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Final Things

February 1st, 2011 at 03:29 pm

A close, older family member, "Lily", recently died unexpectedly. While neither Mr H nor I are the executors of her estate, I am getting a close-up look of what happens with a person's money and possessions after they die.

Lily lived with another family member, and we went to the family member's house every day for a while. We've looked at old photographs (who are all these people?), called family and friends, gone to the court house to record the will, enjoyed the company of many family members and friends, passed around the kleenex, met with the church people to help plan the funeral, and eaten lots and lots. The family member that Lily lived with has a network of church and work friends who brought food to the house every day. Mr H made some of the phone calls to get insurance straightened out, and met with the cemetery folks to find out what would be involved in the burial. We discovered that there is a fee for everything connected with death. We both helped with some parts of the funeral, and helped entertain out-of-state family members.

Lily had some items that could be considered monetarily valuable, but it's surprising how many family members are just not interested in them. I have asked for one of Lily's cookbooks, and Lily herself gave Mr H her crèche set right before Christmas. (No, she was not ill.) For us, those two items have significant value.

Later this month I'm going to talk with Mr H about final things. We do have wills, but there are some parts of them that need changing and updating. I think I will look into cemetery plots, headstones, funeral homes and all that go with that. I don't anticipate that Mr H and I will move out of this area. Having a final resting place for us and having made some of the arrangements for that time will make it easier on Daisy when the time comes. Even though Lily and her husband bought plots many decades ago, Lily's husband requested to have his ashes scattered. She could never do that. He was still sitting in the living room (in an urn) when Lily died. When the paper work about the plots surfaced it made the decisions much easier for Lily’s children. They went both to the plots they purchased together, and have combined headstone. Having them be together has been a great comfort to some of the family. I am going to add “Final Things” as a goal on my side bar.

I took Lily's library book back to the library and cancelled her library card. The only book she had checked out was called "Throw Out Fifty Things". How weird is that?

2 Responses to “Final Things”

  1. Savings Queen Says:

    Bless you for being there for your family. Death is never an easy thing. Here is my one recommendation to you. Take a few more things. When my husband's grandmother died I didn't want to appear greedy and just took a cake pan. Now I truly treasure that pan and wish I had taken a few more things. Also, they mostly ended up going to the DAV.

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'm sorry for your loss.

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