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.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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