Area Woman’s Lifelong Dream is to Die on a Carnival Cruise Ship

“As long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to die at sea,” was how the impromptu interview began with lifestyle coach and avid ferret collector, Jill Rodriguez. “And when I first saw a commercial for Carnival Cruises, I knew that was the boat to do it on.” This was said to us completely unprompted while waiting in line at a Baskin Robbins with Jill standing in front of us. Thankfully, we had already been recording audio for another story, so we just kept rolling and decided to learn more. What we found out about her was haunting, bizarre, and downright American. Here is how it went.

“Why do you want to die at sea?” we asked, thinking it would lead to a simple answer. We were wrong.

“Well like I said, it’s been a dream of mine for a long time. I think it was just after my 5th birthday when my mothers first took me to the ocean down the road from our home in Miami. I looked out upon the endless blue, unable to fathom how such a place could exist. By the time I turned 8 and was a more confident swimmer, the ocean had become a second home. It was then that I realized it would be my forever home.”

“Right,” we said, moving forward in line and trying not to get distracted by the various ice cream flavors on the other side of the glass. “But what does that have to do with going on a cruise? Couldn’t you just be buried at sea or have your ashes scattered after you pass?”

“I considered that, of course,” Jill said thoughtfully. “I guess my fascination with cruise ships began later when I was around 18 or 19. I had just left home for the first time to attend college and my world had been thrown upside down by the process. I needed to feel safe, so a friend recommended we go on a cruise over Spring Break to reconnect with the ocean we missed so dearly while living in Chicago. Little did we know that we would be on that cruise ship longer than a few weeks.”

“What do you mean?”

“It was Spring Break 2020.”

“Ohhhhhh,” we said through our mask.

“Yeah,” Jill replied. “So we were stuck on that boat for almost 4 weeks as the world around us collapsed. And you know what? I’ve never felt such peace of mind. That was the exact moment I decided that a cruise ship was the perfect place to die.”

“But how do you know when you will die so you can time it right?” we asked.

“Oh, I already know that. I’m just gonna make sure I am on a Carnival Cruise when it happens. You’re telling me you don’t know when you’re going to die?”

Then when we said no, she told us. She just told each of us how and when we would die. And you know what? Now, a cruise ship doesn’t seem so bad.

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