Why we should prepare to die?

I visit my parent’s tombstone at least once a week. Nothing on it is for certain. The marriage date is not for sure and even the birthdates were in a hasty guess. My dad had a veteran of foreign wars funeral but that wasn’t for certain either because we could never find his discharge papers. They supposedly burnt down in a fire that was before computers. If he would have known then what he knew now my Dad would have doggedly went after those discharge papers for all the benefits he would have gotten out of the Air Force. My Mom really needed those papers when my Dad had a stroke in 2009. Being rehabilitated costs a lot of money. Granted they could have spent all the money and went on Medicaid but they didn’t want to do that. Somehow they got through that.

                Well, Mom died before Dad did. She left no will and didn’t really prepare for her death at all. It came really suddenly. All the money went to Dad except my money which went into a trust. The trust is being held by my sister and she watches it like a hawk. I haven’t had the chance to spend any of it yet. That even surprises my social worker but my social worker is glad it is there just in case.

                Dad made it ok for about two years. My sister took care of the finances and I basically took care of Dad and his medical helpers so he could stay in his house. I basically shopped for food, cooked a little and helped clean for the cleaning ladies. I wasn’t really in charge of making sure Dad was dressed or showered or anything like that. That’s pretty much where I drew the line. We should have pressed Dad for his discharge papers while he was alive but we didn’t. It was too stressful and for some reason Dad didn’t feel he needed his papers. We didn’t really. Everything was pretty much paid for but that is like saying you don’t need insurance. He could have even gone to the senior house without paying anything too, but again not any papers.

                After the second stroke in 2013 it just seemed like he didn’t want to go through that again.  We put him through Hospice where he seemed to have died with some fluid in his lungs. Dad died without a will also. He always said he would have a will and one of my sisters was always getting kicked out of the will, but he died without a will.  He in no way prepared for his death. My sister searched the whole house for his papers from the Air Force but found none. We found everybody else’s papers from Great Uncles who served but have died a long time ago. Mom and Dad left us with forty years worth of things in the house. We had to have a big estate sale where we sold, gave away and threw out a lot of things.

                Three very old men came over to my Dad’s funeral and gave a three gun salute. They folded up the flag and gave the flag to my sister. We had to pay for the funeral and tombstone. We got a little flag for the grave site but that is about it. Always keep your papers from the military service even after being discharge. There are so many service those papers will provide. Life could have been a lot easier and we could have had a little more inheritance money than we already had.


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