Commentary Jamaica Magazine

Death and Taxes

Last week my father in law passed away. Yes he died he was 80 years old and only missed 81 by a couple of months. His final year was spent in Florida a place he loved. He wanted to be taken care of at home when things got bad. He was taken care of by a great hospice care unit that came to his house, even though they were just there for a week their round the clock care of him was second to none.

Just to let you know you need about 8 copies of the death certificates, these cost $8.00 a piece to be sent to the government, banks, creditors, why even the cable company wanted proof that he was deceased. Then comes the funeral home. That cost is around $1600.00. They get money to pick him up after dying, freeze him while waiting for cremation, money for the cremation, Then it is time to pick out an urn for his final holdings, these cost money. We picked a nice brass urn with a U.S. flag and a U.S. Army insignia on it. He was in World War II, a Sergeant in the Army that fought against the nazi’s in Italy. This is where he met my mother in law, married her and brought her back to the states, she passed 3 years ago and he was very sad all the time missing her everyday wishing he didn’t have to go on without her.

He lived his life like he wanted, he was a very talented man. Craftsman, woodworker, could build houses do electrical, plumbing, built boats was also a great skipper at the helm of many boats. He fathered 3 daughters and fed and clothed them and kept a roof over their heads. He was a modest man and didn’t think too much of spending money, he’d rather save it. He was responsible for giving me the money to visit Jamaica in December of 2004. Last year before he left Massachusetts for Florida I gave him some Jamaican rum I had bought there, at my kitchen table. He knew how much I loved Jamaica. It wasn’t long before he fell off the chair and landed on the floor telling me just how strong and good that rum was. Yes I was in trouble for giving it to him but he was happy and had another drink later. Telling me not to worry about him, he was okay.

They made sure to cut his social security and inform anyone that might be sending him any money to cease since he was gone. They do not waste any time. Next all the final papers and procedures were followed and he is gone. The funeral home told me any one that is not claimed is just scattered in the gulf of Mexico, I thought this was odd not claiming a loved one but then hey I guess if you did not have the money I guess you just don’t go back and claim your relative. Then I figured it is all about money. Life is all about money. How much you have. How good you have it. Goes hand in hand if you don’t have enough to pay the bills at the end what do you do? Even in death you are still paying the bills. I guess in Jamaica is it any different? Most probably couldn’t afford the last finalizing details and even the bills he received for services in the last few months in and out of the hospitals in Florida came to over $100,000.00 these outstanding amounts for someone could kill them just opening the mail, and seeing what they owed. Well he is gone now and it seems like he is still here. It has only been a week. We should always try to remember the elderly, after all we will be there someday, with any luck and we all should just try to be as good as possible to everyone living and breathing. Every day of our lives, even if you do live to be 80 life is just too short and precious to be taken for granted. Live each day to its fullest and enjoy life before it is too late. I wish I could too but sometimes it is impossible in this life. So …………………………..RESPECT

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