When A Loved One Passes and You’re Suddenly in Charge

Insights

Woman grieving If your life changed tomorrow, would you be prepared? If the unimaginable happened and you lost your partner, would you be able to cope financially? Would you be able to pay your mortgage, feed the kids, and pay the bills while waiting for estate matters to settle?

Discussing the “what ifs” in life appears to be a taboo topic that no one wants to talk about–a discussion extremely important but avoided by 99 percent of people. Why do people avoid discussing death and preparing for death? FEAR. People are afraid that discussing death will jinx them and something terrible will happen. It is bad karma to discuss something so terrible.

I used to be like that. The words death, wills, and funerals made my skin crawl. I was afraid that uttering these words would jinx me. I was afraid to write a will or discuss guardianship of my kids. I did not want to read or look at the will my husband wrote, as I feared it would jinx us. I was terribly afraid to discuss death.

And then life happened… my husband passed away suddenly at the age of 44.

There are no words to describe the immediate days following his death. People started asking important questions that I had to answer about topics that I avoided for so long.

•  Did Darin have a will?
•  Did I know where he kept the will?
•  Did Darin want a funeral?
•  Did Darin want to be buried or cremated?
•  Was the house and car in both our names?
•  Did we have mortgage insurance?
•  Did I have a credit card in my name?

The questions went on and on. During the darkest hours of my life I had to make decisions that were so important. I could not ever remember the day of the week let alone think about funerals, caskets, final wishes, etc.

Darin and I never discussed our final wishes. I did not know if he wanted to be cremated. I did not know if he had a DNR (do not resuscitate). Looking back, I can’t believe that we NEVER discussed these things.

That’s why I urge everyone to start the discussion now. Sit down with your partner and talk. Is it a scary topic? Yes, but you need to talk. You need to discuss the “what if” scenario; the payoff of having this conversation will be huge and give you so much peace of mind.

How do you plan to discuss the what-ifs of your life?



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