It is official, I am now in the blogosphere! I have been encouraged by my author/editor/publisher friend, Beth (contact info below), to start blogging about the project we are embarking upon. I will begin with how it all started…
In July of 2007, my mother lost her battle with cancer that had been discovered only a year before. It was a form of cancer in her mouth. She was in excellent health throughout her life, never drank, nor smoked, always thin, she never even cussed and she died just a month after her 66th birthday. Way too young. After she died, I searched for a resource that would tell me what to do (logistically) after the death of a loved one. I wanted to help my dad as much as possible with closing credit card accounts and such. I found a few lists online however, I did not have much luck. Being a list driven person, I decided to create my own. Just one year later, my dad died. It was crazy. Thankfully, I have four wonderful siblings and we all came together like nobody’s business and handled all that needed to be handled with very little friction and much love and support toward each other. A testament to my mom and dad for raising such good kids.
But again, after dad died we were all in logistics mode, who is doing this? Who is doing that? What have we done? What needs to be done? “Did you call and follow up on the autopsy report? We have not recieved it and we should have by now.” This time we have a house full of stuff (and plenty of it, they both loved to “collect”) where no one will continue to live. What do we do with it? Who will handle it? All I could think of was “how do people manage all this when they don’t have five strong, able-bodied, hardworking surviving children?” As I like to say, “my parents raised me right!” with my finger up my nose.
I have always been comfortable talking about death. It is, after all, a fact of LIFE and we all experience it. Hence, my blog title “deathandlife”, because when you are the survivor of a death, life does go on. I want to help people with an expanded list I originally created that will be valuable for anyone who has the burden of managing these tasks when it is all you can do to keep your head above water, let alone try to think of everything you need to do (and delegate) to accomplish. Part checklist, part appointment calendar, part inventory, part address book, all you need wrapped up in one book that will be provided (and continually updated due to the speed of technology) to hospices, funeral homes, places of worship and individuals who are in need. This week I am talking to the funeral director who beautifully handled both my parents deaths and will report on my blog his input. He has already said it is a “great idea” and that he has thought about putting one together himself due to the requests he gets for them (he has to say he doesn’t have anything). Everyone I have asked has instantly replied with “I would use it” and “I wish I had one when my mom died”. If one exists, I have not found it, so I am going to fill the void and hope it will be welcome. Peace.
Beaty Editorial Services (my friend Beth Beaty, the editor)
77 E George Street
St. Paul, MN 55107