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Get Your Affairs In Order

Updated on September 17, 2015
A floral arrangement at a funeral for a mother in England.
A floral arrangement at a funeral for a mother in England. | Source

© 2013 Express10

What will your loved ones have to go through when you pass away? Though my father loved his daughters very much, said it several times daily, and showed it with big bear hugs, this is a subject that my father didn't act on in his healthy years though he did think about and discuss it with us. Like many, even though he said on various occasions that he wanted things to go to my sisters and myself when he was alive, that doesn't ensure that it will happen. More importantly, dad never told any of us what he wanted his last days to be like, whether he wanted to pull out all the stops to keep him alive or let nature take it's course. Whether he would be okay with going to a nursing home or not and how his care would be paid for. These were the things that particularly worried me because as his daughter I wanted to make sure things were handled to his liking but how could I when these especially important particulars had not been discussed? From my experience I hope to share with you some important reasons/reminders to get your affairs in order so that you can make a horrible time at least a bit less stressful for those that you will at some point, leave behind.

Gordeeva and Grinkov on a postage stamp from Azerbaijan. Grinkov was a talented figure skater that died at the young age of 28.
Gordeeva and Grinkov on a postage stamp from Azerbaijan. Grinkov was a talented figure skater that died at the young age of 28. | Source

For those of you who have headed broken families or have had children out of wedlock or found yourself (a surprising number of people do) in a situation where you are married but not divorced, whether you have children or not, PLEASE let my experience remind you of the importance of thinking about your loved ones BEFORE you are on your deathbed. Take action and put all your wishes into writing. It is not only about material things, it is extremely important to say what you want. It is possible that you could be rendered unable to communicate, these things happen on a daily basis. Death is stressful enough for those you leave behind!

For us, potential problems arose when he was diagnosed as having end stage liver disease and was without a will and a medical directive. The situation was already more stressful than I could ever have imagined and knowing that he hadn't made anything legal had implications that could have worked to the detriment of his three girls that he loved so much. For us it unfortunately came down to asking him to sign both a medical directive and will while he was what later turned out to be, days from death.

I was forced to finally ask these questions and discuss these things while he was in the hospital, all the while having my mother/his wife, cussing me out because I refused to allow her to speak to him. I did so because she was verbally abusive to him while he was in the hospital on his deathbed, she had literally cussed him out for reasons still unknown and a nurse was a witness of one of her episodes and I had her banned with dad's consent. Apparently one of her reasons for being around at that time was simply to be a horrific distraction as she had not seen him in 20 years and left him and their 3 girls because she wanted to run around with other men. During those 20 years she could often be heard referring to him with cuss words as if he did anything to her, which he never did.

To this day in my opinion, she wanted to gain control of the things he wanted to pass on to us, she hadn't even been around him or had a kind word to say about him but felt entitled to things that she wasn't entitled to. We were better off without her in our lives and she was a highly unwelcome and painful intrusion. For some reason they never divorced. That detail also caused a couple of problems when he passed away, but they were not insurmountable as long as dad put his true wishes for his 3 daughters into a will and medical directive, which he did after I initiated a discussion.

A very unique angel created by Nevit Dilmen.
A very unique angel created by Nevit Dilmen. | Source

Death does not always strike at a predictable age or time. I know of a beautiful young woman who died from breast cancer at the young age of 28, I know of an Olympic figure skater who also died at the age of 28 due to a massive heart attack. Going further, children, middle aged adults, and elderly people die everyday.

The grief that family and friends go through can push people to and past the breaking point rendering them barely functional and this is why stories of people behaving badly during this stressful time are not uncommon. Take the load off their shoulders and take the potential for petty arguments over material things out of their hands while you are alive. This is a prudent task that lessens the load of those that love and care for you.

Do you currently have a will, medical directive, trust, etc. in place?

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Did you know that having a type of social media will can allow someone to bring closure to your online identity?

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    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      So many people think that these things are only for the affluent or very rich but we all have mementos and other material things that we would not want in the hands of just anyone or to be thrown away. Many people have homes, cars, boats, money, bank accounts, stocks, settlements, etc. that can be passed onto others that they choose rather than onto Uncle Sam. Thanks so much for reading this.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      what a real must read hub here express.. I have taken life insurance out when I was 20 and now I can borrow against it and or use it to pay college tiotions.. but it is so important to make your passing as pain free as humanly possible.. a great hub :)