Just a thought… Be prepared for unexpected possibilities. Have the faith and humility to open yourself up to a variety of paths towards solutions. [Michael Newton, Journey of Souls]
Can we talk about the afterlife for a moment? Not my thoughts on what happens after life; I’ve made those clear in my book Mourning Has Broken: Love, Loss and Reclaiming Joy. I believe with all my heart that we make a pact with our group of souls, and we travel with them from life to life. We’ll see Lauren again. If you’re at all interested, you can read the book that changed our lives if you like: it’s called Journey of Souls by Dr. Michael Newton.
But the kind of “after life” I want to talk about today is what happens when we leave. My dad is pretty much on this topic all the time. He’s 88 and he’s healthy, but his pride and joy right now – besides his four daughters, as he often tells us – is that he has all of his funeral plans, cremation, gravesite and everything taken care of.
As I’ve mentioned here before, he has his and mom’s headstone in his closet, and the year following his birth year 1933 and the dash is all that’s left to complete. Dark? Yes. Literally (in his closet) and figuratively. I called him on it last week and said, “Dad, can we stop talking about your departure, please?”
He responded that, at the time he goes, it’ll be emotional and we’ll all be so wrought with grief, and that’s when I stopped him and said, “Stop flattering yourself!” and we had a huge laugh. That’s how our relationship works. He chirps about the PM, I call him on his death talk, he makes the same joke about his walking and how, because of his cane, he’s “Cane and Able” and we laugh a lot.
But I am SO grateful to him for what he’s done. It’s not unexpected: as a pilot he was always at the airport way earlier than anyone else.
But seriously, I know of some people who’ve died without wills: our own Lauren, for one, who had life insurance (at 24!) but no will. If you don’t have one, do one. That’s it. It’s the most thoughtful thing you can do for those people who will have to deal with your after life.
It’s not morbid or bad luck; it’s thoughtful, loving and unselfish. DO IT, please. Google how to do a holographic will until you can get one put together, but don’t leave anything undone or unanswered. Please. Worry less about making people sad now that you’re doing it, and more about what they’ll go through if you don’t.
Maybe I’m fixated on wills because Friday my close friend Allan Bell said good-bye to his dear mother Betty at a beautiful service we were blessed to attend, if only online. If you knew and loved Betty too, and missed the memorial, here’s a link. She was a force of nature and my heart’s been with Allan through this immeasurable loss.
Maybe I’m thinking wills because I marked another birthday yesterday. But I’m reminded that the last thing I want is for Phil and Brooke to have to figure out what to do with our estate when we’re gone, so we’re mapping it all out. We’ve talked at length with them about it, about their children and how we should all manage their inheritance…this is, if we don’t blow it all before we go. (Plus there’s the added benefit that they have to be nice to us. LOL)
I’m asking – begging you – to use this season of change, this particularly appropriate season of autumn, to look ahead and take care of business. We all hope to live long and stay healthy. But no one gets out alive. And this is from me – the person who loves to ignore expiry dates!
Now get out there and live your best life.