Death Dowry

This may be a mis-nomer—but it comes from the reality that there are things we relish and deny ourselves throughout life. Perhaps it’s legitimate to purchase, embrace, plan some of these things for our final days. This came to me while at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. I relished the bathrobe provided in the room, I was so sad that it wasn’t until the second night that I realized it was for me to use. As I reached  to untie the sash, the texture was sooo rich. Like my mom’s meringue, only fluffier. I priced a carbon copy in the Jefferson’s gift shop. Oh la la. Not in the budget maybe too much no matter how much I made per year. As I cogitated  leaving the hotel robe behind, it dawned on me that I could justify it if I was terminally ill. Then I could enjoy it, and bequeath it. Dual purpose. If my world has shrunken to a death bed—I’d deserve to have such a regal, rich embracing robe.

So I think I’ve begun a Death Dowry. Like a psychosocial care plan, but with specifics. I will publish it in case my loved ones want to help develop it.

So far—tapioca pudding, Jefferson robe, beach house-St Pete or Clearwater reserved for a month with rooms/suites for all my loved ones to be with me and be having fun. I get an ocean-front room with my hospital bed near the window and a balcony to access. Godiva dark chocolate.

That’s the start . . . something to build on as I endure some of life’s less fun parts. A cognitive activity while proctoring exams, or waiting in lines, or riding the metro. Perhaps once I have my list, I’ll allow myself to remember we are all terminal . . . and if I wear out my robe, there may be another available.

Author: Cate
Passionate about dementia care and quality of life throughout the last days of life----sums up Cate McCarty, Dr. Cate, Dementia Coach. With close to forty years of long-term care experience in nursing and recreation, a Master's in Thanatology and a PhD in Aging Studies, Dr. Cate seizes every opportunity to translate research into quality of life for individuals with dementia and all of us who have the honor to "rub elbows" with them.

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