Monday, June 15, 2009

The what if post

Yesterday we went to my friend's funeral who died unexpectedly and suddenly at the age of 48 due to over medicating on her inhaler and couldn't be resuscitated due to liver failure from damage from years of medication - or something along those lines. Her family had to go back to her apartment and find information on who to call - her boss, her friends, etc. Her funeral was horrible and very nice, a good balanced combination, and it made me think.

I used to work for a man who lived by the 'hit by the bus' theory - never have only one person know how something worked because what if they were hit by a bus one day and never came back and no one else knew how to do it. I always thought this was rather morbid and overly pragmatic but it does make sense.

My grandmother, who lived to be 96, made sure everything was organized before she died. She prepaid for her own funeral and had an 'In case of death' envelope. For the last 20 or so years of her life, when ever she thought of something that people should know after she died, she would write it on a piece of paper and put it in the envelope. That way we knew what she wanted in her death notice, flowers for her funeral, etc. It was very organized.

Me on the other hand is not so organized. Perhaps I should make an effort. First of all, maybe I should put some thought into what I would want for a funeral (not that it is going to happen any time soon that I know of) like flowers, service, cremation, etc. They say funerals are for those who are left but its really a chance to throw the only party you can never attend so you might as well make it a bash. A nice thing about yesterday's funeral is the minister actually seemed to know a few things about her. Nothing like going to a funeral where the minster mispronounces the person's name because they didn't know them! (One thing I will put in writing is that everyone at my service MUST shut off their cell phone - someone's rang, not once, but twice during the service yesterday.)

Also, what about all my life that is now on line? Who would update my blog? Who would know how to update my blog, my facebook page, etc? I can tell you the secrets to my life lie in my archaic rolodex. That is where I write down all my user names and passwords so that I don't have to remember them.

There is a new industry emerging with the advent of the internet and online banking and financial resources. You can hire a service to protect and locate your assets on line 'just in case'. You know how you have to go through 47 hoops if you forget your password and user ID where you do your online banking? If you are 'no longer with us' this service will allow you to predesignate someone to access your financial assets and save all your user IDs and passwords so they don't get stuck in the black hole of cyber banking for eternity.

I really don't expect to need it soon but perhaps I will put some thought into what I want.


Debby said...

I've always told my kids that I do not want a funeral...just everyone to come to the house and visit and comfort one another. No one would be allowed to 'speak' unless they know me well enough to tell one good story and one bad story about me, for I am not a perfect person, and do not wish to be portrayed as one when I am gone. I want to be cremated and dumped in a hole. Stick a lilac bush on top of me. No marker. "How will people know where you're buried?" my son asked, aghast. And I think of all the old graves in the old part of the cemetaries, and I tell him what I know for a fact: In a generation, it will not matter anyway. Oh. I've a selection of music as well. One of the songs is Solsbury Hill.

It is sensible to think on these things, but do not dwell on them.

Susan said...

I read this post Monday and didn't feel like posting just then. I lost my brother to liver failure early Sunday morning. We had been hoping for a transplant, but it was not meant to be. Life has a funny way of knocking you upside the head.

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