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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Final Plans.


When do you start talking about final plans? You know the end is inevitable, and statistically for most people even predictable. So, why is it so hard to make final plans?

Could it be that we are really not good at these things?
Could it be that we so fear our own ending that even contemplating it abstractly causes anxiety and fear?
Could it be that we are not programmed to think about sad endings?

I wonder how many people have their final plans all wrapped up and in a safe place.
We, hubby and I, have gone as far as writing a will and choosing/paying for a cemetery plot. We have medical directives with our doctors and we carry the same with us to and from hospitals. We spoke to our children about all this; but they, as most young people, didn't really want to hear anything.
How many other people our age have gone this far? 

23 comments:

joeh said...

We have done everything except set a date.

Helen said...

I have. We have also made plans for my son Carl's future living arrangements after I am gone. Things get more complex when special needs come into the picture ....

Brian Miller said...

i guess my whole purpose in doing final plans is to ensure my boys are taken care of...and left with nothing to worry about as far as the details of my leaving...

ellen abbott said...

we did finally write wills and physicians directives but have failed to get them signed and notarized. it's on the to-do list. no cemetery plot, we will be cremated in the cardboard box, ashes scattered. and hopefully we will have already given most of our stuff to the kids and grandkids that want it by then.

Becky Jerdee said...

We have a 20-year-old will, have agreed on cremation rather than burial, and have written medical directives. Next on the list, updating the will with a lawyer who will make sure our beneficiary forms are in order. Our daughter, who agreed to be executor, doesn't want to talk about "it," so I'm opening a special account at our bank account for burial expenses that will be easy for her to retrieve.
Somewhere we need to write ideas for a service with ash burial in a churchyard garden.

Perpetua said...

We wrote our first wills when we married 46 years ago and have been updating them ever since. The rest has been dealt with too as it's so unfair on family to leave them with the big decisions to make.

dianefaith said...

My husband long ago did the paperwork to donate his body to Emory University. No service. I haven't done a thing except tell husband and children what I want: a green burial. No service. I'll buy my plot soon; location has already been noted. We have our medical directives and medical power of attorney forms done. Our wills are prepared. For years I thought we had to do the customary funeral things in this conservative, small town. Most people have used the same funeral home, the same trappings. My mind was slow to change, but I'm sure now.

Rian said...

We took care of this a few years back. No, the kids don't like to talk about it... but it's pretty much taken care of.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

We've had a series of wills for a number of years -- need to update again -- and medical directives as well as legal provisions for any cats who might survive us. I've also talked with my younger brother and sister about final wishes. He is a doctor, she a nurse, so either could make competent medical decisions if need be.

I think of death more often these days, in part because I'm already three years older than either of my parents got to be. We have a cemetery plot we bought in 1980 after my parents died but have since decided on cremation. May still use the plot -- or not.

There was an interesting moment today when I was sitting with a neighbor during her dialysis session. She has both stage 4 colon cancer and kidney failure. She is fading fast. And yet she has no desire to think about death. She was talking about getting a third dog and what she would do if she survived her husband. He tries to talk with her about her wishes, but she doesn't want to contemplate such things.

Tom Sightings said...

Hmmm, haven't done as much as you. But I have signed up to be an organ donor (if anyone even wants those old organs).

A Cuban In London said...

We've made a will but I admit that I found it tough-going. We're thinking of buying our house (we rent) because if we kick the bucket all of a sudden our children will be left with nothing.

Powerful post.

Greetings from London.

yaya said...

I have not (except for the plot) but I know we should. Your kids might not want to talk about it but they will be very grateful when the time comes that all things are in order. It's my biggest bucket list item..get my "stuff" ready! Plus get my "stuff" pared down to make it easy to clear out!

Munir said...

I am going to get Medicare next year and I have multiple health problems. I just have to write and date a DNR because I do not want to waste public funds or my family money and time on medical tests and procedures that will only stress out my children and my husband.

Linda Myers said...

We have wills, a trust (blended family), medical directors, powers of attorney. We sent the relevant docs to the grown kids who will be responsible, after they said okay. We have belonged to the Neptune Society for years - one call gets made, they retrieve the remains and cremate them, then follow the survivors' wishes as to their disposal.

I thought it was premature until my husband had a cardiac arrest in January. He's fine now, but we're reviewing the final wishes provisions just in case. Our kids don't want to talk about it either.

Diana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Diana said...

Such an important topic, and one that so many of us want to avoid. I wish that death were considered a more integral part of life, as indeed it is, instead of a topic to be avoided.

This is on my mental to do list, but seems less pressing than so many other things....

When my mom was passing, our hospice nurse commended us for keeping the children present and part of the process and told us that this is how it was done 100 years ago.

It's good to hear your "voice", I have so little time these days, but I miss your writing.

Maggie May said...

When you have brushed with death, as I have, it seems practical to write out your own funeral service. Made our Wills a long time ago.

We have to talk about it as it's going to happen to everyone...... not just yet, hopefully!
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Amanda said...

We scattered my mother in law's ashes last week and it occurred to me to ask my kids if they had a preference for what happens to my husband and me when the time comes - to have our ashes scattered or if they wished us to be buried in a cemetery where they could visit.

Hilary said...

I think the answer to all of your questions about why not.. is yes.

For such a serious post, Joeh's comment had me laughing out loud. Gotta love that.

Lydia said...

I love the first comment!!!!!

Wills ~ check
Medical Directives ~
check
Organizing papers/photos/family records/keepsakes/private history not necessarily best shared at all ~~ Not done! A priority that I keep on deferring because I hate dealing with clutter!

troutbirder said...

Good idea. We have done the same things. But the Alzheimer's has a way of focusing the mind. We also begAn the downsizing mode which is a huge project for a pair of collectors....:)

My Maine Blog said...

Wow...how timely your post is reading this today. I have been away from blogging for quite a few weeks and I have missed so much while I was away. So I'm catching up on all my favorite people and it's uncanny that you wrote about this. I have just lost my former husband a few weeks ago and had to travel back home to Cape Cod from Maine to help my son take care of his father in his final days and to be there when he passed away. But to go back a year...when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer I knew that he had no will and nothing taken care of in time of death. So together with him, the kids and I scrambled to at least get a signed will in place as he was failing quickly. So I got on the computer, drew up a will, sent it via email to my daughter who copied it, brought it to him in the hospital, got a notary to witness his signature and before you knew it we had it all done. Without it I knew things could become very complicated for my son and daughter. Now that I have witnessed all that happens when a loved one passes away I want to really get rid of all of my belongings, assets, our home, everything and just live in a rented house somewhere so that when we die they won't have to go through the court system, do all this unnecessary paperwork and stress that they are now forced to do or they will be in contempt of court. There is something so wrong with having to prove you are the rightful heirs and it's all because there are so many dishonest people who would readily steal it if given the chance. To hang onto "stuff" or tangible objects makes no sense to me. It's better to leave this world with nothing and give to our children before we pass away. That's my take on this whole thing. I apologize...this sounds more like a rant but it's just how I feel. It's good to be back again. Hope all is well with you Rosaria

Karen Barry said...

Since I have always handled all our finances and because I am 12 years younger than my husband I have always expected to live longer. I am now rethinking everything and am putting a notebook together with all our accounts, including PIN numbers for both my daughter and husband. We turned some money over to a trusted fianacial advisor and he would also be a source of advice. We moved two years ago and purged a lot of stuff but have managed to collect more. At least we are now in the house we hope to remain in for as long as possible. I even envision forming a "Golden Girls" living arrangement with some friends in 20 years. Hopefully one of us could drive, one could do yard work and one could cook:)