Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Battle is Over

October 14th one of our good friends went to be with the Lord. He had been through a long journey of cancer and Parkinson's Disease, and problems with his lungs. Once he understood that the end was near, it was like his body just shut down and quickly. It was a blessing, but no one expected him to die so quickly. The memorial service was beautiful and very uplifting, as well it should be! We were celebrating the life of a good man who is now celebrating with the angels in heaven! His widow is my co-worker and she came right back to work. Many were more than a little appalled, but she needs to be busy and is processing through things pretty well. She will have a lot to do, and once this initial period of paperwork and phone calls dies down, and she doesn't have to repeat the story to those who haven't heard, she can settle in to deal with other things. So, while we will miss our dear friend, we rejoice that he is no longer suffering and is at peace in the arms of Jesus!

These things are always a learning experience for those of us advancing in yearsand here are a few things to consider:
  • Do you have a will? Is it up to date? Do you know where it is?!
  • Are your birth certificate and wedding certificate where you can easily find them?
  • Do you know your spouse's social security number?
  • What about end of life issues? Have you discussed this with family? Do you want to be buried or cremated? Viewing? Graveside service? Full funeral or memorial service?
  • Do you have a Durable Power of Attorney for medical decisions? What about Advanced Directives? Do you know where this documentation is located?
  • Is there someone outside of the family that might have some understanding of medical terminology that could go with you to some appointments or meetings with doctors? Sometimes one is overwhelmed and can't take it all in. An impartial observer can take notes or ask the questions you might not think to ask.
  • Is your home accessible? If you couldn't walk, how would you get around? Do you have friends in wheelchairs or who can't climb stairs? Do you have grab bars, no throw rugs and railings on both sides of the stairs? In the hall? Is it time to move to a more user friendly home?

These are some of the things we have been discussing as we approach that big "60" this coming year. Even younger people need to think about things like wills and guardianships. In the space of a year, we lost two young men in their 30's at our church. Quite a few young people got wills and such after that! One never knows and how much better to be prepared. Death is such a taboo word in our society and yet it is an everyday part of life! When you are emotionally distraught is not the time to make these kinds of decisions!

So live each day as if it is your last and don't forget to tell the ones you love that you do!

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