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A Person's Last Wishes

Posts: 4881
 Elsa
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(@elsa)
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Joined: 18 years ago

A couple weeks ago @soup came on to say her family was not honoring her mother's last wishes.  I really hate this. It's just awful.

So then yesterday, the wife of the man who died, called me over. She had been at the hospital with her husband, for four days and four nights.  She had come home to take a shower and hope to have a nap, before heading back to the hospital to be with her husband. She knew he would likely die that evening.

She said that she knew what his wishes were and that he'd also told their son. She said her son knew what her wishes were.  No one has to worry about their wishes being carried out in this family.

He died a that evening. I was notified at 5 am but the son, who is going to be the one making sure it happens the way he dad wanted it to. It just struck me.

Following a person's last wishes is an act of love. It is your last chance to honor the person who has passed.

I don't think this is taught to people anymore so I'm writing it on the chance someone will internalize this and remember it when they find themselves in this position.

It's disgusting to have someone die and wave your hand like it doesn't matter because they are dead.  Putting someone to rest is a sacred duty. I just can't abide shirking it for any reason.

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8 Replies
Sue Ellen
Posts: 237
(@sue-ellen)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago

Absolutely, a person's final wishes should be carried out as best as possible.

I feel terrible for soup.

I was the executor of my mother's estate. Her wishes were carried out.  Mother had the deed to her grave site. There was already a joint headstone with dad. The only thing missing was her death date.  And her.

Her attorney said the funeral directions should not be in the will. Maybe that's my state.  We prepaid her funeral when she went into a hospice nursing home. My brother and I picked out everything in order to get an itemized bill. We made the final cost just below $10K. We made her check out to the funeral directors fund as a prepaid funeral.  Yes, her check from her checking account. We had power of attorney.

The feds, in 2015, allowed $10K for prepaid funeral that could not be counted as an asset after a person's assets went below $2K and made them eligible for Medicaid. Resources dwindle quickly in the those final months of life in the USA. Many people spend most of their assets in the final months of life.

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 Elsa
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(@elsa)
Joined: 18 years ago

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Posts: 4881

@sue-ellen thanks for this.  Saying the quiet part out loud.

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Allie
Posts: 1136
(@allie120)
Honorable Member
Joined: 9 years ago

I cannot even imagine not honoring someone’s wishes, but it does happen, as we have seen. This is a value. Honoring someone’s wishes is a value. What is more important than this during that time? I cannot even imagine fighting with my brother and sister over this when my mother goes. My husband’s family did everything as their mother wished when she went. It was utmost in their actions.

I’m very sorry for you and your neighbor’s. It’s a relief they have a good family.

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Posts: 183
 Kim
(@kim)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago

I agree. My mother and her sisters had a falling out over this. It was stupid, and I still don't even understand it. My grandparents had bought their cemetery plots decades before they passed away. Everyone knew they had them. Yet, there was debate after my grandmother's death over my grandmother allegedly considering cremation (and she had dementia when she mentioned it). Considering. Not deciding on it. She kept the cemetery plots and never told anyone that she wanted to be cremated. And years after her death, my aunt and mother do not speak over this, because my mother took care of arrangements without consulting her sisters. Like there needed to be a debate over it or something. They wanted to debate, to feel included in decision making, even though there really wasn't a decision to make, while Grandma was in a cooler. Mom was just trying to get things done, and she was the only one who actually lives in the area and could take care of everything.

I think people need to make their wishes abundantly clear, preferably in writing. It makes it easier for everyone. And it might eliminate this kind of thing that happened in my family.

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Allie
(@allie120)
Joined: 9 years ago

Honorable Member
Posts: 1136

@kim It would be good for people to make their wishes clear. And if they didn’t, I still can’t see people having entire family feuds over this. If something is unclear about anything my mother wants, I’d defer to my siblings’ best guesses. We all love her and our lives will never be the same, so it’s with love that we would honor her.

I’m so sorry for what your family and @soup’s we’re/are going through.

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Dori
Posts: 360
 Dori
(@dori)
Estimable Member
Joined: 8 years ago

My dad due to his sickness didn't have the proper chance to say what he would like. I knew only he wanted to be cremated, but where he wanted to be laid to rest, I don't know. He is with his mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and my mum. Even before my mum got worse, I started a conversation about what I would like, and where I would like to be. I did it on purpose because I needed to know what she would like, but without frightening her that that conversation is actually about her death, not mine. I lied to my mum until the very end, that she would live. She just couldn't bear the thought she would die, and I had to lie in order to keep her alive as long as possible. But, I knew what she wanted, a very simple cassette, to be next to her husband and priest. That's it. And on the day she died, when my brother and I went to organize the funeral, I knew what I need to do. It was a holy job for me to do and I was determined to do exactly how she wanted. Flowers were my choice because I realized I never knew what her favorites were. So, a bit of tulip, a bit of lilac, and a hyacinth, my favorite flowers. It was my own personal touch for her and the songs I picked, it was her favorite. Her flowers were so modest comparing other ones that came on the day of the funeral, and my brother was very disappointed we held the funeral where she wanted. He wanted to be grand, in a big city, not in her hometown. He wanted to cremate her, no matter if she didn't want that. While we were standing in the morgue he was complaining about her wishes, calling them stupid and how it was a mistake to listen to what she wanted. I wasn't surprised, but even if he insisted on his wishes, not hers, I would never allow him to do that. Never. The last wish is the most beautiful thing we can give them when they leave this world. It would be a sin not to honor that.

My mom's funeral was very personal and who knew us, and not many did, knew there were hidden gems in all those little things that I want to honor her with. I feel privileged for being able to do that.

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Allie
(@allie120)
Joined: 9 years ago

Honorable Member
Posts: 1136

@dori That was beautiful.

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Dori
 Dori
(@dori)
Joined: 8 years ago

Estimable Member
Posts: 360

@allie120 Thank you! ❤️

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