My mother-in-law passed away very unexpectedly on Saturday. She had made some arrangements prior to her death - she had been to the funeral home and paid to be cremated, a head stone and for her announcement in the paper. What she neglected to do was to make a will. She was 81 - that should have been done years ago. Now her kids have to make certain decisions that are not going to be easy. That could just possibly end some relationships. You know things like - what do they do with her house and her bajillion things inside? Her jewelry, her antiques, her knicknacks who gets what. Her car?
If you are young and still have children at home - it is super important that you have a will which designates who will become their guardian in case you and their other parent both die. No one wants to think about that but do you really want the state to decide who raises your kids? I didn't think so.
I know in this electronic age of digital cameras there are tons of pictures being taken but please be sure you have pictures with your loved ones also. We realized that we had no pictures of some of my kids with their grandma. The relationship wasn't close but we could have made sure that we that there was at least one picture was taken at Christmas.
The Short List of What You should do - bare minimum
1. Make a list - let your loved ones know your wishes - update it yearly around your birthday.
2. Make your Will - keep it current.
3. Be sure someone in addition to your spouse knows it exists and how to find it.
4. If you are older, it really is nice to have taken care of your funeral arrangements so your kids don't have to.
5. Even if you hate to have your picture taken - do it anyway. With everyone who is important to you. Get some of them printed.
My own list includes;
- I don't want to be cremated - open casket if at all possible. It makes closure a little easier.
- I want my family to purchase my casket from the Amish - $600 instead of $6000.
- I want a rosary said at the wake.
- I would like Memorials to go to my children or grandchildrens educations.
- If I die soon I have a picture for the announcement in the newspaper.
- My will is done, my plot is purchased I just need to go talk to a funeral home.
- When at all possible not to miss opportunities to see extended family while they are ALIVE - so we don't have to say "it was great to see you but I wish it was under different circumstances".
1. Instead of saying "let me know if I can do something" just go ahead and do something. Bring over some cookies to the house, call and ask if any dry cleaning needs picked up, have pizza delivered or bring by a dish of food. Even drinks - water, pop, beer are always appreciated. Paper products - TP, plates, cups, plastic silverware - so they don't have to worry about dishes.
2. If there are children a bag of things to do at the funeral home is great - legos, crayons, markers, simple craft stuff, juice boxes and snacks all are appreciated.
3. A hug and a prayer go a long way. Showings are hard - no one likes to go but if you can it makes a world of difference to your friend.
4. If you are close, go over to the house and clean a little - dishes, bathrooms, places that will give a little order to the place and helps the family to relax.
5. Be sure to put your name and address on what you gave so the family can thank you.
I would love to know what you have done to help someone through this tough time.
I am linking this to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.