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dauber

Contemplating one's mortality...ughh....

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Okay, this is just going to be weird, so I apologize...

About a month ago I had a nasty spill on a sudden patch of ice when I rode my bike to work. I fell and hit *really* hard, and my arm is still recovering. (Didn't break anything, but it was still nasty.) And I realized had I slid about 12-18 more inches, I could have ended up in Lake Michigan. I know how to swim, but, man...I don't know how well it would have worked out in that cold water with a fat guy on a bike and wearing a backpack! (Man...and the one day I didn't have a camera attached to the handlebars...I could have gotten some spectacular footage of an epic spill!)

Anyway...I don't know what came over me, but I got this idea to write out instructions as to what to do with me should I be discovered dead or unconscious as a result of a bike accident and stuffed them inside a pocket in my backpack. What to do with my various material possessions, what to do if someone puts up a "ghost bike" in my memory (spoiler: either have my wife disgustedly throw it in the Chicago River or have it fixed up and donated to a charity; I know they mean well but I freaking HATE those things), what to do in terms of a funeral, etc.

And the thing is...after I printed it out I felt completely mortified, almost as if I signed my own death certificate or something. I almost felt physically ill. My wife and I haven't made out a will yet and I *know* that a lot of the things I wrote in that note would probably not be...let's just say "allowed"...on a real legal will, but it was stuff that I was absolutely sincere about. (Such as, in my memory, have the city of Chicago designate a day in which people are allowed to take sledgehammers to cars that are parked or pulled over in bike lanes despire there being a wide open parking space immediately adjacent to the bike lane -- I can't STAND THAT, and I was dead serious about that, and conversely designate a day in which pedestrians are allowed to shove cyclists over if they're riding on sidewalks. Again, people would chalk it up to my sense of humor, but I'm absolutely serious about that. If you're on a bike, get OFF THE DAMN SIDEWALK unless 1) you're only using it as a VERY BRIEF crossover *and* 2) there are no pedestrians in the way.)

Really, it almost felt like I was writing a suicide note, even though the first thing in the note said, "If I don't survive, believe me, it was *not* a suicide attempt" because...I would never do that. Ever. EVER.

After a few days I dug the note out and tore it up and flushed it, and I felt better. Then later on I stumbled upon the document on my hard drive and re-read it and once again felt like total death...

Ever do anything like that and have that same feeling??? How did you deal with it???

Edited by dauber

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Interesting post....today is my father's funeral...leaving here in about an hour.  It's going to be a hard day.

 

Anyway, when my father died last weekend, my wife asked me something similar -- about who to contact if I were to die about all my "collection" and stuff.  She knows some of it is valuable, but mostly that I'd probably prefer it go to someone who would enjoy it instead of just giving it to goodwill or something.  Gut punch, although she didn't mean it like that. 

 

Well, I haven't done squat about it, and I guess we'll cross that bridge at some later date. 

 

My advice to you is to make some simple instructions when you are ready.  Nothing fancy.  Make sure your wife knows them.  Getting too specific makes it more morbid.  It'll probably be easier once you are fully healed.  And if you do it, don't think about it anymore after that. 

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Facing one's own mortality is not an easy thing and most people avoid writing instructions or saying anything about their wishes because of this.  Writing down your wishes is not a bad thing.  In fact, it is a good thing as you are taking the responsiblity of making those decisions from your loved ones.  Just because you write it down doesn't mean you're looking to die or that you're suicidal.  It is a fact of life that we all will die at some point.  We just don't know when, though we expect it to be when we are old.  Many people don't express their desires to anyone and end up being tortured by machines, tubes, and devices that are used to keep them alive artificially.  Maybe they didn't want that but they never told anyone and their family just did what they thought they had to do by keeping their family member "alive."

 

So, don't feel mortified.  Even if some of the stuff you wrote was not something anyone would put in a will . :)

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Good God, I'm so sorry, RickR. :(  You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

 

My healing really isn't much -- I wasn't hurt too badly; I limped the rest of the way to work (and I was able to take my bike over for a really quick repair and was able to ride eight miles home the same night) and my knee recovered within a few days, and my arm is just a little sore, just maybe a sprain, if that....the $241 (AFTER insurance) X-rays revealed that all was good.

 

Thing is...it's hard to talk to my wife about this stuff because it's hard for her to *hear* it...she doesn't want to think of losing her husband. I didn't even tell her about the instructions I typed up.

Edited by dauber

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First off all, my heart goes out to you and your fam Rick, and I'm glad your ok Sean.

 

I'm not a big fan of roadside memorials any more than I would be if someone put an X where someone dropped dead in a house, school or store. They may slow down some drivers, but my guess is they cause more of a distraction. 

 

For the most part, even though there are things I still want to accomplish in this life, I'm perfectly at peace with my own mortality and what lies beyond. And both my wife and I have term life insurance, so if anything happened in the near future, we'd be able to grieve without worrying about money so much. Imagine raising four kids and trying to pay all the bills as a single parent while grieving at the same time. No thanks.

However, this post did remind me of few things I should get done sooner than later:

1) Get wills done for my wife and I so that if we both died together, our kids would be set up with who we'd want them to be raised by.

2) Get an "I love you" paper done for my wife, so if I did die, she'd know how to access the stuff I mostly handheld, like bank accounts and such. So basically a list of were to go and what passwords to use.

3) Spend more time with the kids. Especially, one on one time, which is not always easy with multiple kids. 

4) Take better care of myself physically, if for no other reason than my family's sake.

 

It may not be fun to think about this stuff, but if anything did happen, it would be very beneficial for the family.

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Heh. I've been working on #4 my whole life. I'm amazed that my annual physicals have always come back good (basically, the only thing ever wrong with me is a vitamin D deficiency, most likely because I usually have my physicals done in the winter) despite my obesity. Thankfully my family has good genes; long life runs in the family. But I want to treat those genes the best I can.

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I also wonder if psychologically it might be a little harder for us gamers to deal with mortality, since we tend to play games that constantly give us extra lives, continues, save files and the ability to reset at anytime. That could make it harder to come to grips with the single life we are all given. I'm sure it doesn't apply to all gamers, but there might be something to it. Just a random thought.

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Thanks so much all.  Tough day.  Glad to have the distraction of friends and fun here to take my mind off all that for a little bit. 

 

I've got the #1-4 list from NSG (great list, by the way) done for years.  Keepass is a godsend for #2.  I highly recommend that program to store all that kind of stuff. 

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Sorry to hear about your father, RickR.  And glad that you are OK, too, Sean.  

 

I have not given it much thought as to what I want to happen to my stuff when I go.  I have no kids of my own but I do have two step sons...only one of which remains in contact.  The good news is that my Grandpa on my Mom's side had bought burial plots for himself, my grandmother, my mother, and me.  My grandmother is still living although she is in a nursing home.  So that portion is already take care of for me which is nice.  I don't understand why Grandpa did that for Mom and I and not the rest of his kids.

 

As for other things...those have not been planned yet. 

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