Close up of old English dictionary page with word keep a promise
Cover Image © TungCheung

Promises For Friends Only: “If I Die” Pacts

I watched one of my favorite recent-year comic movie scenes a few days ago, and one part stood out to me between all of the action. One of the comic relief characters laughably says something to the effect of, “If I die, go and delete my browsing history,” or something like that to another character. It was a pact that friends make.

(1:02 in the video below)

(PS: This was a terrible movie, but this scene was great!)

An Important Point of Clarification

Now, to be clear – an “If I Die” Pact IS NOT a suicide pact. I don’t even want to joke about that subject, and if you’re having thoughts along the lines of suicide please seek help. I just wanted to clarify that before anyone comes after me for writing this.

No, an “If I Die” Pact is literally an understanding between you and a friend that if you pass, they are to take certain actions on your behalf. Think of it as a verbal last will and testament between friends.

Promises Between Friends

Whether it’s an oath, promise, pact, or whatever – plenty of people swear words to their friends on a regular basis. It’s so common that a quick search for “Promises between friends” on Google will yield results like “15 Promises To Make Your Best Friend Right Now” and “8 Promises To Make With Your Best Friends Now & Keep For A Lifetime“.

And while mine aren’t nearly that plentiful – I’ve only sincerely asked 2 things of my closest friends should I pass before them, and one of them technically doesn’t even count now. And I’ll often joke in front of people with my friend Mike that if I die I want him to go and find these suitcases at my place that are locked, and I want him to burn them without ever opening them 🤣

You should see the looks that one gets when I ask him to do that.

Young ethnic man is pledging allegiance with his right hand raised

The one that remains is a literal box of photographs and memorable items that I want to be passed on to my best friend Paul if I kick the bucket before he does. I had a mutual friend sign a letter that she witnessed me saying to pass it on to him and everything. When I told my mom about that box, she wasn’t happy with me because she felt like the box should go to her. I love you, mom – but, again, these are pacts between friends.

I wouldn’t know where to look online to see if other people commonly make such social contracts with their friends, but it’s something that I chose to pursue and take seriously (hope this isn’t getting too morbid – but planning for death is a little important since none of us can skip that part of living).

When you think about it, being entrusted with something along the lines of an “If I Die” Pact is kind of humbling. Someone is trusting you to act out one of their last wishes without even contractually obligating you to anything. They trust you enough to take you at your word and know that they can peacefully move on from life with the secure feeling that something important to them will be carried out. Kinda’ “wow” when you think about it.

Anyway, that little clip got me thinking about that for some reason and wondering if I’m weird to have something like that in place. Am I all alone, or does anyone else out there do something along these promised contingency plans with their friends? Let me know in the comment section below.

Handwritten text Keep Your Promises with fountain pen on notebook.

Until next time.

Peace, and thanks for reading.


The soundtrack for this post provided by…

Image Credits:
– Cover Image © TungCheung (Shutterstock)
– Body Image 1 © Lolostock (Shutterstock)
– Body Image 2 © Constantin Stanciu (Shutterstock)

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Created by Alex Volkov