What would happen if you unexpectedly ran out of time...
Just a few short weeks ago, a friend of ours was told that his cancer had returned. Despite doing everything possible to fight it, it spread rapidly to his brain and he ended up in the hospital … and then back home, to be made comfortable and wait for the end.
When our friend first found out that his cancer was back, he told me that he wanted to do everything he could to make it easier for his wife, in case the cancer was un beatable.
Unfortunately, things went downhill too quickly for him to make the preparations he wanted to.
And when it became clear that there was only one way this fight was going to end for our friend, his wife tried to access his contacts list on his phone and computer to let his friends know that he was dying.
And guess what … she didn’t have the passwords.
No amount of guessing helped. And by this time our friend was beyond speech. All he could do was lie on his bed, watching in misery, utterly unable to speak or give her any clue as to what his passwords were … not for his phone, not for his computer, not for any of his online accounts … nothing.
At his funeral, his wife told us that she was still hoping she’d be able to guess those passwords somehow. She didn’t know what else to do.
Recently, I was talking with some young people at the shared services office I sometimes work in. One young lady in particular was a bit weirded out because her parents had gone on a long holiday and had unexpectedly left her with instructions about what do if they suddenly kicked the bucket.
Several of the others chimed in with similar stories and emphasised how odd it felt to have their parents behave this way!
Being rather older, I was vaguely amused, but also interested in hearing their thoughts on the matter. Partly because their reactions were funny (okay so I have an odd sense of humour), but also because my husband and I had done exactly the same thing to our adult children a couple of years ago, just prior to going on an overseas trip. And we’d gotten the same bemused reaction.
In fact I think our kids were more than a bit “weirded out”, but fortunately, they actually understood why we did it.
You see, one of our daughter-in-law’s sibling’s spouse’s parents had gone off on holiday the year before and very unexpectedly to all concerned, including themselves, had fallen into a crevasse on a glacier and died. Both of them. Mother and father. Leaving two stunned young adult children behind to pick up the pieces, not knowing where to start or even which pieces to pick up.
The moral of these sad stories?
You never know when it’s going to be your turn to permanently leave this planet. It won’t matter to you … you’ll be gone, but if you’re not prepared, it’s going to make it really tough for the people you leave behind.
Knowing where to start preparing is challenging. It's not something the majority of us like to think about regularly, if at all. So I have put to together a list of 5 things you can do now to make it easier for your family to pick up the pieces, should you should die unexpectedly. It's just a starting point and you can always update your information later when it becomes obvious that the big red bus won’t be calling any time soon.
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