Tuesday, April 05, 2016
A friend and I touched briefly on this today. Our loved ones are leaving us in droves it seems and there's a stark reminder in there of unfinished business left everywhere the moment we leave.
People plan to finish up tidily, don't they? At least my circle does. We joke about paying for the funeral in advance, putting all the papers in a neatly marked file with the label "Upon my Death" typed neatly upon it. And final blog posts logged under the same heading. Last will and testament neatly signed and witnessed, last piece of knitting finished, tax returns filed, bank accounts notated, all passwords in the death file.
I was struck by what surrounded my dearest friend Helen as she lay for the last time in her house. Her half-read book was particularly poignant. Her day planner full of bridge meets and book club gatherings and dinners and baby sitting preplans and vacations that would never be taken. For most of us are taken unawares. unprepared.
In the final weeks of lives, energies are often consumed with treatments and hospitals and surgeries and decisions and just trying to hang on.
In D....'s case, she had talked to me of her lists, her many bequests to friends, her gifts to the daughter taken from her. She worked so hard for her wealth, very hard, at one time her trusted manager had defrauded her and she had to rebuild it all. She wanted everyone who loved her to have something when she died. The list was extensive. Her lawyer was coming in to the hospital the following day to witness this will formally and legalize it. And she died 8 hours before the appointment. So now the lawyers have taken over and who knows if the courts will approve this list even though it was clearly her wish and witnessed, verbally, by her friends, me included.
I do have a death file, I do have a will, I do have DNR instructions, but I look around me here and think: mein gott, this office is, well, unreal. I know where everything is but will anyone else?