End-of-Life Choice, Palliative Care and Counseling

Posts TaggedMy Life Directive

Vancouver woman starts nonprofit to assist with end-of-life contact information, wishes

By Special to The Oregonian
The Oregonian
August 15, 2012

She was supposed to pick him up at the airport for Thanksgiving; instead, the postman delivered his ashes to her doorstep.

On Nov. 3, 2008, the father of Vancouver resident Dorothy Rodriguez-Anderson died alone in a Sacramento-area hospital because his wallet and emergency contact information had been locked up upon his admission to the hospital.

Several weeks later, she came home to find his ashes in a box on her entertainment center. “I just held onto the box and cried and cried,” recalls Rodriguez-Anderson, 47.

She had found out about her father’s death after his neighbor gained entrance to his apartment and found her phone number. Upon trying to get answers from the hospital, “they kept telling me they couldn’t check his wallet if I wasn’t there,” she says. “How are you supposed to be there if they don’t call you?”

Six months after her father’s death, the president of the hospital called Rodriguez-Anderson to express his regrets and apologize after he was notified of her situation. That night, she had a dream in which her father visited her and encouraged her to help sick and dying people get in touch with loved ones. When she woke up, she rushed to her laptop and started buying domain names for what would become her online registry service. More