitations life presents and are able to relish in their own true timeless and inner self. There is no sense of time within the afterlife is what I have connoted from your piece; the moment when this free individual is rooted within the reality of another’s perception, a sense of time is developed, and it instigates a confining quality which is contradictory to what death is.

    You want individuals to remember you in these timeless moments present within life that will never seem to instill wonder within an individual mentioned through “longing (that) seeps through like torrent honey.” These are feelings that continue to inspire and almost allow an individual to seek further or deeper inside of themselves to acquire an enhanced emotion that our reality sometimes suppresses. Within this remembrance, you have become part of the universe, and this relates full circle to the wonder you wanted individuals to remember you by. I literally am in awe of these unifying aspects you have so effortlessly intertwined within your writing.

    I truly love how you personify and compare nature to human emotion and qualities for it provoked a profound resonance within the reader. Imperfection is stated as “burnt out stars and hurricanes and tidal waves.” There is an endlessness prompted through this diction and nature serves to beautifully personify this imperfection as something worthy and ethereal. You are allowing us to relish in our imperfection, see its chaos, and appreciate it for what it is. Within this death, you acquire an understanding and wisdom. It is almost as if through your death, you do not want it to harbor this astuteness inside of you alone; you want to use it to enlighten others which correlates with the ashes you want to hand to the imperfect. You are moving on through inspiring love and intensified emotion to those who are almost afraid to find elation within it. You are allowing others to become the fearless you have become through your death. I have truly never read a piece that has evoked such a strengthened emotion within me and inevitably seeped into me. Can’t tell you how much I will always appreciate this piece!!!


    1. Dear Sadia,


      I’m overflowing with gratitude and thanks for such a amazing writer, such as yourself, taking the time to read my post and leave such a beautifully written comment. The way that you can structure such a in-depth response while weaving in thought provoking words, really inspires me. You have left me open mouthed at your comment, it was truly beautiful. Thank you so much!

      With love,


  4. Dear Judy,

    I’ve never really taken the time to read your writing before or even gotten to speak to you once before in class and I have to say I am in awe.
    The visual and the way you brought the whole thing to a close was especially enchanting for me.
    The repetition of the lines: “Do not suppress my world inside of yours.” gave me a sense of freedom. The sentences you wrote before those lines seemed to express to me the nature and the chaos of your “imperfection”; and the line “Do not suppress my world inside of yours” causes me to envision something withholding a grasp upon your life: a free spirit.
    You refuse to be constrained by anything; and in “death” you feel free.

    Your writing speaks with such intelligence and insight. Some of these words you used I didn’t even know, but I was able to create a picture of their meaning with the context you provided in every sentence.
    And not just the writing itself, but even the FORMAT was enticing and drew me to the piece.

    There is nothing to correct you on, for (at least by my eye) I see no gumps, no issues with coherence , and I can tell you’re the kind of person who thoroughly checks over their work before submitting it (unlike me).

    Thank you for this marvelous piece.
    I’m sorry my comment is so late >_<

    Have a lovely rest of the semester!

    With Love,
    Timi 🙂

    1. Dear Timi,

      I am honored for such a inspirational writer to comment on my blog!! Thank you for your sublime comment – I will cherish and hold it to my heart.

      And I to you, have a lovely rest of the semester!!! 🙂

      Judy Gu

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