Chet Fitch died in October at age 88. Yet he got permission from God to sneak back to Earth so he could send handwritten Christmas Greeting Cards to his friends, giving his return address as "Heaven". His parting shot read: "I'll probably be seeing you (some sooner than you think). Wishing you a very Merry Christmas".
This man sure does have a sense of humor and perhaps a large treasure chest of practical joke ideas. Friends who received the cards were both amazed and amused. The card showed him square dancing with his wife Jessie, who also passed away in 1995. His daughter described it as "sweet and funny, just like him", while an old friend fondly remarked "You little stinker".
This joke was 20 years in the making. Mr. Fitch planned it with his barber Patty Dean, 57, in 1987. Dean told the Ashland Daily Tidings newspaper that Fitch wanted to play one last prank on people after his death. One week before he died, he told Patty Dean the cards could probably be sent this year.
The concept gives you an idea of the kind of person Mr. Fitch was, and one can imagine the fun-filled life he must have led. The prank was probably meant to have his friends accept his passing, view their own journey into the afterlife as fun, and be remembered for the friendship he has enjoyed with those he considered he could count on in this life. The joke pulled by Mr. Fitch was laden with thoughtfulness and warmth.
The idea opens up a whole new horizon for one's exit from this world. I myself was toying with the idea sometime back about being set upright in my wake with the right hand extended to receive a handshake, and the left hand raised to receive a high five. Or, a photo of myself dressed like Marlon Brando in The Godfather covering the window of the coffin, and upon removing the picture, I would be lying inside with one eye opened as in a winking posture.
Such gags would allow one to be remembered by one's grandchildren for a long, long time! There's plenty of time for preparations as I am not about to leave soon, I hope. It would be fun to send cards too for Halloween, or for All Saints Day, and on the birthday of each of the grandchildren during the year.
Trouble is, I don't have a single grandchild to speak of yet, not even in the pipeline!