Today, I was rendered speechless, which as you all know, is a fairly rare event as I am generally extremely opinionated and inclined to believe that I am always right :-)
We popped in to visit my mother-in-law and drop off some shopping for her, and we were just in time to bid farewell to a friend of hers who had been staying for a few days.
This friend is a wonderfully witty, intelligent and articulate 80 years young, and she was packing items into a bag as I was chatting to her. As she put a large brown manila envelope into the bag, she remarked, quite casually, "These are my most important documents and I carry them with me wherever I go."
I had visions of it being things which could jepoardise her security should she lose them or they be stolen, and was just about to put my foot in it when she calmly continued
"After all, at my age, I could easily drop dead anywhere, and I think it is important to have all these things planned for", and she showed me the documents.
In the 1960s, she had decided to will her body for medical examination purposes ( allowing medical students to use your body to learn anatomy through dissection) after her death, and had all the necessary paperwork prepared for that eventuality, including detailed instruction for the doctor certifying her death to complete the required sections and arrange for her body`s immediate transfer to the regional medical school for the necessary preservation techniques.
I can only admire her concern for future medical students` needs to learn on human corpses in order to hone their surgical skills etc, and her generosity in doing this.
She will , once her body has been completely dissected, be given a Christian funeral, probably about a year or so after her death, and she has very few living family members now, but I do wonder how they will cope with having to wait such a long time for a funeral to take place.
I was rendered speechless, although I did manage to say that I have never met anyone with things organised as meticulously as she has. She even carries a living will detailing exactly what medical care she would want if she were to suffer major illness.
And yes, she carries these documents with her **wherever** she goes.