It’s been five years now since my father passed. My mother needed a memory care facility. The house was sold, and my parents’ most personal items were brought to one of my brothers’ homes so we could go through it together.
I thought about many things while going through the remnants of my parent’s home with my brothers. Among them was that my wife and I have no children to leave such a task to and that the closest family is many hours away. My three brothers each have children. Someday, those children will have the fun of determining what’s best for their parents and having to go through their stuff.
Besides that, having no children means there is no one to look in on us in our waning years. No one to check on us. No one to see if we’re eating or sleeping or breathing. No siblings to argue with each other about whether we should be in assisted living or to drive crazy by telling them, “I want to die at home.”
I also don’t have a large social circle. Meeting new people, speaking with strangers, making small talk have never been among my strong points. The few friends I have are dear, there just aren’t many of them—and most of them are my age or older.
With all that in mind, I can’t help but wonder: what if everyone I know goes before me? What if I’m left alone? I don’t want the final event of my existence here on earth to be a 9-1-1 call from a neighbor reporting an awful aroma coming from my house along with the comment, “. . . and I haven’t seen the old guy who lives there for a couple of weeks.”
Maybe I should learn to be a little more social; try harder to make a few friends. Perhaps some a bit younger than me. Just in case.