The Story of Check-Out
How tragedy inspired a new approach
It's Time to Change the Way We Don't Plan
A life-changing event leads to the Idea to do things differently
So many of us have stories just like this one. First, the loss of someone so dear, followed by the realization that you knew nothing of your loved one's wishes... But by then its too late to ask. Our CEO shares the story of her family's loss.
From Loss, Comes a New Beginning
Who hasn't experienced the trauma caused by a sudden death in the family? The concept of Check-Out grew from a very sudden loss:
The end came suddenly, and unexpectedly. The mother and her only daughter, had chatted on the phone that Saturday afternoon, making plans and discussing an upcoming visit together.
Sunday came like most other days, but when the news came that her mother had suddenly passed away that morning at her kitchen table, time simply stopped.
As an only child with three adult children of her own, the daughter had instantly inherited the many complexities that await the loved ones of a family member who passes without an end-of-life plan.
As the reality of this sudden passing took hold, the daughter was left to wonder, what would her mother’s wishes have been? What would have mattered to her most? What would she have wanted? Although they had all been close, the grieving family was at a loss. The mother was born in the baby boomer generation and discussions around death or dying were simply forbidden—There was only time for living with the possibility of dying too morbid to consider. There had been no sign of illness and the news brought by the Sunday morning phone call was simply unimaginable. It had seemed like the mother would live forever.
With the mother and daughter living 500 miles apart, the logistics of planning an unexpected memorial, sorting and cleaning the apartment, and finding storage for a lifetime worth of possessions and treasures was agonizing. Was there a better way?
Preserve Memories and Fulfill Wishes
Connect with family and friends today using Check-Out’s Having “The Talk” communication section and invite them to be included in your end-of-life planning process.
– Tomorrow is never for certain –
Grief had to take a backseat to the financial, moral and legal decisions to be made in the weeks and months that followed. Calling old friends and extended family with the news of her passing was exhausting. In addition, the decisions that needed to be made such as cremation versus burial, autopsy or no, government requirements, tracking down service providers, pension and legal needs, and the rapid distribution of the lifetime of possessions in her apartment were all cruel distractions from the painful reality that afterall, her mother was... Gone.
The family did their best to honor her memory the best way possible and as well, ensure that her wishes were respected, but without any sense of what those wishes might have been. Even the lesser items required a final decision such as... Who would inherit the TV that had been recently purchased?
The mother had also been an only child as well and the sudden loss of undocumented family history added to the sense of profound of sadness and loss.
It became clear that there had to be a better way. Experiencing the death of a loved one is painful enough but the myriad of decisions to be made could be much easier for those left behind. If only the family had some guidance... a true sense of wishes and beliefs. In response, the concept of a CheckOutPlan came to life.
A team was assembled to plan and design an easy-to-use online platform that helps families address "the elephant in the room." Sure, the name, “Check-Out” is just a bit irreverent, but it is thought that the mother would have just chuckled and approved. From our team to your family... Do yourselves and your loved ones a favor by making your wishes known, today. Share your memories where those who care can find them. There's never a guarantee that tomorrow anything like today.
Beyond our members, staff, consultants and mentors, are a long list of family and friends who have supported this vision since the very beginning. Check-Out would not be possible without your constant guidance and direction.
Forever, Thank You