I woke up one day knowing I was dead. I don’t know how else to describe it other than the distinct feeling I was no longer alive. Looking in the mirror, I thought, “That isn’t me. I’ve moved on. What I’m seeing is an illusion — I’m already dead.” My doctors said that I have a severe case of a psychiatric condition. It used to be called the “walking corpse disease”, now it’s called Cotard’s syndrome.
Despite their insistence that my experience is a symptom of psychosis, I know this is true. The belief is so entrenched within me that I have to hurry up and call a funeral director. Perth is a warm city and I’ve already been dead for two months. As I write this I can feel decay. I can smell it in the air: the thick smell of death.
As I’m only 22 and died from a freak car accident (they say I survived and have returned from hospital, but these are mere hallucinations) I never gave a thought to funeral services or funeral homes. I never had reason to think about it. I’m thinking that the best way to go is cremations. In Perth, you can get your ashes sprinkled into a beautiful body of water or leave them in an urn for a loved one. I’ve given a lot of thought as to where I would like my ashes scattered. I think I’d prefer to return to the earth, “Ashes to ashes…” Although my existence now is a tortured kind of limbo where I know I’m dead but cannot escape the illusions of earthly life, in a way, it’s almost fortunate that I’m here to plan it. I can work with the funeral directors at the home to get my service personalised. Mum and Dad would’ve chosen some really depressing music or whatever and dressed me up in god-knows what.