If something were to happen to you today, would your family know what to do?
I often felt like the cobbler whose own children had no shoes. I grew up in a home where our entire world revolved around helping people who had lost a loved one. When I married a funeral director, my world continued on that path. Our passion has been to help people pre-plan their funeral or cremation for several decades and yet for a long time we didn’t have our own funerals fully pre-planned. We had written down most of our wishes, but hadn’t taken care of our funerals financially. Our excuse? We always assumed we had plenty of time and that we would be taken care of through our connections with mortuaries.
Still, I stressed over it. I wasn’t at peace with just leaving this important planning undone and yet we didn’t stop long enough in our busy lives to seriously consider if our own children would know what to do if something happened to us today.
On May 1, 2013 things changed in a blink of an eye. My husband had a heart attack. How could this be? He was only 55 years old and too young to have any such health problems. His symptoms weren’t obvious to us. We didn’t realize the danger he was in at the time of his doctor’s appointment that day. We were planning on continuing with our busy schedule of people to meet and places to go after the appointment. However, our whole world was turned upside down within a 30 minute time frame. Doctors and nurses rushed around us when they realized the situation, and reality began to set in so fast it made our heads spin. After several tries and one last attempt, the doctor was able to place a stent in my husband’s left main artery and save his life. My husband had experienced something more commonly known as a ‘widow maker’ and thankfully, due to an expert cardiologist surgeon, dedicated nurses, and precision timing, it did not live up to its name. We are so grateful for their preparation for a day and a patient such as this. After that dangerous and dramatic life threatening scare, my husband is fine and has a heart as healthy as mine.
To say the least, that experience frightened us immensely and within a week we had pre-planned our final affairs. It’s hard to describe the feeling of gratitude that overcame us as we realized that we were given a gift of more time together. It made us look differently at every blessing in our lives.
One final note: after making all of our arrangements by pre-planning, we sat down with our oldest child, who is the executor of our assets, to explain to her what we had done. With tears in her eyes she told us how grateful she was that everything had been pre-planned. It lifted a huge burden off of her shoulders to realize that she will know exactly what to do when we pass away.
And now, the cobbler’s children have shoes. It’s a true story.