People don’t like to discuss death.
In many circles, the topic of death and dying is one of those taboo subjects, right up there with religion and politics, however, when it comes to death, there is no debate. Death is final and it is going to happen to all of us.
Death is the great unknown and thinking about our mortality makes us uncomfortable.
Death presumably can never affect us in a good way.
Death represents loss; loss of a loved one, loss of everything that we know.
Death is equated with fear; fear of losing someone and fear of how it will happen to us when it’s our time.
Death is a mystery and makes us question the unimaginable:
Will I go quickly?
Will I be in pain?
Will I see a white light?
Will I have done and said everything I need to when my time is up?
What kind of legacy am I leaving behind?
Will I go to heaven?
Will I ever see my loved ones again?
Will anyone attend my funeral?
How will I be remembered?
Trust me, death is far more than Elisabeth Kübler- Ross’ Five Stages of Grief.
I am convinced that if we talked about death more, if it wasn’t such an off limits subject, it wouldn’t be so scary or hard to face.
Having lost my parents at such a young age, theirs (60 and 58 respectively) and mine (35) and serving as the executor of their estate, I implore you to think about your wishes after you die and discuss them with your loved ones.
Luckily, my parents did have a Will, but it had been created 28 years before they died and there were a lot of blanks and unanswered questions. With the help of many people I trusted, their estate is now closed, but it took the better part of three years.
Imagine my shock when I discovered on my father’s last “To Do” list a line item that read: Update Will. He thought he’d have time to revise it.
I also encourage you to talk to your aging parents and/or grandparents about their Last Will and Testaments in addition to their material possessions.
When my sister and I cleaned out my parents home, we separated the things we wanted from the things to be donated and the things to be sold through an estate sale, and still filled a 4′ x 30′ dumpster to the very top with junk. 16 years of paper mostly. My parents it seems were pack rats.
Death is no fun, but it is inevitable and the sooner we stop tip toeing around it, the better.