Death – Intro

 

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Introduction

How many times have you heard someone say, “If something happens to me?” Have you said this? Often, perhaps? I know this may not be what you want to hear, but I must tell you, it is not “if,” but “when.” And, it is not “something,” but it is “death.” Practice with me, say, “When I die.” Did you say it aloud? How did it make you feel? My purpose in this exercise is not to make you uncomfortable, but to help you acknowledge you will die. Of course, you know it intellectually, we all do, but we live and speak as though it is not certain. I am not referring to religious beliefs about the hereafter, but about the here and now. Once we accept the fact we are all born terminal, it is easier to make certain practical decisions. It is more likely we will have important family discussions.

In future posts I plan to examine this subject in more depth. The goal is that, as a result, you will take positive steps to help yourself and your family face this most difficult day that will come to each of us. I also hope you will trust me that this topic can be brought into the light in a way that alleviates some of the dread often associated with the word “death”.

We will examine some of the decisions that need to be made through legal documents and family discussion. We will look at funeral planning and resources available. We will definitely discuss ways to comfort those who grieve, e.g., what to say, not say. If there is adequate interest and feedback, this series can encompass topics such as suicide, CPR, hospice and more.

Thank you for beginning this discussion with me. Soon, we will look at Living Wills and other documents that each of us needs to have in place. Meanwhile, I would like to hear your initial reaction/thoughts regarding our approaching this subject together.


“Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true story teller who would keep that from you.” Ernest Hemingway

5 thoughts on “Death – Intro

  1. The following comments were made by a reader while the site was experiencing “technical difficulties” (WordPress the blog platform I use made unexpected changes) and could not be posted, so I have copied them here (from an email that I received as administrator). I wanted to be sure that these important insights were shared with you. Thank you Marybeth and all readers for your patience during this glitch! Sue

    8:32 PM (12 hours ago)
    Name: Marybeth

    Comment: I think death is a natural part of life and while it hurts deeply, should not be hidden or minimized. My parents were very pragmatic which in turn meant organized about what would happen when they died. Perhaps it is the way a person dies (long illness, accident, suicide, etc. ) that shakes our world more than the actual act of death itself? It certainly reminds us that we are merely visitors and not in charge as well as only short time visitors to this thing we call life.

    Time: January 15, 2017 at 8:32 pm

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  2. I said it aloud. I felt sadness. Life is precious( no, sometimes I do not feel
    it’s precious, however, that is when Life is not going my way.)
    I felt sadness for a few reasons.
    1. I am amazed with the fact of how I
    came to this world.
    I was an ovum… Millions of sperm
    were ” just swimming.” One out of a
    Million made me complete. That is
    Awesome!!!
    2. I most likely will leave my only son
    on earth. That is frightening.
    3. I will leave my real friends. ( I do
    not have very many ” real ” friends.
    I am blessed to have three – four.)
    That’s treasure
    I look forward of exploring further
    through the blog of the many
    subjects to be offered.

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  3. I suppose my earlier comment did not show up so here is it again. Having handled 4 estates of family and dear friends, I am aware of how important it is to plan ahead and to inform your family of your information. It is sometimes a difficult topic but needs to be discussed. In addition to living will, will, health care surrogate, etc, I also have a list of all my expenses (utilities, credit cards, etc) with account numbers and whom to contact. This list also includes all banking and housing information as well as computer passwords. I try to update it once or twice a year.

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    • Lula, thank you for your input. Nothing teaches us like experience. Your loved ones are lucky to have had your help with their affairs. I like the additional info. you have prepared for settling your own estate. I have similar info. in a binder which even includes photos about where to find emergency water cutoffs. I can tell I am getting less organized (maybe finding it harder to KEEP it organized) and that is a concern.

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