Friday, December 31, 2010
New Year Resolutions
This year I have one that I think I can work with. Oh, it might seem a little morbid to some of you and I am sorry to mention it when most people are thinking about parties and celebrating. If I have learned one thing this last year, actually in the last couple of months, it is, you never know when your Spirit is going to leave this earth and journey into the next world. It is shocking to me how many people have made this journey recently. Oh, I know it is the way of things, we will all travel this road. Is it because I'm getting older and so are my friends and family, that it seems so frequent? Did I really think I was going to avoid this phase of reality forever?
We recently lost Richard's sister, Elaine. It was very sudden and unexpected. I know we are never ready for the sudden death of a loved one, are we anymore ready if they linger with illness and pain? I don't think so. It was a reality that we where not prepared for. It also brought forth questions between my wonderful husband and I about our wishes for how our death might be handled. Talking to the children about these things is hard, they are in denial, as I was when my Mother touched on it after my Father passed.
Richard and I have casually talked before, now it seems we should really express our desires. Not only with each other, we really need to have it in writing, so our children will know. It makes me squeamish just thinking about dealing with this, no one wants to believe that the end could be as near as the next breath. If I have learned anything in this lifetime, I have learned that things change at the blink of an eye and we have very little control over those changes.
My New Years Resolution is to get things in writing for anyone to follow, when, the occasion comes. Because I don't know who exactly might have to manage this event, I must think of everything. It is not because I want to be in control, it is to make it easier for those left behind that must come up with this information during a time of grief. Listing everything from my name, birth date, place of birth, social security number, occupation, education, parents names, place of worship (this could be a problem), am I an organ donor, children's and spouses names, grand children's names. Siblings and friends should also be included.
I should also list a funeral home and disposition, a cemetery and if I own a plot, what about
pallbearers. Cremation is a choice, do I want ashes scattered and where. What kind of gathering would I like? Visitation, viewing and clothing I would want to wear? Traditions and music, passages or quotes, person I like to have do the service. Requests to a charity in lieu of flowers.
Other things to be decided, a living will, the last will and testament, executor of my estate, were I keep important documents. There are many things to consider, it can be as simple or as detailed as you like and of course you could even change it later if you decide to.
I think having these things decided will allow me to start the new year prepared and maybe even having a little in control over something that can be so unexpected. Happy New Year! May 2011 be filled with the joy of life, good health and surround you with a loving family and many friends!
Picture of tipi 2009