You see it every day on the news. You get up and turn on the TV in the morning and learn that while you were sleeping, others were involved in accidents that caused their death. As one friend put it, "You watch the news and think that somehow your family is protected from these tragedies. After all, these people don't live in your neighborhood. They come from a different social class. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time." It wasn't until his 21 year-old sister was killed in a skiing accident that he realized that all of his justifications were wrong. Your family most certainly can be affected.
Donna had asked her husband to write some things down for her before his flight to the Middle East several years ago. He scratched some things out on the back of an envelope and told her she was being silly. He returned from that trip, but a few short months later, he was killed by a drunk driver.
At least Donna had something to start with, but she wasn't prepared for all of the questions the funeral home fired at her. She knew what bank accounts they had and had helped with paying the bills over the years, but what about funeral arrangements? Did he want to be buried in Louisiana with his parents or here in Texas where she and her family lived? Cremation or burial? What about the obituary for the newspaper? Did she have all of the accurate information needed to write it?
Her emotions were raw as she tried to deal with the reality of it all. Was this all just a bad dream that would soon end? She just wanted to go home and grieve, but there were too many things to think about.
If you don't know the answers to these questions, now is a good time for you to start thinking about them. What are some things you can do to be better prepared for these situations?
You are doing your family a disservice if you don't prepare this information for them while you're able. It doesn't make sense to provide for them throughout your life, only to leave them struggling when they need your guidance more than ever.
Joyce Moseley Pierce founded Emerson Publications with the idea of publishing materials that would promote family unity. Visit her at www.emersonpublications.com
Copyright 2002 Joyce Moseley Pierce
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