In times of crisis, times of the unknown, times of pain, loss and suffering – thinking clearly and making sound decisions is nearly impossible. Many of my readers know that I recently lost my Daddy to cancer. It was by far the most challenging thing I have ever been through.
My Daddy was one of the greatest men that I know. I loved him in the way only a little girl can love her Daddy. Losing loved ones is never easy. I wish I had some amazing words of wisdom to give you during those times, but unfortunately, I don’t.
But, I can tell you what made this difficult situation easier. My parents are divorced and since my Daddy wasn’t married, the decisions of deciding his burial and funeral fell to my brother and I. So, in an effort to help you make these types of decisions easier for the ones that you will leave behind, I thought I’d share what you can do in order to make this challenging time more bearable:
Knowing your loved ones last wishes makes the hardship of those left behind making the decisions easier. My brother and I were fortunate enough that our Daddy had told us a long time ago to not bury him in a suit, but in his jeans, boots, and a button down shirt and that he wanted to be cremated.
Make sure you let your loved ones know what your wishes are by either having a Will that clearly defines them or by telling them so they will know. This was a huge blessing for my brother and I because we knew what our Daddy’s last wishes were so there was no need to argue over them. We just had to pick out the cremation plan and sign on the dotted line.
I’ve mentioned on this blog many times that you need to have life insurance. It doesn’t matter if you are a 21-year-old stay-at-home mom in excellent health, you need life insurance. My Mama thankfully had kept her life insurance policy on my Daddy even though they have been divorced for over twenty years. And even though my Daddy’s memorial and cremation was not super expensive and both my brother and I could have afforded to pay cash for it ourselves, it was such a blessing to not have to worry about it.
Term Life Insurance is cheap and I highly recommend everyone have a policy to lessen the burden on those that you leave behind.
It’s Just Stuff
Fighting over who gets what after someone dies just baffles me. I mean it’s just stuff y’all, it can’t bring your loved one back and your memories are not in material things. Trust me, there were things that I wanted of my Daddy’s that brother got but fighting over it would be childish and just silly to me because I have all my memories of my Daddy and I’d rather have those than his stuff.
I encourage you to remember that fighting over your loved ones things is silly and childish. Just let it go because chances are, your loved one wouldn’t have wanted you to fight over it in the first place. Of course, your loved one may have in their Will who gets what stuff so then there won’t be any fighting over it, but if they don’t, just let it go. This is why I encourage you to have a Will in place so your loved ones do know what you want done with your stuff – especially the big stuff like vehicles, homes, jewelry, etc. I also believe that it is important to teach your children now that material things are just things and that in the end they don’t matter because as the old adage says “I’ve never seen a U-Haul behind a hearse”. You can’t take it with you when you die.
If you haven’t already created your Will or purchased Life Insurance, these resources are a big help in getting those squared away:
LegalZoom (Where you can create your Will online)
Writing a Will (by USA.gov)
Details on the different types of Life Insurance policies (by Good Financial Cents)
Dave Ramsey’s ELP Program (this is how I found my insurance agent and policy)
These are just a few of the things that make it more bearable on those that you leave behind when dealing with your death. I encourage you to make it easier on them by having well-defined plans, a Will in place, and life insurance. They will thank you for it.
What advice can you give for making times of heartache easier on those left behind?
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