Death leaves an imprint

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Writing Your Own Obituary

My family has had a rough few years. A lot of death has happened. Some of it was expected, some so painfully unexpected as to shock the heart.

This last unexpected death took me into a new dimension of feeling about the ones left behind. As I watched my loved ones struggle to make decisions and provide information for the mundane process of recording a death and getting a casket and figuring out expenses and …. on and on … I thought, it’s hard enough to lose someone you love. Having to deal with all this red tape is more trauma.

I was moved to action. I wrote my own obituary, along with instructions for preferences at the time of my death. I know all of that is basically out of my control but it suddenly felt important to at least have my preferences noted.

One thing I strongly prefer is that my death not be a cause for undue stress for those I leave behind. I see this over and over. People don’t know what to do. There are so many decisions to be made and no one is in their best frame of mind to make them. Anything I can do to take that burden off those left behind, I want to do.

So. I wrote my obituary and I have written out instructions for what’s to be done in the event of my passing from this life to whatever soul adventure next awaits me.

I was surprised at how easy the words came. This experience has shown me that I really do know who I am in the world. At times, I have certainly felt that I did not know who I was or why I had chosen to come here now. In writing my obituary, a lot became very clear. It was a good thing.

The steps still needed feel a bit … awkward. I need to notarize the words I’ve written, to prove they were written by me. I need to finalize a living will and will and testament. I don’t enjoy the legal proving aspects of this but I suppose, in today’s world, it is necessary to cross every T and dot every i.

Update: A few days later. I had a friend draft an official last will and testament. I really resent having to do this but legal situations being what they are, it is necessary. I am dragging my feet in getting this needed paperwork to the bank and to the proper notary. God. I hate that life is so constrained by legality… but … it is what it is. I’m working to get this all in order. The thing I want most is to provide those I leave behind with a very clear picture of my desires in the matter. The last thing a person needs, when they are dealing with the death of a loved one, is to be asked to make all kinds of legal decisions they may not understand or know how to make.

To my relatives: It’s my desire to take that stress from you. If I fail at that endeavor, please know that I tried.

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