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After Death

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Why I Published the Book

“After Death: When you lose a loved one do you know what to do?”

By Gloria Dixon, Author

When, not if, you lose a loved one, would you know:

What is required by social security to receive your benefits?

Does your loved one want to be buried or cremated; and

Where are the logins/passwords to access accounts or systems?

If you answered no to any of these questions, this book is definitely for you.

Within this book, After Death addresses these items and a lot more.

It was May 1994, when my husband, Charles was diagnosed with leukemia. Initially, his oncologist, Dr. Chirantan Ghosh, started him with medication. Two years later, Charles agreed to have an autologous stem cell transplant at the University of Minnesota, specifically Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He functioned really well for several years following the transplant.

In 2006, because of all the travel involved with managing a team of auditors with Deere and Company, headquartered in Moline, Illinois, I left Deere to manage our family-owned business, namely Dixon FYG Sprinkler Systems in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Charles and I had started Dixon FYG in 1995. Our company installed underground irrigation systems in residential and small commercial properties.  Charles and I worked together every single day. Not only did we work together in the business world, but we also taught a Sunday school class together and presented at marriage workshops through our church ministry.

Starting in 2006, I never missed another one of Charles’ doctor appointments, MRIs, X-rays, etc. I kept notes of everything – with explicit details of his hospital stays. I was his medical advocate!

In April 2012, Charles lost the function of both kidneys and had to start dialysis. His health changed dramatically after about a year on dialysis.

On January 13, 2014, Charles died. Our son and I were at his bedside at the very moment that he took his last breath. We rejoiced (because we knew he was immediately in the presence of the Lord and out of his pain and suffering); and we cried (because of the physical loss we were experiencing) both at the same time. Talk about a bittersweet experience!

It’s amazing how God led me to read Isaiah 57: 1-2 (NIV) which states:  “The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” Apparently, I needed to read this scripture when I did. Clearly, God used death to take Charles away from his extended illness.

At the time of Charles’ death I was operating on emotional auto-pilot. No one had ever told me what I needed to do the first hours, days or weeks after the death of a loved one. During the week that he was in hospice, I received the blue book about the dying process. However, when I asked the hospice nurse if they had a book to tell me what I need to do after Charles died, she said that the department did not have an after death type book to give me.

Before I started writing this book, I “googled” and researched many, many books to determine if something existed in a single book to guide lay people through the process of carrying out the final wishes, resolving an estate and /or making the necessary changes after the death of a loved one.

To no avail, I was unable to locate a single book that succinctly addressed this information that would have been so helpful to me had I known such resource existed prior to Charles’ death or shortly thereafter. Of course, there are many different books and websites that exist to cover most of these items individually in more details. But in my opinion, this information is scattered all over the place. Plus, much of the information is stated in a way that makes it difficult for a lay person to understand.

Because of my research, consultations with an estate attorney, feedback from family members, neighbors, friends, customers, hospice/hospital staff members, and funeral home staff members, this book has evolved.

From day one of the death of a loved one, there are some things that must be done no matter the relationship or financial status. On the other hand, there are some items that are quite different if you are married and have acquired significant assets during the life of the marriage, than if you are an executor or a child handling the resolution of an estate.

After Death is written to share many of the things that I went through before and after the death of my husband, as well as items related to an executor or child handling a parent’s estate. It is my belief that this book will provide insight to anyone who has NEVER lost a loved one so that they may know what to expect or to do when they lose someone. Also, it will help with plans for one’s own end of life transition as well as various actions items required should a tragedy occur and you or a family member is medically unable to work or make decisions.

This book is “NOT” intended to replace seeking legal assistance.

Losing a loved one is difficult enough without having to deal with all the things that you must go through to carry out final wishes; resolve an estate; and /or make the necessary changes to move forward.

On August 15, 2010, our 18 year old grandson, Stephen Tyler Dixon, was killed instantly in a car accident. By the end of September 2010, we had met with our attorney and updated all estate documents involving beneficiary information that affected us due to Stephen’s death. My point for mentioning the death of our grandson is to state that “life changes” occur quickly. And it is much easier to update existing information due to changes, than to create or locate them during the time of a crisis

In concluding, After Death provides you with what I did, when I did it, and the results. No other single book (to my knowledge) provides you with such information. After attending several book readings/signings and discussions across the Midwest, I inevitably hear the comment from an attendee: “I wish I had had this book when _____died.” And now we have such a book to help us!

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