Saturday, July 7, 2007

Just in case

Thinking about dying can be difficult. I've thought about it many times. Frankly, I am not afraid of death. I am afraid of the possibility of the pain one may endure before death. The ones you leave behind suffer most. As of six months ago, my death (and/or the death of my wife) has taken on a new meaning.

What happens to our son? What happens to my wife if I die, or to me if she dies? These are some of the least pleasant things we can bother ourselves with. The reality of the people we love most losing their lives is, well, nauseating.

What would be more nauseating, though, is having to deal with it all in such an event. Even more so if no preparation has been done.

My wife and I have slowly been making such arrangements. As with all things, communication is key. The most obvious thing we thought about was money and general finances. Then there is custody of our son if we both die. Then there are medical treatment decisions. The list of possibilities gets long. But the more you think of now, the better off you or your loved ones left behind will be.

Talk to you family, too. People get crazy when tragedies occur. If they don't know what you wanted upon your demise, they may make life hell for your spouse. Or if you're the survivor, the emotional hell of your spouse's death may compound with the desires of family that you may not agree with. If you talk about these things and write them out, you'll save everyone headaches, especially yourself.

If you haven't started doing these things, start. Just talk about it. Do things like telling your spouse that, if you die, they can and should marry again. Most all of us have lost someone close to us. Have you ever said, "That's what they would have wanted." In this way, you'll know what they wanted and and vice versa. Hopefully, none of this will come into play until you're old and gray. In that case, it's another way to get to know your spouse better. And the most surprising effect - you'll feel better knowing that you've taken another step in better providing for your family.

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