Monday, February 22, 2010

A Morbid Monday Thought

I have no idea why this morning I was thinking about my government-issued health exam, but sure enough, I am.

I suppose part of it may be that after something as terrible as the Haitian earthquake, I feel like I have made a mistake during the checkup.

As part of Natalie's background checks, we both also had to submit to a thorough medical exam with family medical history, life-style questionnaires, needles, x-rays and fluid samples (no venereal diseases for me, thank you very much and nearly ideal blood pressure to boot).

As I went into the waiting room to give blood (oh, so many waiting rooms), the lady at the desk asked me if I wanted to join the State Department's DNA program. Sure, why not, maybe I'll get a discount or something.

"Are you sure?" the lady asked me. Hmmmm...So I had to ask why the DNA program was.

"We keep your DNA on record and use it to identify your remains."

Well, maybe that spooked me momentarily because I decided I didn't want to join the program. In hindsight, I wish I would have, but I don't think I was ready to be thinking about a potentially horrific death that could come as a result of traveling abroad.

Maybe it is my youthful disillusions about immortality, but I honestly don't care too much about receiving a proper funeral. But I've come to realize that if something such as a natural disaster were to strike where ever the government sends us, giving the government another tool to locate me would bring loved ones some sense of closure. So I wish I had let the government keep a record of my DNA.

But as I told my parents, Natalie did join the program, so if her remains are found with somebody the government cannot identify, then it is probably me. I don't think they found that very amusing or comforting.


  1. Don't worry honey, we'll have to get another medical check-up done before we go to our next post, so you can submit your DNA then. Until then, just don't die in such a way that the only way anyone would be able to be identified is by your DNA.

  2. My wife added the caveat that the government could not use her DNA for cloning purposes. Yes really. She is pretty entertaining!

  3. You have to stay light hearted about all of it! (Amy)

  4. Is it inappropriate that I laughed after reading this?