Article in this week’s Time magazine about collecting all your end of life paperwork.
This is the practical end of I Want a Fun Funeral. You can’t pull off the goodbye you want without leaving instructions for it.
The list of what would ideally be in this place (file, binder, the cloud, safe box, or a shoe box) covers a lot.
Because it needs to. When a person dies, the decisions and paperwork is unlike any other life event. Both immediate (what to do with the body?) and longer-term (cancelling accounts)… and even that’s the tip of the iceberg, depending on one’s life circumstances.
Since this is potentially an overwhelming task, I suggest going with whatever the easiest route is for you.
I think the shoe box is hard to beat, myself. No pretense of organization. No pressure to make it neat and tidy. No getting bogged down with how it all fits together and does it make sense.
All of that would be nice, of course, but if the thought of all that prevents you from starting, then organization be gone.
Pull out a shoe box, give it a big, impossible-to-miss label (End of Life, Last Wishes, When I Die, For My Funeral, Once I’ve Croaked… whatever you want.) And voilà, you now have a place.
Passwords. Account numbers. What you want at your service… or your party if you’re the fun loving & dying type. Articles or stories you’ve come across that you like. Or don’t like! (Scribble notes on them so people know which is which.) Anything that might be helpful to your survivors can go in the box.
Maybe some day you’ll be inspired to organize it, which would be fabulous, let’s face it.
But if it never gets organized, this shoe box is better than nothing. The point is having a low standard — something ongoing to add to, update, and grow.
If you suffer from mortality-avoidance, make this so-important undertaking as easy as humanly possible.
What’s possible is that it actually helps you get over that death anxiety. You come to accept the inevitable, practical, and altogether human fact that are time here is finite.
And that’s okay. We are all surely in our finite-ness together.