If you are over 75 and live alone with no living family you might want to create a Death Box to make everything run smoothly according to your wishes after death. Things can become a little complicated without clear directives. It should be very helpful for dear friends to have easily accessible NECESSARY forms and other instructions and messages. This is particularly true if you’re alone at the time of death.
I created a Death Box containing separate envelopes filled with various forms and relevant lists and messages regarding my dogs and basically whatever comes to mind in this arena. Currently the envelopes are addressed as follows:
Health Care Directive: Do Not Resuscitate
Funeral Home Info
Power of Attorney
List of Personal Effects
Taos Property Info
Cancel Insurance Policies
Envelopes addressed to closest friends
All of these items are contained in a shoe box appropriately labeled and decorated as seen in above photo. Close friends know of the box and its location.
Regarding end of life preparations I’m impressed by the work of interfaith minister Susan Varon who conducts the local Death Cafe meetings in Taos. The next meeting is March 1, 2:00 at Golden Willow, 412 Sipapu Street (at the Golden Willow facing Sipapu not Salazar). Be there at least 10 minutes early because the doors close promptly at 2:00.
Email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org and put your name on her mailing list to be notified of future Death Cafe meetings AND to receive the super-helpful information she sends out such as “A Check List for Dealing with End of Life Issues” and “How to Take Control of the End of Your Life” by Katy Butler. Katy’s book “The Art of Dying Well” is available at the Taos Library and I look forward to reading it.