Are You Ready For the Death of a Parent?

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I hate to get too morbid, but it’s a fact that a fair number of elderly folks are going to die over the next few months. And as Marian and I discovered when her father died a few years ago, dying is not a simple thing in the 21st century. Her father was a pretty organized guy, but it still took months to sort everything out. There were just so many things that neither he nor we had thought of. Mother Jones editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery is going through the same thing right now:

My dad did not die of the coronavirus. He died of acute myeloid leukemia, first diagnosed at Christmas of 2018. But his final days, as we moved from hospital to home to hospice, were stalked by the virus. Every day the protocols got tighter, though not tight enough soon enough. Would we still be able to visit him? How many in the room? What if someone had come from abroad? When did each of us need to leave to get ahead of travel restrictions and home to our own families? What would happen when all the things you need to do after someone dies are upended or impossible?

So I say to you: You need to get on top of your parents’ personal information, the tools that you will need if they are hospitalized or die. And you need to do it right now.

If you’re anywhere near this situation—or could be thanks to the coronavirus pandemic—the whole piece is worth reading. It’s not pleasant, but if the worst happens it will be well worth it.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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