93-year-old woman attends her own wake because she 'didn't want to miss the party'
If there's one thing that's universally true for all human beings, it's that every single one of us - someday - are going to meet our end. It might seem a depressing thing to think about, and it's certainly not a fact that we should spend too much time dwelling on, but that's just the way things are.
However, it seems that not everyone is entirely choked up about the prospect of having to shuffle off this mortal coil. In fact, some people even seem excited by it.
Ethel Leather, a 93-year-old great grandmother from Derby, England, was apparently so enthused by the celebrations that would happen after her passing that she decided she wanted to join in with the party. So she went to her own wake.
Pauline Neal, Leather's daughter, explained that it was never the plan to host a premature wake for her mother, and the whole event came about by accident. She said: "I was just talking about her own funeral and what I’d got arranged for afterwards and she got so excited about it. ‘I said ‘would you like to come?’ and we just laughed about it and it’s gone on from there."
The event was hosted in a local pub, where friends and family members came along to eat some food, share some laughs, and even take part in some karaoke. Leather herself actually stepped up to sing a tune or two, and at one point performed an emotional rendition of When I Leave This World Behind by Al Jolson - a song she once sang while on board the Oriana cruise ship.
Speaking on her choice of music, Leather said: "It’s my favorite song." She then went on to say that she used to visit a nearby pub when she was younger, and a performer there used to play it. "Me and my sister used to get up and sing and the pianist there was brilliant. He’s dead now, bless him, and he was the first one I heard sing it. I just took to it straight away and it’s sort of sentimental to me because of the pianist. Bill Macbeth was his name."
Despite the melancholy overtones, however, Leather said the party was a happy experience.
The nonagenarian also took some time to reflect on the life she'd had, saying that it didn't truly begin until she was in her sixties.
"I didn’t enjoy my life until I was about 60 and then I married my second husband. I had a wonderful life after that. I don’t know what I would have done differently in my life given the chance. I had my children with my first husband for which I’m grateful for but I wasn’t happy.
"But I’m happier now than I’ve ever been since I married my second husband. That’s been 30 years of happiness."
As somber as it may seem to host your own wake, then, it actually sounds like the attendees had a great time. There was cake and banners and balloons - so it was more like a celebration of life than a commemoration of death.
Next time, of course, Leather won't be there for the wake - but hopefully it'll be a while until that happens.