Getting Your Affairs In Order is Harder Than it Sounds
A number of cliches kick into gear when your doctor says you have 8-12 months left to live. One of those is ‘Get your affairs in order’.
Some aspects of that are pure logistics. Where do I want to be when I die? My choice is hospice. I like the idea of staying at home as long as I can but when it gets intensely medical and unpleasant, I’d prefer not to have that happen in our home.
Dying elsewhere also avoids the “Glad you could come home for Christmas…you are staying in the bedroom where dad kicked the bucket. Sleep well” scenario.
Others are the practical things around the house. Where are those furnace filters? How do you change the lightbulbs in the 15 foot ceiling? What’s a circuit breaker?
And there’s the question of re-connecting with friends whom you haven’t been in contact with lately. That’s a tough one. It seems inconsiderate to leave the party and not say goodbye but it’s a hard topic to ease into: “It’s been awhile. Hope you are well. Just wanted to let you know that I’m dying soon.” Still working on that one,
I have been surprised by the sheer number of items on the list. Carol and I have a great partnership and have used the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy: I paid the monthly bills; she was on a first name basis with the kids’ teachers.
If you have a spouse or partner, take a minute and think about all little details you know but they don’t:
- What’s the best grocery store for fresh vegetables?
- Where is that password for the wifi network?
- Do we rotate our tires?
- What documents do we save for our taxes?
- Just how many kids are sharing our Netflix account?
- Who is the dog’s Vet?
My point is that I’m glad I got the warning shot because it made me realize how much information I needed to pass along. So I made Carol a ‘When I Die’ binder.
It may not be the most romantic gift I’ve ever given but it could be the most useful.