Not to be confused with adultery….

A few weeks ago, I heard from a friend that a mutual friend had passed away “suddenly” at her home in California. She had not been seen in a few days and the Police responded, gained entry into the home and found her dead. She lived alone and had become somewhat of a hoarder and a recluse. Very sad.

My friend MC called me, hoping I could use some magic to try and find some information on next of kin. LC (the deceased) was not particularly close to her family and nobody in her small circle of friends had any clue on how to locate contact information. LC’s phone was locked and nobody knew the passcode to get into it. It was only through a few calls to some other friends that out friend RV was able to figure out the code….he’s a numbers kind of guy and knew LC well. So notifications to family were made and now the struggle to determine what to do next began. Was there a will? Was there an executor? At some point it was thought that MC was the executor but nobody knew for sure. One of the friends was able to get into the home but the hoarding issue makes finding important paperwork very difficult. So a larger group of friends will be flying west in another week with the purpose of finding the necessary documents, cleaning up the house, arranging for any repairs to be made and then placing the home up for sale. Quite a daunting task lies ahead for this group…which may or may not include an actual family member.

So all of this left me thinking about my mortality. I know that just a few short weeks ago I commented on turning 60…and having no desire to be dead at this point in my life. But what has happened to LC has been a huge wake up call. Would anyone know the passcode to my phone? Would they know who to call? Would they find any paperwork in my house that would indicate how I wanted my “affairs” to be handled? The answer is likely no to most of these questions. So what did I need to do to make sure I don’t leave this mess behind should I die “suddenly”?

On top of not having a plan in place, I also had been less than efficient on dealing with my financial matters. No, I am not in debt (other than the normal kind) and I don’t have an “estate” to leave behind. But I do want to retire (soon!) and need to make sure that my lack of attention to this has not been so bad that I’m doomed to the poor house. On the advice of a trusted co-worker, I went to see a financial advisor. The bad news? I have made some mistakes. The good news? It’s not as bad as I had imagined and in fact, can be corrected to the point that I will not end up in the poor house. Phew!

I don’t have a will but I will when the will man writes the will for me. God willing! So what to do with the things I have and the small amount of money I will leave behind some day? Without getting into specifics, I am making sure that my wishes are clearly defined and are easily located. I do not want to waste any money on buying a cemetery plot, a casket, a wake and funeral. Please, just cook me to oblivion, gather the ashes, drive to Maine, rent a boat and go out in Penobscot Bay, preferably near Pumpkin Island and drop my ashes into the sea. It’s where I belong.

And lastly….when I write my obituary to be published upon my death…it will simply say:

“Remember me is all I ask, but if remembrance be a task…forget”

That’s what adulting is all about.



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