“Tis the wink of an eye, ’tis the draught of a breath,
From the blossom of health to the paleness of death,
From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud-
Oh! why should the spirit of mortal be proud?”
My husband and I will soon be taking an overnight out of town trip alone because he bought me concert tickets for my birthday. My in-laws will be watching our children while we are gone, which is wonderful because my husband and I haven’t had any more time alone than an afternoon or the odd movie theater visit since becoming parents. The last time we had a chance to travel alone together was when I was very pregnant with my daughter and we attended Comic-Con in Denver.
During the last few weeks, I have been excitedly anticipating this time together when out of nowhere my father-in-law gave me a piece of paper with a ton of questions.
Many of them were everyday questions like:
Does anyone have a copy of the key to your house in case of an emergency and who is it?
Others were harder questions:
Do you have life insurance and have it written down who it is with, in case something happens?
Do you have a will and does anyone know where it is in case something happens?
Have you considered where you would eventually like to be buried and/or have a plot? If so, where is the information kept?
My world has been rocked. Excited anticipation no more. Now my anxiety has been triggered big time and I have been worrying every day.
I don’t want to think about me or my husband dying. I don’t want to think about someone else raising my children and me not being in their lives. I know that everyone on this Earth will die. I know that we almost never have a choice about where and when it will happen. I know that it could happen at any moment. I am a realist, but still, I wasn’t prepared to confront my own mortality in this way. I mean, whenever someone close to you is ill or passes away, it is inevitable to think about, but the possibility that “in case something happens,” could happen very soon makes me feel incredibly depressed.
I’m certain that my outlook could and probably will change as the years pass, but at the moment I’m not afraid to die and I obviously do not want to any time soon; I hope for many many more years before that finality occurs. Moreso, I feel a crippling sense of grief that I will eventually cause my beautiful sweet innocent children grief and that I will not be there to wrap them in my arms and comfort them.
I understand my father-in-law’s concerns and why the information is important. They are all important questions and need to be answered. In fact, several should have been prepared a long time ago. Most I have spoken with my husband or parents about but never put into writing. But man, that put a big downer on my week.
In fact, I often think things like, I need to clean up my office, if something happened to me I don’t want my mom going through this mess or I really should buy a password journal to keep important information in, in the event that I was to die and my husband needed it. Thoughts like that usually prod me into action.
I have pinned many “emergency binder” links on Pinterest over the past couple years but this week I have actually put one together. This way if there is an emergency like a tornado or a fire most of our vital documents are easily accessible in a hurry. Now I can tell my father-in-law, “Most of the answers to your questions are in the purple binder. If you need it, look for the purple binder on my bookshelf.”
I’ve printed and signed consents for in-laws to take my children to be treated at the hospital or in their clinic in case of emergency. I’ve completed for myself a Durable Power of Attorney for medical decisions and a Living Will and had it notarized so that it is official. I have printed out specifics about my and the kids’ health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, my retirement savings, my bank accounts, cemetery information, and so on. I have noted where important documents are kept. I have prepared for just about any scenario, except for how not to internally freak out about the whole thing right now. Ugh. I know I should feel more at ease now that this information has been gathered, but it only slightly makes me feel better.
If you have never thought about any of this information I urge you to at least discuss it with your spouse or another family member so that they know your preferences. Put the important details in writing. If possible, collect anything that someone else might need to manage in case of emergency in one central place so it can be easily accessed.
Have you put together an emergency binder or file? If so, what is in it? If you have a family, have you planned for the unexpected? I’d love to hear from you.
I hope that today’s post wasn’t too big of a downer. I’ll try to not be so depressing with my next post! Have a great day, everyone.