Thursday, August 23, 2012


For some reason I've been feeling super happy lately, full of love for the people around me, appreciative of the glorious beauty of summer, really thankful to be alive. All that is great, but the 
underside of it is being really thankful not to be dead. 

Watching crime tv the other night, I began to wonder what I would look like dead. Correction: what I WILL look like dead. Gotta love technology ... I whipped out the smartphone and after a few practice poses, took a photo of myself with my eyes partially open, my jaw slack and still. My jaw is not often still. I made what hospital and extended care facility nurses refer to as "the Q sign," the classic face of death in which the swollen tongue protrudes sideways out of the open mouth. Too bad I couldn't get a 
summer fly to land on my cheek.

Emailing the photo to myself from the phone to the laptop, I made two versions using iPhoto, the Mac photo editing application. One picture came out sort of old-timey, obviously and unflatteringly depicting a dead woman. 

The other one shows the enhanced color of post-mortem 
decay and mottling. Vividity and lividity. 

At first I found that the usual human fascination with the face of death was compounded by the fact that it was my own face, but then it started grossing me out. 
It took a few days to get used to the idea of being dead. 

Then came the question of whether or not to share the pictures. Would you have shared them? Why or why not? 

One thing I will say is that comparing the photos to one taken a few months ago made me thrilled to see how PRETTY I am because I'm ALIVE! If you're having a bad day, take a mock photo of your corpse and your outlook will change!

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