Recently, I heard the story of a single mother who lost her battle with cancer. One of her three children went to my son’s school, and coincidentally my step-sister was friends with her and her son babysat the children for the past few years. The children are 5 and 7 and went from being very well taken care of, from a financially stable, loving home to being all alone in this world. This is a very sad story, and although the children are currently being cared for, their ultimate fate lies in the hands of the courts and strangers, since she did not have a proper will in place.
Last week, a colleague and friend who was scheduled for surgery had a brain aneurism, and is now in a coma. She is a mother of 2 teenagers, a high school senior and a college freshman. She was always on the go, working hard, going to the gym, cooking huge holiday meals. Now she lies in bed, her fate lies in the hands of her medical team and G-d.
And then fellow WMB blogger Suzie Newday wrote a post, contemplating mortality, how to say goodbye, and what to leave behind. Things I had never thought of before, but which really hit home for me.
This has really gotten me thinking… What if something were to ever happen to me? Where would that leave my children? What about our home? My husband and I have spoken about putting things in order, writing legal wills, living wills, DNRs, etc., so that if the unimaginable were to happen to us our children would be well cared for, our wishes would be known, and our property would be accounted for. But who has the time, especially when you are working full time and raising two children in one of the busiest cities on the planet? There are so many things to think about. Who would be the best care taker? Are they financially able to? Do they even want that responsibility?
Contemplating one’s own mortality is hard to do, but the reality is we will all pass it sooner or later. And even though it may be nice for your children to have something from you, a journal, or letters so they can know how much you love them and what they mean the world to you (which now that I have started to think about is next on my to-do list); it is even better, and maybe more important, for them to know that you cared enough to have planned everything and made all of the necessary arrangements. My husband and I have discussed it, and added it to our to-do list, but still we do not have a proper will. We have said out-loud to others what we would like to happen, but what does that mean? Who will remember that if the need ever arose?
One does not ever think of their own death, if we did this would be a very morbid world we lived in, but as a parent how can I not? After all, I chose to have my children and it is now my responsibility to take care of them and make sure that they are being cared for. So now that I have said it, I will do it! I will go about finding the right lawyer, maybe a mother who understands my fears. I will look into the many different preparations that should be put in place. And I will make sure that my children (however theoretical it may be) will always be cared for, properly, the way they deserve. Because in life and death, you never know.
What, if any, preparations have you made? Have you given it much thought?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog.
Photo credit to Ken Mayer. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.