Since my friend, Kathy posted a question on the message board we frequent, I’ve been thinking alot about advance directives, wills, and preparations for when life here is complete. On one hand, it sounds morbid, and everything in me fights against completing it, as if being prepared could hasten the day. On the other hand, the plain truth is, our bodies are not made to last forever here on earth, and all our days are numbered. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. This truth was brought home specifically this morning.
A call from our son alerted us to the news that his father-in-law had passed unexpectedly, and requested our help. Having lost my own Daddy, the heartache and the void that was left after his passing is still very real to me. I went to offer sympathy, empathy, and whatever help was needed. As an outsider, I watched the family grieve, process their loss, and try to make sense of it all, while attempting to put things in order. Do we plan a funeral? Is that what he would have wanted? What about an obituary? Where are the important papers kept? Who else do we need to notify? A sense of urgency began to arise in my own spirit to have these questions answered for my own family. I work in Social Services at a long term care facility, so I am familiar with advance directives. It wouldn’t take much to get them written down and signed, I will focus on that this week. Putting important papers in a safe place is a good idea, but someone needs to know WHERE those things are kept. I also plan to write down some of my wishes regarding a memorial service, burial, and last words to my kids. My mom wrote all of her children a letter, we received it after her passing. It is one of my treasures. It was such a comfort to me during times I was missing her, and somehow made her seem not quite so far away. I plan to do this for my kids and husband as well.
But more than having it all written down, I want to make sure they know my heart; that my body might one day be gone from this earth, but that my love for them will continue, and that I will watch them, and cheer them on, and continue to pray for them through eternity. I want them to know that they are the most important asset I have or will ever have, because they are the one thing that I can take with me from this earth, and that I know I will see them again one day.