I just don't want to be there when it happens."
I can admit I have been one of those people. I used to get a little emotional when my parents wanted to discuss their plans for their death. I honestly did not want to go there!
They would pull my brother and I aside and I knew the "final days" speech was coming. They put such importance on this "dark subject."
They stressed the importance of my brother and I knowing what they had done to prepare for their final days. In their eyes, we needed to know their wishes. My parents started this process in their late 50's. At the time, it appeared way too soon and I was not ready to hear it.
Now that I am approaching 56 fast and furious, I now get it!
I have to admit, it took losing my mother in law at the young age of 71 without warning, to push us into action. In the blink of an eye, she was gone from our lives.
Thankfully...my sweet mother in law had every detail laid out for us. She also had been preparing many years prior and always talked to my husband about such things.
My husband being an only child, was very close to his mom. When the time came, she took care of it all and made the process much easier for him. He could grieve without having to worry about the difficult details of preparing her death. While there was much to do, the map was laid out for him.
It was then that reality set in. We needed to also get our affairs in order. I have to say my husband was not a willing participant at first.
From what I have read this is true concerning many couples. Usually one spouse is more ready to discuss this subject than the other one.
I would like to share with you our path in preparing for our final days.
The bottom line is this...
We are not preparing for the final days for OUR sakes, but only for our CHILDREN'S SAKE.
It truly is one of the most loving things we can do for our children.
The first line of business for us was finally getting our wills and advance medical directives drawn up. We should have done this years ago!
Thank goodness the children are now all grown and the concerns over small children and their care is in our past.
We called around and found an affordable lawyer and made an appointment. It cost us about $800.00 for a will and advance medical directives. We appointed one of our children as the administrator, the one who would handle the details. Too many hands in the pot can cause havoc. It is always good to have someone leading the parade.
We wanted "in writing" what we wanted in medical advance directives concerning being put on life support, feeding tubes, and many other concerns.
Every one has their own feelings concerning these things, but if you never make your wishes known, your end of life care is left in the hands of those who want to make the right decisions, but truly may not know how you feel.
Death can bring out the worst in people. We wanted to make sure we listed exactly what we wanted to happen concerning the estate and our health.
We can only pray that when the time comes, the children will continue to be the wonderful adults they are. We feel confident that they will do just fine.
Once the will was completed, we began to think of where we wanted to be buried and if we wanted a regular funeral with a casket or cremation.
We are both Veterans so we decided to take advantage of the free burial offered by our local Veterans Cemetery. We also decided on cremation. We decided on these two details because it seemed the cheaper way to go. We told the children we just wanted a graveside memorial. Simple and easy was our main goal.
It is important to share with your children your wishes, as they may have no idea how you feel about certain things. Before you know it, they may feel the need to plan this elaborate funeral, thinking that is the right thing to do. It may place much stress on the children and their pocket books.
We did not want this to happen to our children. We are gone! Let them spend their hard earned money on our precious grandchildren.
MINOR DETAILS MATTER!
Perhaps the children may want to keep you on a mantel, but you do not want to be on the mantel! The children may think it a wonderful thing to scatter you, but this goes against your belief system. Perhaps cremation is against your spiritual belief system as well.
You should let someone know!
All these details need to be ironed out way before you say goodbye to this earthly body.
Lastly... we contacted a funeral home and discussed the most affordable plan. We wanted to pay for our cremation so that the children would not have to worry over this at a later time. We found an affordable funeral home that took care of us. We even had a plan to pick up our body should we be traveling and will take our body back to our home town.
These are intricate details that were important to us.