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Thursday, April 22, 2010

What should I do to prepare for death?

A young American man poses a question to a popular Internet site.

I have pancreatic cancer and I am probably going to die. What should I do to prepare for death?

I'll keep this brief, to the point, and anonymous. Two days ago my doctor told me that I have pancreatic cancer and that if I am lucky, I will live six months. I'm only 28 years old.

I'm not here for sympathy or a handout. I need advice. I want to get all of my things in order before I tell my parents. They are very wealthy and will help me get the best treatment possible. From what I've read, even with the best treatment, my chances are not good. So what do I need to do?

What should I do with my stuff? Can I just type out a will or do I need a lawyer to stamp it? There is a tiny chance that I can beat this, so I don't want to give it all away just yet. I am thinking that I will move into my parents guest house while I go through treatment. Without an apartment to pay for I can quit my job.

I don't have a lot in the way of decorations and knick knacks but I have a huge (over a thousand in total) collection of books, dvds and video games. I figure after I die my books can be donated to a library but I don't know what to tell people to do with the movies and video games. My clothes can go to a charity shop. My brother has always wanted my 56 Chevy Bel Air (typing that made me sad, I'll miss that car). The rest of my stuff such as furniture and my truck I wouldn't mind selling now. If I do get to mooch off my parents, should I just box up the stuff and put it into storage? Would it just be best to get rid of it all now? I don't want to give my family grief by having to go through my things when I die.

How do I arrange for my body? I want to be cremated. With having cancer I don't know how many of my organs and tissues I can donate but I'd like to donate as much as possible. Again, I just want to get this stuff out of the way so that my family doesn't have a lot to do.

How do I break the news to people? Right now my only idea is to get my sort-of girlfriend, parents, ex-wife (she's still a friend) brother and best friend in a room and say "Okay, all of you stand up, stand up, okay good. Now everyone who doesn't have cancer and isn't going to die please sit down. Not so fast me" But I don't they will find that as funny as I do.

What else should I do? What else do I need to know? I meant to keep this real brief but I ended up typing way more than I thought I would. I know I have a lot of google searches to do. I am hoping you people can give me some advice and just tell me some things that I might not think of on my own.

It's kind of funny, if you told me a year ago that I was going to die I would of told you "I'm going to Vegas, I'm hiring a dozen hookers and I'm going to eat myself fat". Now that I'm probably going to die, I don't want to go anywhere, I don't want to have sex, and I definitely don't want to eat. What I want is to not cause problems for the people who I love.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.