Tag Archives: Be Prepared

Textually Foreboding?

I received this text from my mother today.


Aside from the horrible grammar and spelling, the rest of the message is pretty damn frightful as well.

My mother used to be the one who would call all the time. Now she texts. Which I’m usually grateful for, as I don’t like to talk on the phone. But there are definitely some things that one should make a call for…

Here’s hoping for some better news soon.

Until next time...

Where there’s a Will…

Up until recently I don’t know that I was a believer in the need for marriage for same-sex couples. Even with the Husbear and I having been together for 15 years, in my brain it didn’t seem like something we really needed. But because of recent events, I’ve reconsidered that. Probably not for the reason most people do however.

There is one major reason I think marriage of same-sex couples should be legal: because I don’t want to have to deal with death differently than legally married people do.

Let me explain.

When one half of a legally married couple dies, the surviving half has certain rights and benefits automatically extended to them that help protect that person during that time of distress and after. But when one half of a not legally married couple dies, things can—and often do—go downhill quickly for the other half in regards to decision making and their future.

One shouldn’t have to be thinking about “what happens to our stuff” or “where am I going to live” before the funeral is over. And yet, that happens time and again to many same-sex couples.

Until that day comes when same-sex couples can be married with legal recognition throughout the entire country and have these same legal rights, I urge you to hire an attorney and get whatever legal documents you need to have for the state you reside in to have the legal protection similar to what legally married couples get automatically: a Last Will; Living Trust; Power of Attorney; Living Will; Disposition of Remains.

You can get an idea of what some of those do here.

And I know this sounds odd, but make sure you have the paperwork drawn up and signed separately. You don’t want your partner’s family members saying you forced your partner to sign them under duress and contest the paperwork. It happens.

Someone has to take care of your possessions and finances after you are gone. The only way to make sure it’s your partner is to declare that in a Last Will. Or better, a Living Trust.

And while it sounds morbid, decree what you want done with your body and what kind of funeral you would like. A funeral should be a reflection of that person’s life, not what someone else thinks it should be. Do you really want to subject friends to a religious-themed funeral if you are an atheist, all because a family member gets to decide after you are gone? Do you want your body to be cremated but instead someone has you embalmed? Do you want certain songs played? These are things you can declare in a Disposition of Remains, or similarly named document in your state.

Who would have thought death could be so complicated?

And the paperwork exists not just for when you are dead, but before that as well. Who will make medical decisions when/if you are unable to? Or I should say, who will be legally allowed to make those decisions for you? That’s what documents like the Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney are for.

Once you have the paperwork, make sure you keep it updated as your life changes. And ALWAYS carry copies of it with you at all times—as well as your attorney’s phone number—because you never know when it’s going to be needed.

Until next time...

On Death and Dying

Sean over at Just a Jeep Guy does this “TMI Questions” bit. His latest was “Death and Dying”. Which morbidly piqued my interest. And seeing how I still haven’t managed to get a few other draft posts written to my satisfaction, I’m going with an easy out.

1. How would you like to die? How don’t you want to die?

I guess there’s that whole “peaceful in my sleep” bit that everyone seems to hope for. Then again, I hate going under anesthesia because I’m afraid I won’t wake back up from near-death.

And I have a big list of ways I don’t want to die: burning, drowning, choking, chemically dissolving, being impaled, squished, shot, disembowelment, a thousand paper cuts, infestation, exploding, bleeding out.

I think I’ve probably spent a little too much time thinking about that.

2. Do you want to go before or after your spouse?

I would like to go before the Husbear does. But that’s probably selfish of me. I guess there’s always the Beetlejuice route where we go at the same time.

3. Have you planned your wake or funeral?

Technically no. I do have a general idea of how I would like it to go down. But nothing set in stone. Although it’s not like I would really care once it’s gotten to that point. Maybe I should work on a plan, just so someone else doesn’t have to make those decisions during that meta-crisis.

4. How do you want your body laid to rest?

Through a wood chipper. On to the crowd. Gallagher-style. But apparently that is against the law. So I’ll have to settle for something a little more boring. Like being cremated. It seems more earth-friendly and less chemical-filled.

5. What do you think happens to you after you die?

All the cells completely die and lose structural cohesion. So I start turning to a pile of human mush. Or do you mean on a more “life after death” level? If so, see what I just wrote to answer this question.

Bonus: If you died today but could be frozen and brought back in 100 years, would you?

To answer this, I’m going with the assumption that we’ve gotten cryogenics down perfectly. With that said, I don’t know. Imagine the culture shock of being displaced by 100 years. Way too much can change in that time span. I’d be totally lost because humanity would have accelerated so much in everything. That, or I’d be the smartest man on the planet because of the “Idiocracy” factor.

Until next time...

Songs for the After Party

I’m curious about something.

Does anyone else maintain a list of songs they want played at their own funeral/death celebration/whatever you want to call it?

Is it weird that I have one?

I have this thing about hearing music at funerals that I’m fairly certain the recently departed would never have played/sang in a million years. And that always bothers me.

And if I hear “Amazing Grace” one more frakin’ time…. Actually, I’m okay if bagpipes play it. But that’s the only way. No singing it. Never again. Ever.

Because of that, I maintain a list. Not that anyone will probably remember it when the time comes. But at least I can say I made an effort. “Be Prepared” and all that.

Songs get added. Songs get removed. I’m guessing that’s what time does to us. It changes our perspective on what things mean. I don’t even have a specific reason that I could write out for some of these. They’ve just stuck with me over time since I heard them.

Other songs can be played. Happy Shiny Songs. And nothing slow or sappy, except maybe the ones on my list. Because it should be a party.

Here are the songs I have currently on my list:

Rob Thomas’ “Now Comes The Night
The B-52’s’ “Dreamland
INXS’ “The Stairs
Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine
Gary Jules with Michael Andrews’ “Mad World
Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)
Queen’s “These Are the Days of Our Lives
Jimmy Buffett’s “Wheel Inside the Wheel

And then I have some specifically for the Husbear to remember me by, which is probably wrong of me:

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s “Still In Love With You
Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply
DaViglio’s covering Kelis “Acapella”

So, if you have a list, what songs are on it?

Until next time...

Digital Life… After Death

I have a Last Will & Testament. A Living Will. Several different forms of Power of Attorney. All of which are designed to take care of my physical life and belongings when I’m either incapacitated or die.

But what happens to my digital life and data?

I’m not really sure why I was thinking about this. What happens if I get killed by a flaming toilet seat from space? If there’s one thing that was drilled into my head in Boy Scouts, it was:

Be Prepared!

Oddly enough, as I typed that, I wonder if that’s what made me so pessimistic and negative about so many things? I’ll have to ponder that for a bit….

Anyway, back to what I was originally pondering.

I feel that I’m not prepared. At least for the digital afterlife.

I do all the paperwork in our household: our personal finances, both of our personal business finances, and the finances for our two businesses. All of which means I have a plethora of online accounts: banking, bills, vendors, etc., all of which have usernames and passwords to access.

I also manage several domains, and have several different email accounts. Then there’s all the social media sites I am a part of: this blog, Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, Google+, flickr, YouTube, Gowalla, foursquare, and only the FSM knows what other sites. What will happen with those accounts? And who will let my online friends know of my demise in a proper and respectful manner, even if I do break my neck slipping on a puddle of lube the Husbear failed to clean up?

And it’s not like the Husbear (or probably anyone else) could guess my passwords. I’m not one of those people who use the same simple password for every site I visit. I like my passwords complex, just like my men. 😉 I essentially had god privileges with my former corporate IT job, so having complex passwords was always drilled into our heads.

Mostly because I tend to not remember *all* of them myself, I do keep an encrypted database with my current account information in it: usernames, passwords and all those damned annoying challenge questions and answers. But how would anyone know how and where to get into that? Should I keep the access information in a sealed envelope in a safe deposit box just in case?

What about all the computer gear I have around. The Husbear has finally just learned where the power switch is for the DSL modem. How is he going to know how things are connected and interconnected? After all, he’s the first to call me when “the Internet is down!” Should I draw a diagram out? I know the way I do things and the way other tech heads do things are never ever the same. Would someone have to dismantle my network just to make sense of it? Or could they?

And what about all the digital media I have: all the digital photos I have taken over the years; all the photos, videos, movies and television episodes I’ve “collected” (some of which may or may not be porn). Who will know where that is all stored, and who it should go to, and what should be scrubbed?

These are the kinds of thoughts I have at night when I should be sleeping.

Not to sound like the invitational at the end of a church sermon, but I’m curious: Have you given any thought to this for yourself? Is there someone who will take care of your digital life and data for you when you finally shuffle off this mortal coil? Will they even know where to start?

Until next time...