Right Column Redux: Journalism Quotes
There Are No Little Things 5: The Non-Job at the SF Examiner

Stuff Dad Knows

I was telling a group of friends about this the other day, and they were unanimous that both ideas are good ones.

Be like a journalist: write your own obituary. Even your immediate family doesn’t know the parts of your life which you want to emphasize, and for sure there will be a lot of “In the 70s,” when you could introduce the precision of “1972.” Just make sure your family knows where to find it, and is willing to spend the big bucks newspapers now charge for publishing an obit.

The other idea came to me a few years ago: there a lot of things I do for my wife and family that they don’t know about. All our pictures, for example, are digitized in the cloud. It would probably be a good idea to pay for all that so it doesn’t disappear.

Taxes. Passwords. Maintenance. Where stuff is on my computer. I have placed all of it in a large binder, very clearly marked “STUFF DAD KNOWS.” I have also given my daughters and sons-in-law memory stick versions. Thus, unlike when I was dad’s executor, and unlike all the widows I know flailing to keep their lives going when all that knowledge died with their husband, I have made sure my family will have a smooth transition into life after me… which I hope they won’t need for a few decades.


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