What To Do After I Die

At a certain point in life, we all start to think about our exits. Some of us think about the well being of our loved ones. Others think about money, home, or our legacies. We all want to die knowing those we left behind will be okay.

Since we never know when our number will be up, it behooves us to plan ahead.

This is what I want my husband to know should I kick the bucket first.
  • If I died suddenly, assemble a team. Call one of my sisters, a niece, or our best friends. Let them help you make calls, make arrangements, clean house, go through my things, or sit with you to talk. You want someone with you right now. You won't remember everything that needs to be done.
  • Make funeral arrangements. Read my lips. Do NOT spend a lot of money. Cremate me and put me in a simple container. I will not be offended if you put me in an old mayonnaise jar. If the funeral director doesn't believe you, show him this post.
  • Say goodbye for me. You know some of my online and offline friends. Let them know I'm gone so they can get the word out to those you don't know. I don't want anyone to think I'm being rude because I haven't answered their email.
  • On my computer, under the folder, Book Cover Diva, click over to Contracts to see if I owe anyone a cover. Let them know I won't have internet where I'm going. :)
  • Check my password book if you need to get into any of my accounts. Close Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, and Wordpress within a month of my passing.
  • Check my pockets before donating my clothes. I always squirrel away folding money here and there.
  • Speaking of donating...donate my art supplies and art books to a school or any one student with an empty wallet.
  • Republish my books if you so desire. Since publishing is not your forte, contact one of my writer friends for help. They'll put you in contact with someone who can do that for you.
  • Email: Leave it up for a while if you want, but unsubscribe from any emails that are not personal correspondence. If I do get emails from friends, let them know I'm busy haunting people. If they want to get on the haunt call list, tell them to say my name three times out loud and I'll stop by at my earliest convenience.
  • Money: We both know where the money is so I won't have to worry about that. Don't overspend, but do take care of yourself.
  • When I die, ask the funeral director for at least ten copies of my death certificate. You'll need them to close or change accounts with financial institutions and for survivor benefits.
  • Cancel my driver's license.
  • Get me off the voter registration rolls.
  • Cancel my health insurance. It's too late for me now. :)
  • Make a will. If we haven't already done this, make out your will, or revise it.
  • House: For the love of God, please hire a housekeeper. You are a wonderful husband, but a lousy housekeeper. You need someone to clean.
  • Speaking of the house, I know you love this place, but I hope you'll consider moving to a smaller home with a large shop. It's too much house for the two of us. It's ginormous for just one.
  • Socialize. I know you. You'll isolate yourself. Instead, I want you to join clubs and workshops for the hobbies you love. Talk to people. Make friends.
  • Farm animals. Sell them. They were always my responsibility anyway. You don't need to shoulder that alone.
  • Nana, Jammy, and Odin: I don't have to worry about them. I know you'll take good care of them. But go easy on the treats. If they get fat, I'm coming back to yell at you.
  • Downsize. Get rid of my stuff. All of it. Give it to people who'll appreciate it.
  • My ashes. You know what to do. Spread them over a meadow mixed with my Chelly's ashes. I'm willing to bet she's the first one I'll see at Rainbow Bridge.

Me and all our kids will be waiting for you on the other side. Take your time. We can wait.


What did I miss? What would you tell your loved ones?

If you're reading this, are you also thinking about Covid 19?
Check out these posts for more information on staying safe.

What You Need To Know About Coronavirus
How To Fight Coronavirus at Home
How To Hunker Down
Looking For Clues During a Pandemic
The Other Side of Isolation

An updated post on dying: When A Loved One Dies In Your Home

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Gregory Zannini said…
Not to worry, I don’t have a chance of outliving you, heck your mom is still going strong at 86! Good luck with that giant garage sale in my shop. Oh, and ask twice what I told you for the guns.
Maria Zannini said…
Greg: I hope to have you annoy me for many more years to come.

Hey! What do you mean, TWICE for the guns? That's because they went up in value, right?

B.E. Sanderson said…
This is all stuff no one likes to think about. Good for you for getting it done. We've got pretty much everything lined out for when we die, including wills and living wills (in case the thinking part is already dead.) Our kid and our folks know our wishes already, so there's no hinky stuff going on afterwards.

And yeah, I wish you both long long lives. I really don't want to hear of your passing anytime soon.
lynnviehl said…
Something no one likes to think about, but necessary, especially for our people. I like how practical and yet loving you are with your wishes.

Right before my last surgery I made up an instructions packet for my guy, with bullet lists in order of priority: what to do, who to call, contact info and the accounts he'll need to close. There's a lot to do if I go first, and the publishing and internet stuff can be complicated. I update the packet annually. I've also talked to our kids in case by chance we go on to the next place together, and they know where the instructions and wills are and what to do.

B, we both made living wills with comprehensive instructions as to when to terminate care, too. In our case we both have extended family who might try to act against our wishes, and after the Terry Schiavo case we wanted to make sure that didn't happen to either of us.

My grandmother wrote personal good-bye letters to everyone right before she died. I'm not sure if I want to do that but I might. My letter from her helped a lot with the grief.
Maria Zannini said…
BE: I used to be afraid to talk about dying, but I think after a certain age you just accept it.

Genetically, I should have a long life, but I'm accident prone so I suspect I'll probably trip over the cat and choke on pudding.
Maria Zannini said…
Lynn: I love that your grandmother wrote you letters! What a thoughtful and heartfelt gift.

We have no kids which in this situation is kind of sad, but I'm hoping my nieces or nephews will step up to the plate should Greg and I go together. My only wish is that my pets be taken care of. Everything else is of no consequence to me.
LD Masterson said…
Sigh. I need to do one of these, although I don't like thinking of either of us needing it. For mine, I'll have to leave all the computer related instructions to one of my sons and tell Stan to call them.
Maria Zannini said…
Linda: It's overwhelming when someone close dies. The more you can share the burdens, the easier on the loved one who got left behind.
Unknown said…
Thoughtful and Well Written! Appreciate this very much! "You Rock!"💟
Margie said…
I am over 70. My husband & I of 51 yrs. always believed that our son would be burying us.Instead 1.5 yrs. ago we had to have a funeral for him. He was 48 yrs. old. He was hurt while in the military, overseas! He had 2 days left before he would return home & retire! He'd been in 22 years! They tried hard to save him. But Covid 19 was in full swing! He languished for a long time & died alone. We all were not allowed to see him. I know the Lord & His angels were with our only son when he died! He was a hero, esp. to the military. His wife was wonderful! The military was wonderful! But he should have lived! He should have buried us! We know he was a Christian but our hearts art totally broken by his loss!Some times you just don't understand! Even though my husband & I have been pastors almost 50 yrs. ourselves! The Lord comforts us, but we are still broken. Christ stays very close however & His love helps us survive. Blessings.
Maria Zannini said…
Oh, Margie. My heart breaks for you. I cannot imagine living your pain but it reads loud and clear in your comment.

There's no rhyme or reason why some people succumb to covid and others don't. It makes no sense. Someday science will figure out the reason.

It takes time to recover from loss, sometimes years, but don't give up hope. We all travel this road at some point.

Take care, my friend.