Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The End Is Near ...

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment; Richie had the MAA (Major American Airline) retirees' club meeting. The doctor doubled my cardiac med's dosage; Richie brought home a folder they'd all received and discussed - a folder for end-of-life decisions! MAA has covered a number of (to me) depressing issues in recent months - elder abuse; setting up finances and now this. Clearly there is nothing further to be discussed after one's own death so perhaps it will be safe to go to the June meeting.

The folder - entitled "Your Way" - is put out by the Healthcare and Elder Law Programs (H.E.L.P.) Corporation, funded largely by the Ahmanson Foundation. It is a patient's directory which covers what is to be done of the patient cannot speak for him/herself. They're located at 1404 Cravens Ave., Torrance, cA 90501 310-533-1996. or
This information is FREE.

Talk about detailed! Three sets of papers: a general guideline about how you feel regarding long-term illness, persistent vegetative states and death; full funeral instructions and the legal work to declare another your "helper." I particularly like a section called "Your Additional Feelings and Views."

1. In making decisions for me, obtain the views of these people (list them)
2. In making decisions for me, ignore the views of these people (list them)
Is that hilarious or what?

The Instructions Concerning My Funeral and Burial Arrangements are practical (and when someone dies suddenly, they are beyond useful) and led me to rather imaginative thinking... "I desire for the following persons to be my pallbearers" Okay - Eric Clapton, George Clooney, Elton John...

It even asks you to list who is invited to speak -- and who is barred from speaking! "I desire that the following persons be notified, but ONLY after any services have been held." I love it! Controlling from beyond the grave! Meat and drink to me.

But all of us should have this kind of documentation. When you've completed the paper work, put it in a safe place and make a copy for those directly involved. Once this is done, you can do what my cousin in South Texas plans on doing -- he's not going to die, he's going to ascend.

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