No one likes to talk about death, especially in the US. When someone dies we say they "passed away" and since death was not God's original intention when he created man it is not something we will ever like or can really get used to. Most people have not talked to their parents or spouses about important decisions if a worst case scenario were to happen. But by having conversations about death we can help facilitate a conversation that lessens the fear aspect.
I get goose bumps thinking about death, the thought of something so permanent and forever. I know where Nick and I will be, or rather whom we will be with when we die, but the thought of leaving behind a huge chunk of my heart, my kids and spouse brings tears to my eyes. But emotions aside, I am a planner. In college I took a lot of Healthcare Communication classes where we researched patient and provider communication and also talked a lot about death and how to prepare your family for it. Because one thing is for sure: death is inevitable, unpreventable, and unavoidable.
Recently Nick and I had a conversation where we wrote down some of our desires if one of us were to die. We wrote them down and put them in our family safe so that if something were to happen we will know the others wishes. Questions we asked were along these lines:
- Cremated or buried? And location
- Song at funeral
- Opinions on being left on life support (how long?) and when to pull the plug
- Would we want the other to remarry or not? Stipulations/scenarios (if the kids were younger or older does the answer change?)
When Calvin was younger we also had a will written up. It was nothing fancy but it was legal and basically included things like:
- List of family members and friends who would raise Calvin if we are not alive. We included an order of who we would pick 1, 2, 3
- Our wish to give him all of our possessions/entitlements
- We also chose someone to execute our will and to make sure our desires were actually taken seriously
We plan on updating this living will to include both boys so if we both were to die our family members would have no confusion about what our wishes are for our sweet boys. Last week we also made a document with all of our passwords and important information. This will go inside of our family safe and also a copy was given to a very close family member. By having all of our important documents organized and put together, we're at peace knowing that our children will be taken care of even if we are unable to (via illness or death). I also have made a small document with our boys important information on it for babysitters (for the rare times family can't help us out). Some may call me a worrier but I'd rather be over-prepared than under-prepared.
As scary as it may seem to think about not being around to raise your own children or to not be with your spouse, I think it is so so important to do this. I would also encourage you to talk to your parents, if they are still living, about what they would want if they were to die earlier than they expect. I don't think it should be something scary if you have assurance of what happens after you die and where you are going. The thought of not knowing what my parents wishes or husbands wishes were worries me more than knowing of their hopes, expectations, and wishes.
Death will come for us all. By trusting in Christ alone we can have confidence that nothing can snatch us from our Father's hand.
Have you talked to your spouse or parents about death? Have you made any preparation for your family if something were to happen to you? Does the thought of death make you feel uneasy?