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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WE'LL BE BLUNT

We need to start raising significantly more in donations from our online community of readers, especially from those who read Mother Jones regularly but have never decided to pitch in because you figured others always will. We also need long-time and new donors, everyone, to keep showing up for us.

In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

Please learn more about how Mother Jones works and our 47-year history of doing nonprofit journalism that you don't find elsewhere—and help us do it with a donation if you can. We've already cut expenses and hitting our online goal is critical right now.

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