Those “after” details

Rosalie pushed her fork into a chunk of chicken and raised it as a pointer. Or a weapon.

“I like it here,” she told me as she popped the chicken in her mouth. “I kept falling and I knew I needed help. So I checked myself in. I like it fine.”

She sliced more chicken.

Seasons“It’s not fair to my family,” she said. “I’ve always been single so I don’t have a husband or kids. My sister and brother don’t need to worry about me.”

She surveyed the nursing home dining room. “Some of these people don’t have a choice. Well, maybe I didn’t either. But I thought I needed to make these decisions while I could.”

I sipped the glass of water before me and waited. Rosalie liked company and the conversation seldom lagged.

“I bought my burial plot already,” she said, sliding her fork under the mound of mashed potatoes. “And I picked out the headstone, too. Those are all paid for. I didn’t want my family to worry about that stuff.”

I wondered if she’d planned her own funeral service.

“No, not really. That’s not a big deal to me. I won’t be there so I don’t care what they decide to do.” Rosalie dipped her spoon into the cup of pudding at side of her plate.

Rosalie might have been the only resident in the room without children but other residents had absent children for one reason or another.

Sometimes children lived in another state and visited when they could. Sometimes they lived across town and visited when they had to.

Either way, some residents weren’t so different from Rosalie.  They might not have someone prepared to take care of after-death details.

But they should.

I’m not sure how to help that situation but I’m  thinking about solutions. Suggestions?


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