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CancerLynx - we prowl the net
April 30, 2001

Things That Must Be Discussed
Karolen I. Paularena
In Memorium
February 23, 1957 - July 18, 2001

Well... not everyone does want to talk about death or after death issues beforehand, do they? But, in answer to the question about what we think MUST be discussed, here are my thoughts (in no particular order):
- What to do about minor children, especially if, like mine,they aren't the spouse's?

- Where are the official papers? The will, the medical power of attorney, the telephone numbers and email addresses of one's nearest and dearest, information about of funeral and/or memorial service wishes, plans for disposition of that lifelong collection of knickknacks, etc., etc.

- Where is the safe deposit box key? For that matter, where is the box itself? What about that Swiss bank account nobody knows about but you?

- What do you want to have happen in terms of medical intervention (or lack thereof) when/if you can no longer make your wishes clear?

- What are the major outstanding bill and/or payments due in the next few months? Don't forget, some can be really nasty, like estimated income taxes. If it's too hard for the healthy, it's probably way too much for the sufferer.

- Who do you want to come see you near the end? Is there anyone you really don't want as a visitor?

- Would you ever consider assisted suicide? Who would you hope would help? Some people have religious objections to this; others don't.

- What clothes -- jewelry? wig? -- do you want to be wearing for the funeral, cremation, whatever?

- Where would you like to die, if you have a choice?

- Would you like to donate your corneas, your heart, your lungs, to science or for transplant? Timing is extrememly important for things like this.

- Is there anything you need to say that you'll be sorry if, on your deathbed, you still haven't?

I really think you have to at least SAY some of these things once or twice, so that your survivors don't feel wracked with guilt when they see what you've written down.

By the way, you might was to consider the Memorial Society. They apparently have a kit that includes guidelines for this sort of thing, even a magnet packet you can put up on the fridge...
- Karolen

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