When I Die

My darling wife, Kate: Well, I'm gone now and you ended up with the houses, the cars, the bank accounts, my gold Rolex, all my new suits, my seven computers and everything I ever wrote. It goes without saying that you'll miss me tremendously and although you may

My darling wife, Kate:


Well, I’m gone now and you ended up with the houses, the cars, the bank accounts, my gold Rolex, all my new suits, my seven computers and everything I ever wrote.

It goes without saying that you’ll miss me tremendously and although you may feel that you will never marry again, I’m betting that in a few weeks, you’ll change your mind. (I know I would.)

Be aware, it’s not going to be as easy to find another husband now that you’re a bit long in the tooth. (But because of the way I have educated you, that search will not be as difficult as you think.)

The fact that you color your hair will help.

Remember, I encouraged you to go to the stylist at least once a year. Since you know where he is, go there and spend some money on a new hairdo.

Likewise for clothes.

We spent many hours in thrift stores buying perfectly serviceable garments for you for a nickel on the dollar.

Since you know where the best buys are at a dozen different thrift shops, this is the time to pick up a couple of frocks to cheer you up.

Our 20-year-old car will give you good service. The fact that it doesn’t work in first gear is of no real concern, as long as you avoid hills.

As far as food, I taught you how to grow most of our produce.

The chickens I gave you for your last birthday will continue to supply you with fresh eggs and poultry.

For heaven’s sake, don’t fritter away our (I mean your) wealth by buying washing machines, dishwashers or electric lawnmowers.

Doing without these so-called labor-saving devices is the reason you are in fine shape.

Money may be a bit scarce. But I taught you fun and frugal ways to survive. Remember walking backwards into great movies, thereby avoiding the cashier?

While it is true I never showed you how to use a checkbook and I managed all of your earnings, you must admit that by giving you an allowance, I showed you how to budget.

Now that I am dead, you don’t have to record any items in my black ledger costing under 50 cents.

But you may want to continue to do so, for at the end of the year you will discover many places where you still squander money.

But I digress. As I said, I want you to find another man. I want you to be happy because it is only through a partnership with a man that you can really blossom.

So get your hair done, put on a new dress and go to a movie. You’ll find men will be attracted to you, especially when they discover you have some assets.

Let nature take its course. Remarry with my blessings.

But I know you. I know how you think, so let me add one word of caution:  never compare me to your new husband when the two of you talk. It’s a no-win situation.

You and I will always share our secret:  I was the best lover, the best provider and the funniest guy you ever met. (And I’ll take that secret with me to the grave.)

In short, my love, you will destroy any chances of happiness with any other man if you compare him to me.

Men are vain creatures and will resent our perfect marriage.

Talk about the new guy’s few accomplishments, not my many. Talk about his sexual antics, not my world-class prowess. Talk about his kindness, not my philanthropy.

Follow my advice as you did when I was alive. If you do, you will continue living in total bliss and although it will never measure up to our marriage, you’ll have many delightful days.

Your loving husband,


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Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

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