Leave a legacy for those you love
With much sadness my husband and I recently farewelled his mother after a short battle with cancer. It was a moment of mixed emotion where we felt such deep sadness for her loss but with gratitude that we had the time with her that we did. It was the first time for my husband and I that the reality and magnitude of the aftermath of a death of a loved one fell on us. It has highlighted to me the importance of having your affairs in order. The reality is, death will touch all of us no matter how much we don't like to think about it or talk about it, for death is the reality of life.
The overwhelm experienced by a family after a loved one passes is enormous. There is the funeral to arrange, the organising of the wake or gathering after the funeral, tending to bills, notifying friends and government agencies and sorting through possessions. It is a really awful experience but it doesn’t have to be. How prepared we are will impact on our family greatly.
I know this is not the most uplifting topic and one most of us do not like to talk about. However it is a topic that we must address, if not for yourself, for your family. Through this process you will benefit too. You can feel confident, through becoming organised now, that your legacy will continue long after you are gone. If the thought of the end of life is too much to bear then see this as an exercise in organising all aspects of your life in one place, clearly laid out, as an easy reference should you ever need it. Having one place for all of your important documents like your Will, contracts and identifications as well as all of your passwords, membership numbers and contacts is a smart way to manage life admin. When the time comes that the responsibility falls onto your loved ones, having it updated and organised means they do not have to wade through mountains of paperwork straight after you have passed.
Also consider writing in a special notebook any specific wishes you have for the funeral like the songs you want playing, the colour of the coffin, the flowers you love, where you would like the celebration of your life held and anything else that will help your family not have to guess or plan while they are grieving.
To help simplify the process I have created a checklist for you or to use for yourself or share it with a family member to work through. Download your Legacy Checklist here.
I know this may feel like a bit of a downer topic but at one point in our lives we will all find ourselves in the midst of the death of a loved one, so rather than not talking about it, let's simplify the administration that comes with life and get our affairs in order. The energy and effort will be worth it for those we love the most.