Death -- How to notify Internet friends

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by MaggieMae, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. MaggieMae
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    MaggieMae Reality bits

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    Not me, not yet.

    A close friend was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which is 99.99% fatal within a year. She never had children, and the only remaining family are distant cousins. But she has several close friends, both live ones and has made friends sight unseen on the Internet via a variety of topic message boards and groups who play games like Scrabble and even Chess online.

    Her problem is how to notify those people that she is dying, and what kind of instructions to give her executor (in this case me) for notifying her friends on the Internet when she does die. This woman doesn't want to just turn up missing for several days and have everyone wonder what's happened, for one thing. Her other concern is that she doesn't want to just give out her screen name and passwords to me (or anyone else) to go poking around her private exchanges.

    I suggested she select what she considers the most trusted Internet friend in each of the sites she visits and explain the situation and ask for that person's email address, which I will keep and then notify those people who could spread the sad news. BUT, Marjorie is a very private person and has never given her email address to even those she trusts, but has never met in person. Actually her biggest fear in doing that is that the person will go ahead and tell others anyway, which she doesn't want. No sympathy beforehand, in other words. Plus there's always the possibility of exploitation if her impending death was released online for anyone to see.

    It's sad that while we feel free to expose parts of our most vulnerable personas, when it comes down to reality, we really are private people. Maybe she is being too paranoid, so I thought I'd solicit some input as a third party of interest on her behalf.
     
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  2. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    an email chain is most likely the best...i have seen posters die....expectly and suddenly...somehow there is always someone who knows...who stays connected with the dying person and the other chatters
     
  3. Mr. H.
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    As executor, I would think you'd be trusted not to view personal info. Good luck whatever you choose.
    Thoughts and prayers to your friend.
     
  4. Midnight Marauder
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  5. Zoom-boing
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    Have her place that info in a sealed envelope only to be opened upon her death. Then visit each board/site and let them know. That's what Elutherian's (a new poster on here who passed away last week) sister did on here.
     
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  6. Big Black Dog
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    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Death, and the knowledge of one's pending demise effects all people differently. I think it's all a matter of personal attitude. I have a medical condition that could kill me in the next 5 minutes or in five years or so. Who can tell about things like that? I don't worry about it at all. I mean what can you do about a medical condition like that anyway? I am fortunate in that I feel very well and will most likely continue to do so until the condtion overtakes me. My personal affairs are all in order. I know that if I die, Mrs. BBD will be well taken care of, and everybody close to me knows of the condition. I've done all I can do and now I just sit back and enjoy life for what it is. Each and every day is a gift. I do the things I enjoy doing and play the cards that I've been dealt. I have been fortunate enough to have had a wonderful, fullfilling life. It truly has been an adventure. If I died today I would have no complaints about anything. I've reaped my share, and maybe even more, than what I've deserved. For the most part I have always done things my way but not in a selfish way. Life has been good and it continues to be good even now. Sometimes people sit around and feel so sorry for themselves that they fail to see the wonderful things they have already been blessed with. I hope I never come to that and I never want to become a burden to anybody. Like a cowboy, when it's my time, I want to go with my boots on!
     
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  7. MaggieMae
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    I'm executor only as far as walking it through probate. But she is a friend, and while I do think she trusts me, there may also be some embarrassing stuff she would prefer I didn't see.

    I'm going to suggest she clean out her address book, delete names that can come to mean nothing over time, and add those that do. She can then put it all on a disk which I won't touch until she gives me the go-ahead. She could even include her own personal note on it.

    Right now, she isn't sick enough to be bedridden and has pain medication that keeps her alert, but that will eventually be increased. She is refusing chemo because that's pretty much useless as a cure for this type of cancer and would only make her deathly sick before she died anyway.
     
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  8. MaggieMae
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    Good idea.
     
  9. MaggieMae
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    My friend Marge feels the same way. Ironically, she said to me just last night that she was actually having fun putting all her affairs in order, going through boxes of paperwork and other memorabelia has been a trip down memory lane. She was always very active and never had time to tackle the mounds of stuff that collects dust over time.

    Yup, we'll all die someday and some of us know approximately when but most of us don't. Thanks for the sentiments.
     
  10. Mr.Fitnah
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